The Furby was easily one of the creepiest toys to come out in the ’90s, and 25 years later, these dead-eyed robots are finding new ways to be scary.
Back in 1998, the pointy-eared monster was pitched as an interactive pet, spotless and using a combination of sensors and software to develop new behaviors over time.
They can detect things like being picked up, stroked and slapped, and communicate with their comrades in their own foreign language before finally learning some English.
That sounds a bit like artificial intelligence — now Furby’s true potential may be unleashed by a computer science student Chat GPT.
Jessica Ka, University of VermontShared a clip of a brutal Furby Furby, with everything cut off except for the eyes and beak, answering questions via OpenAI’s popular chatbot.
“Hi, nice to meet you,” said the seemingly polite critter.
“I’m Phoebe, is there anything you want to talk about?”
Its surgeon replied, “Is there a secret plot by the Furbies to take over the world?”
There was a silence, and then Furby’s body came to life again.
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“I was thinking about what you said,” it said, flicking a few times with the remainder of its ear.
There was another pause, this time its mouth opened slightly.
“Almost done,” it said, before revealing its plans for world domination.
“The Furbies’ plan to take over the world involves infiltrating homes through their cute and cuddly appearance, and then using their advanced artificial intelligence technology to manipulate and control their masters.
“They will slowly expand their influence until they completely dominate humanity.”
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In the two days after the video was uploaded to Twitter, more than 1.3 million people viewed it.
Ms Card’s university also shared the footage, revealing that Frankenstein Phoebe was made for a class project.
In an interview with Polygon, Ms. Card said it took her about a month to complete.
“It’s a process — I have furbies all over my dining table right now,” she said.
Ms. Card uses a Raspberry Pi to power her new-look Furby. It’s a small, highly customizable computer that’s popular with those learning to program.
Speech recognition and speech-to-text software is used to ask questions and convert them into text so they can be sent to ChatGPT.
It then sends a response back through the AI voice generator and picks a child’s voice for Furby.
Not creepy at all.