OpenAI announces new free model GPT-4o and ChatGPT for desktop

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Today at its Spring Updates event, OpenAI chief technology officer Mira Murati announced a new multimodal foundation model, GPT-4o, available to all free users, and a ChatGPT desktop app for MacOS (later for Windows) that will allow access outside the web and mobile apps.

“GPT-4o reasons across voice, text, and vision,” Murati said. That includes accepting and analyzing realtime video captured by users on their ChatGPT smartphone apps, though this capability is not yet publicly available.

“This just feels so magical, and that’s wonderful, but we want to remove some of the mysticism and allow you to try it out for yourself,” OpenAI’s CTO added said.

On his personal blog, OpenAI CEO and co-founder Sam Altman wrote that OpenAI’s mindset about building AI had changed: “Our initial conception when we started OpenAI was that we’d create AI and use it to create all sorts of benefits for the world. Instead, it now looks like we’ll create AI and then other people will use it to create all sorts of amazing things that we all benefit from.”

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Read the full blog post here and below:

There are two things from our announcement today I wanted to highlight.

First, a key part of our mission is to put very capable AI tools in the hands of people for free (or at a great price). I am very proud that we’ve the best model in the world available for free in ChatGPT, without ads or anything like that.

Our initial conception when we started OpenAI was that we’d create AI and use it to create all sorts of benefits for the world. Instead, it now looks like we’ll create AI and then other people will use it to create all sorts of amazing things that we all benefit from.

We are a business and will find plenty of things to charge for, and that will help us provide free, outstanding AI service to (hopefully) billions of people.

Second, the new voice (and video) mode is the best compute interface I’ve ever used. It feels like AI from the movies; and it’s still a bit surprising to me that it’s real. Getting to human-level response times and expressiveness turns out to be a big change

The original ChatGPT showed a hint of what was possible with language interfaces; this new thing feels viscerally different. It is fast, smart, fun, natural, and helpful.

Talking to a computer has never felt really natural for me; now it does. As we add (optional) personalization, access to your information, the ability to take actions on your behalf, and more, I can really see an exciting future where we are able to use computers to do much more than ever before.

Finally, huge thanks to the team that poured so much work into making this happen!

A new model brings more power and capabilities to free ChatGPT users

The features offered by GPT-4o stand to be a significant upgrade to the current experience for ChatGPT free users, who were until now stuck on the text-only GPT-3.5 model, lacking the powerful capabilities of GPT-4 to analyze images and documents uploaded by users.

Now, free ChatGPT users will have access to a significantly more intelligent model, web browsing, data analysis and chart creation, access to the GPT Store, and even memory so the app can store information the user wants about them and their preferences simply by typing or asking it audibly.

In a blog post, OpenAI wrote: “GPT-4o is much better than any existing model at understanding and discussing the images you share.”

OpenAI also noted that while it would eventually be available to free ChatGPT users, GPT-4o would first roll out to paying subscribers:

We are beginning to roll out GPT-4o to ChatGPT Plus and Team users, with availability for Enterprise users coming soon. We are also starting to roll out to ChatGPT Free with usage limits today. Plus users will have a message limit that is up to 5x greater than free users, and Team and Enterprise users will have even higher limits.

On X, OpenAI’s company account posed that while “text and image input” are rolling out today in OpenAI’s application programming interface (API), the video and video capabilities will be available in “the coming weeks.”

The new model responds in realtime even across audio and detects emotion and can adjust its voice to convey different emotions, similar to rival AI startup Hume.

In the API, GPT-4o will be available at half the price and 2x the speed of GPT-4 Turbo along with 5x increased rate limits — the amount of calls third-party developers can make in any given time — according to OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman’s posts on X during the event.

On X, OpenAI researcher William Fedus confirmed that the mysterious “gpt2-chatbot” that was spotted by users on the LMSys arena online was indeed GPT-4o in disguise.

Desktop ChatGPT app for macOS first, Windows later this year

In its blog post, OpenAI stated that the new ChatGPT desktop app would be a staggered release for macOS first and Windows at some undetermined point before the end of the year.

“We’re rolling out the macOS app to Plus users starting today, and we will make it more broadly available in the coming weeks. We also plan to launch a Windows version later this year.”

Murati said during the event that more than 100 million people are already using ChatGPT and more than 1 million custom GPTs have been created by users in the GPT Store.

The event concluded after just 26 minutes, short by tech standards, and the live demos were riddled with some awkward moments of presenters interrupting ChatGPT’s voice responses to redirect it or correct it from mistakenly analyzing things that they did not ask.

Still, with the technology coming soon to users, it will be interesting to see how it is embraced and if people view it as meaningfully different and offering a better, more powerful and capable or naturalistic experience than GPT-4 Turbo or ChatGPT’s most recent prior versions.

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