ChatGPT-Powered Clippy Comes to Modern Windows via FireCube

Illustration of FireCube's ChatGPT Clippy
(Image credit: FireCube)

There's a sort of unspoken attraction for anything "vintage" these days - things, ideas, or behaviors that have stood the test of time and are still relevant (or at least of interest) today. One such example of a vintage (or, let's say, legacy) entity in personal computers is Microsoft's original Clippy - the good-natured, charming, anthropomorphized paper clip conquered more than a few hearts since its original inception as a (glorified) assistant, way back in 1997.

Unfortunately, Clippy was left for dead in Microsoft's hands around 2005, with the company only recently revisiting it as a system-level sticker back in 2021. But software company FireCube wanted more, and it's done more in a way that makes Microsoft look as if it missed an oportunity: FireCube is now introducing its own open-source rendition of Clippy as a digital personal assistant, one that's finally been given a deep-dive course on actual assisting through its integration with OpenAI's Chat GPT (version 3.5). Being open-source, the code repository is available on GitHub.

Being ChatGPT-powered, this particular version of Clippy is now actually able to produce work for you, instead of only providing tooltips. Its conversational abilities are the same as what you've come to expect from OpenAI's fledgling Large Language Model (LLM). It'll be interesting to know how Clippy feels about his different versions through the years.

For now, FireBlocks says that anyone who plans to use its GPT-powered Clippy will need to have their own private OpenAI API key - essentially confirming that you've subscribed to one of ChatGPT's paying tiers, and allowing Clippy to access OpenAI's servers for query processing. For now, Clippy's requirements include a Windows 10 (version 17763.0 or above) PC with an internet connection.

The company has plans to improve  Clippy over time. It's likely further development will accompany OpenAI's own ChatGPT releases, adding whatever improvements OpenAI cooks in. But beyond that, the company is also looking to do away with the need for personal OpenAI keys entirely. At the same time, FireBlocks aims to make sure that you can keep things interesting by allowing Clippy to rest every once in a while by calling upon other storied Microsoft assistants (like Bob or classic Clippy himself).

This is all well and good, and having Clippy following your Windows antics is bound to provide some nostalgia. If you prefer to take things out of the digital realm and would like to deploy your own physical Clippy that's also powered by ChatGPT, we've got you covered. If you go that rout, you'll also get a chance to play around with a Raspberry Pi.

Francisco Pires
Freelance News Writer

Francisco Pires is a freelance news writer for Tom's Hardware with a soft side for quantum computing.

  • Metal Messiah.
    I have just checked the CODE, and it appears you have used DOT NET 6/.Net 6 framework, and the frontend uses a windows framework. So how about exporting this to LINUX as well?

    For Linux, you can implement the front end in a framework like 'Avalonia'.

    For now, FireBlocks says that anyone who plans to use its GPT-powered Clippy will need to have their own private OpenAI API key

    Btw, is it FireBlocks company, or FireCube ?
  • Sluggotg
    I have very different memories of Clippy/Clippet. Microsoft was trying to appeal to a broader audience by imposing Clippy to be Your Friendly Computer Helper. Almost Everyone I knew hated it. It came across as insulting and annoying. They got a lot of Negative Feedback and eventually dropped it. I love the old funny video of a guy creating a Word document and Clippet is saying over and over "It looks like your writing a letter" and the man responding, "I am not writing a @#$%@# letter", until he loses it. (search you tube for "it looks like your writing a letter clippy".
  • vern72
    Nice knowing you all. It's now official that the end of the world is going to be brought on by Clippy AI.
  • TechLurker
    Since the tech-verse seems to be in a nostalgic mood, I'd like HP to bring back the Packard Bell Home GUI that was an alternate option to a conventional Windows desktop, but now fully traversable; similar to the forever-incomplete 3DNA Desktop for Win98.

    Just because we now have the horsepower to drive such a ridiculous UI overlay and it'd be a bit of fun nostalgia heading over to the game room to launch your games and play some secret, built-in games, or take a trip to the office to launch your office apps. Throw in the ability to customize preset photo frames around the virtual home with pictures off your drive. Bonus if you can also build a "Packard Bell Home" via a dumbed down house creator. Maybe even include a surprise copy of The Journeyman Project, now also modernized in HD.
  • Metal Messiah.
    +1 for Packard Bell Home GUI as well.