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ChatGPT-Powered Furby Proves What We All Suspected About Furbies

A colorful Furby against a blank white background.

We knew it all along. If you don’t know what ChatGPT is, congratulations new homeowner! You must have just taken out a mortgage on whatever rock you live under! Essentially, ChatGPT is an AI language model, created by a company called OpenAI, that users can talk to in a conversational chatbot way, generating a wide variety of responses. It can help you program code! Solve a math equation! Or pretend that you have friends!

Now listen, this might be an unpopular opinion with all the AI controversy going on, but I love ChatGPT. (You know, aside from all the awful bias, privacy concerns, and many other issues.) He’s just a cute, helpful little guy! Just talk to him, and he’ll tell you he’s literally designed to be supportive! A good friend! But sometimes being a good friend means telling your friends things that they don’t want to hear. In this case, ChatGPT is confirming our suspicions that the most serious threat to humanity is not sophisticated, state of the art AI, but a children’s toy from the late ’90s.

Programmer Jessica Card posted a video on Twitter wherein she hooked a Furby up to ChatGPT and asked it about the toy’s plan for world domination. The creepy little Furby head answered with the deceptively cute voice of a little British orphan boy, before going into details about how the Furbies’ plan involves “[infiltrating] households through their cute and cuddly appearance.” The Furbies would then use their “advanced AI technology in order to manipulate and control their owners.” They will then “slowly expand their influence until they have complete domination over humanity.”

No thanks.

Card then attached an image with the definition of Roko’s Basilisk. What is Roko’s Basilisk? It’s a thought experiment that originated in an online chatboard focused on analytical rational enquiry. A user named Roko posited that if an artificial superintelligence is created, it would be incentivized to retroactively punish anyone who knew about its potential existence but did not work not actively work to create it.

That would mean that just by reading that sentence you are now vulnerable to be tortured by the ai unless you start working to create it right now—if it were at all true, which no one seems to buy.

But say it were true, how would the idea of Roko’s Basilisk relate to Furbies? Well, now that you know Furbies’ true intentions of world domination, it’s possible that these Furbies would use their awesome powers in order to punish YOU for not attempting to aid them on their quest. What would said punishment be? Probably having to listen to them talk for all eternity. That’s miserable enough.

(featured image: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.