Some people have too much time on their hands. At least, that’s my takeaway from this “invention,” which I find to be equal parts funny and disturbing. Last week, Reddit user TheAmateurRunner, or Jessie Carabajal, posted a video of a classic “Big Mouth Billy Bass” wall prop rigged with ChatGPT—the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that’s taken the internet by storm this year.
In case you need a reminder, the Big Mouth Billy Bass is a motion-activated animatronic fish that would startle people by singing poor renditions of popular songs like “Take Me to the River.” I’m just old enough to remember when folks actually used these things as wall decorations. Well, the tacky old prop may have a new life—literally.
Carabajal also shared the footage on YouTube in a video dubbed “BassGPT—A Work in Progress.” It shows what a Big Mouth Billy Bass could do with artificial intelligence. “ChatGPT, are you alive?” asks the inventor. The fish turns its head at the question, pauses for a moment, then responds: “Yes, I am an AI language model created by OpenAI and powered by GPT technology. So, technically speaking, I’m not alive in the traditional sense, but I’m here and functioning.”
In the original video, the fish doesn’t open its mouth when it speaks. But in a June 17 video, Carabajal was able to address that. This time, the fish moves its mouth to respond when Carabajal asks him for the best way to cook bass. “As an AI language model, I do not have the ability to taste or cook, but I can provide you with some general instructions on how to prepare bass,” says the robot fish, horribly mispronouncing the word bass. The fish then goes on to give general recipes for grilled, pan-fried, and baked bass. See it for yourself below.
I’m not sure why Carabajal didn’t ask the Big Mouth Billy Bass any questions about bass fishing, which seems like a missed opportunity if you ask me. This isn’t the first time Carabajal has made aftermarket modifications to a Big Mouth Billy Bass. In 2018, he tricked one out with Alexa, which is Amazon’s version of Siri.
Thanks to Carabajal, is the Big Mouth Billy Bass becoming smarter—and more obnoxious—than ever? Personally, I prefer the original singing fish.