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OpenAI Launches GPT-4o and More Features for ChatGPT

If you’re using the free version of ChatGPT, you’re about to get a boost. On Monday, OpenAI debuted a new flagship model of its underlying engine, called GPT-4o, along with key changes to its user interface.

The chatbot, which sparked a whole new wave of consumer-friendly AI, comes in two flavors: the free version, ChatGPT 3.5, and a version that costs $20 per month, ChatGPT 4. With that subscription fee, you get access to a large language model that can handle a lot more data as it generates responses to your prompts.

Watch this: Everything OpenAI Announced at Its Spring Update Event


GPT-4o should close that gap, at least somewhat. Your interactions with ChatGPT will also become more conversational. (The “o” stands for “omni.”)

When ChatGPT debuted in November 2022, it kicked off a wave of generative AI products and experimentation that’s still going strong. Startups like Anthropic, as well as tech giants including Google and Microsoft, introduced their own spins on gen AI chatbots, and companies including Rabbit and Humane have built new gadgets around the technology. (Check out our reviews of those products, as well as advice and news, at our new AI Atlas hub.) 

OpenAI’s GPT-4o news came just a day before Google hosts its annual I/O developer conference, where artificial intelligence is likely to be a major theme tied to its Gemini chatbot and its Search Generative Experience. And in early June, expectations are that Apple will have much to say about AI at its own developer event, WWDC.

Despite ChatGPT 3.5’s limitations, CNET reviewer Imad Khan noted earlier this year that “for most basic queries and even a few more complex ones, ChatGPT 3.5 will get the job done for most people,” providing “serviceable” answers even though “it’s always best to do a bit of fact checking.” Is ChatGPT 4 worth paying more for? In his review of ChatGPT 4, Khan says it’s “noticeably smarter than its free counterpart. And for those who strive for accuracy and ask questions requiring greater computational dexterity, it’s a worthy upgrade.”

The new GPT-4o model

In a livestream on Monday, Mira Murati, chief technology officer of OpenAI, said GPT-4o “brings GPT-4-level intelligence to everything, including our free users.” The features will be rolled out over the next few weeks, she said.

Paid users will have five times the capacity limit of free users.

GPT-4o is two times faster and 50% cheaper than GPT-4 Turbo, which was released in late 2023. (It provided more up-to-date responses than its predecessors and can understand — and generate — larger chunks of text.)

It will be available in 50 languages and is also coming to the API so developers can start building with it.

Conversing with the new UI

Earlier this year, OpenAI dropped the requirement to sign up for accounts. On Monday, it announced a desktop app, which is also intended to make AI tools available to more users.

“We want you to be able to use it wherever you are,” Murati said. “It’s easy, it’s simple, it integrates very, very easily in your workflow.”

In another step toward making AI more accessible, OpenAI announced a “refreshed” UI, which includes the ability to interact with ChatGPT on a more conversational level, as well as to share videos as a starting point.

OpenAI CTO Mira Murati on stage for the company’s Spring 2024 Update livestream.

OpenAI/Screenshot by CNET

“We know that as these models get more and more complex, we want the experience of interaction to become more natural,” Murati said. “This is the first time that we are really making a huge step forward when it comes to the ease of use.”

With new real-time conversational speech functionality, you can interrupt the model, you don’t have to wait for a response and the model picks up on your emotions, said Mark Chen, head of frontiers research at OpenAI.

You can call up ChatGPT with a familiar phrase: “Hey, ChatGPT.”

Using video and screenshots

Other ways to interact with ChatGPT now include video, so you can share live footage of, say, a math problem you’re stuck on and ask for help solving it. ChatGPT will give you the answer — or help you work through it on your own.

You can also share screenshots, photos and documents with text and images, as well as ask ChatGPT about prior conversations, search for real-time information within a conversation and perform advanced data analysis by uploading charts or code before asking questions.

On Friday, OpenAI announced additional data analysis features, including the ability to upload files from Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, as well as to interact with tables and charts in a new expandable view and to customize and download charts.

These features will be available for ChatGPT Plus, Team and Enterprise users “over the coming weeks,” according to a blog post.

Prior to this update, GPT-4, which came out in March 2023, was available via the ChatGPT Plus subscription for $20 a month. It uses 1 trillion parameters, or pieces of information, to process queries. An even older version, GPT-3.5, was available for free with a smaller context window of 175 billion parameters.

“We also care a lot about the next frontier,” Murati said. “So soon we’ll be updating you on our progress towards the next big thing.” 

Watch this: How to Make a GPT in ChatGPT-4


Editors’ note: CNET used an AI engine to help create several dozen stories, which are labeled accordingly. The note you’re reading is attached to articles that deal substantively with the topic of AI but are created entirely by our expert editors and writers. For more, see our AI policy.

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