OpenAI drops login requirements for ChatGPT’s free version

OpenAI drops login requirements for ChatGPT’s free version post thumbnail image
A glowing OpenAI logo on a blue background.
Benj Edwards

On Monday, OpenAI announced that guests to the ChatGPT website in some areas can now use the AI assistant with out signing in. Beforehand, the corporate required that customers create an account to make use of it, even with the free model of ChatGPT that’s at the moment powered by the GPT-3.5 AI language mannequin. However as we now have noted in the past, GPT-3.5 is broadly recognized to offer extra inaccurate info in comparison with GPT-4 Turbo, out there in paid variations of ChatGPT.

Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has reworked over time from a tech demo to a complete AI assistant, and it is all the time had a free model out there. The associated fee is free as a result of “you’re the product,” because the previous saying goes. Utilizing ChatGPT helps OpenAI collect information that may assist the corporate practice future AI fashions, though free customers and ChatGPT Plus subscription members can each opt out of permitting the info they enter into ChatGPT for use for AI coaching. (OpenAI says it by no means trains on inputs from ChatGPT Team and Enterprise members in any respect).

Opening ChatGPT to everybody might present a frictionless on-ramp for individuals who may use it as an alternative choice to Google Search or doubtlessly achieve new clients by offering a straightforward method for individuals to make use of ChatGPT shortly, then providing an upsell to paid variations of the service.

“It is core to our mission to make instruments like ChatGPT broadly out there so that individuals can expertise the advantages of AI,” OpenAI says on its blog page. “For anybody that has been inquisitive about AI’s potential however didn’t need to undergo the steps to arrange an account, begin utilizing ChatGPT as we speak.”

When you visit the ChatGPT website, you're immediately presented with a chat box like this (in some regions). Screenshot captured April 1, 2024.
Enlarge / Whenever you go to the ChatGPT web site, you are instantly introduced with a chat field like this (in some areas). Screenshot captured April 1, 2024.
Benj Edwards

Since youngsters can even be capable to use ChatGPT with out an account—regardless of it being in opposition to the terms of service—OpenAI additionally says it is introducing “further content material safeguards,” reminiscent of blocking extra prompts and “generations in a wider vary of classes.” What precisely that entails has not been elaborated upon by OpenAI, however we reached out to the corporate for remark.

There may be just a few different downsides to the totally open strategy. On X, AI researcher Simon Willison wrote concerning the potential for automated abuse as a strategy to get round paying for OpenAI’s providers: “I ponder how their scraping prevention works? I think about the temptation for individuals to abuse this as a free 3.5 API will probably be fairly sturdy.”

With fierce competitors, extra GPT-3.5 entry might backfire

Willison additionally mentioned a standard criticism of OpenAI (as voiced in this case by Wharton professor Ethan Mollick) that individuals’s concepts about what AI fashions can do have to this point largely been influenced by GPT-3.5, which, as we talked about, is way much less succesful and much more liable to making things up than the paid model of ChatGPT that makes use of GPT-4 Turbo.

“In each group I converse to, from enterprise executives to scientists, together with a bunch of very achieved individuals in Silicon Valley final night time, a lot lower than 20% of the group has even tried a GPT-4 class mannequin,” wrote Mollick in a tweet from early March.

With fashions like Google Gemini Pro 1.5 and Anthropic Claude 3 potentially surpassing OpenAI’s greatest proprietary mannequin for the time being —and open weights AI fashions eclipsing the free version of ChatGPT—permitting individuals to make use of GPT-3.5 won’t be placing OpenAI’s greatest foot ahead. Microsoft Copilot, powered by OpenAI fashions, additionally helps a frictionless, no-login expertise, nevertheless it permits entry to a mannequin primarily based on GPT-4. However Gemini at the moment requires a sign-in, and Anthropic sends a login code by means of e-mail.

For now, OpenAI says the login-free model of ChatGPT isn’t but out there to everybody, however will probably be coming quickly: “We’re rolling this out steadily, with the purpose to make AI accessible to anybody inquisitive about its capabilities.”


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