Skip to main content

ChatGPT allows this nightmarish AI typewriter to talk to you

A classic Brother AX-325 typewriter straight out the ’90s has gained ChatGPT powers and is all set to have conversations with you, on paper anyway (literally).

Designer-engineer Arvind Sanjeev shared his full process thread on how the typewriter went from idea to the final, charmingly elegant machine that it is. Sanjeev reverse-engineered a Brother AX-325, modded it with some AI smarts, gave it a new paint job, and called it Ghostwriter. And now, it can conversate (onto a piece of paper) with anyone typing on the keyboard.

Ghostwriter complete exploded view.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to his Twitter posts, Sanjeev dismantled the typewriter, mainly to feed the keyboard signals through an Arduino driver, which in turn was sent to a Raspberry Pi running OpenAI’s GPT-3 python API.

GPT-3 is a powerful tool that works like a chatbot, responding to input (in this case the keyboard) and composing text at a level similar to a human. Sanjeev also showered the Brother with a little TLC, giving the typewriter a new bounce in its mechanical step.

As promised, here is the full process thread for Ghostwriter – the #AI typewriter. A journey from idea to realization:

The idea: With the exponential growth and emergence of a prolific number of AI products we see every day, I wanted to create a mindful intervention that (1/13)

— Arvind Sanjeev (@ArvindSanjeev) December 14, 2022

Sanjeev felt that he also needed a way to control the temperature (creativity) and length of the responses from GPT-3, so he installed two knobs above the keyboard. The knobs flank another small addition: a small OLED that displays their feedback statuses.

Ghostwriter conversation on paper.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Once the technical bits was done, Sanjeev set out to turn the office gray of the Brother into something more inviting and modern. He was aiming for something warm and playful that anyone can approach, without digital distractions, where they could enjoy a “calm, meditative interface of a vintage typewriter” — and we think he succeeded.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Leong
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Aaron enjoys all manner of tech - from mobile (phones/smartwear), audio (headphones/earbuds), computing (gaming/Chromebooks)…
GPT-4: how to use the AI chatbot that puts ChatGPT to shame
A laptop opened to the ChatGPT website.

People were in awe when ChatGPT came out, impressed by its natural language abilities as an AI chatbot. But when the highly anticipated GPT-4 large language model came out, it blew the lid off what we thought was possible with AI, with some calling it the early glimpses of AGI (artificial general intelligence).

The creator of the model, OpenAI, calls it the company's "most advanced system, producing safer and more useful responses." Here's everything you need to know about it, including how to use it and what it can do.
What is GPT-4?
GPT-4 is a new language model created by OpenAI that can generate text that is similar to human speech. It advances the technology used by ChatGPT, which is currently based on GPT-3.5. GPT is the acronym for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, a deep learning technology that uses artificial neural networks to write like a human.

Read more
Zoom adds ChatGPT to help you catch up on missed calls
A person conducting a Zoom call on a laptop while sat at a desk.

The Zoom video-calling app has just added its own “AI Companion” assistant that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs) from ChatGPT maker OpenAI and Facebook owner Meta. The tool is designed to help you catch up on meetings you missed and devise quick responses to chat messages.

Zoom’s developer says the AI Companion “empowers individuals by helping them be more productive, connect and collaborate with teammates, and improve their skills.”

Read more
ChatGPT is violating your privacy, says major GDPR complaint
ChatGPT app running on an iPhone.

Ever since the first generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools exploded onto the tech scene, there have been questions over where they’re getting their data and whether they’re harvesting your private data to train their products. Now, ChatGPT maker OpenAI could be in hot water for exactly these reasons.

According to TechCrunch, a complaint has been filed with the Polish Office for Personal Data Protection alleging that ChatGPT violates a large number of rules found in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It suggests that OpenAI’s tool has been scooping up user data in all sorts of questionable ways.

Read more