Meet Ghostwriter, a haunted AI-powered typewriter that talks to you

Enlarge / Ghostwriter understands what you type and can automatically write responses using OpenAI’s GPT-3. (credit: Arvind Sanjeev / Ars Technica)

On Wednesday, a designer and engineer named Arvind Sanjeev revealed his process for creating Ghostwriter, a one-of-a-kind repurposed Brother typewriter that uses AI to chat with a person typing on the keyboard. The “ghost” inside the machine comes from OpenAI’s GPT-3, a large language model that powers ChatGPT. The effect resembles a phantom conversing through the machine.

To create Ghostwriter, Sanjeev took apart an electric Brother AX-325 typewriter from the 1990s and reverse-engineered its keyboard signals, then fed them through an Arduino, a low-cost microcontroller that is popular with hobbyists. The Arduino then sends signals to a Raspberry Pi that acts as a network interface to OpenAI’s GPT-3 API.

When GPT-3 responds, Ghostwriter noisily types the AI model’s output onto paper automatically.

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