Everything you need to know about the AI chatbot


ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm since its launch in November 2022. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved into a behemoth used by more than 92% of Fortune 500 companies.

That growth has propelled OpenAI itself into becoming one of the most-hyped companies in recent memory. And its latest partnership with Apple for its upcoming generative AI offering, Apple Intelligence, has given the company another significant bump in the AI race.

2024 also saw the release of GPT-4o, OpenAI’s new flagship omni model for ChatGPT. GPT-4o is now the default free model, complete with voice and vision capabilities. But after demoing GPT-4o, OpenAI paused one of its voices, Sky, after allegations that it was mimicking Scarlett Johansson’s voice in “Her.”

OpenAI is facing internal drama, including the sizable exit of co-founder and longtime chief scientist Ilya Sutskever as the company dissolved its Superalignment team. OpenAI is also facing a lawsuit from Alden Global Capital-owned newspapers including the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune for alleged copyright infringement, following a similar suit filed by The New York Times last year.

Here’s a timeline of ChatGPT product updates and releases, starting with the latest, which we’ve been updating throughout the year. And if you have any other questions, check out our ChatGPT FAQ here.

Timeline of the most recent ChatGPT updates

June 2024

Apple brings ChatGPT to its apps, including Siri

Apple announced at WWDC 2024 that it is bringing ChatGPT to Siri and other first-party apps and capabilities across its operating systems. The ChatGPT integrations, powered by GPT-4o, will arrive on iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia later this year, and will be free without the need to create a ChatGPT or OpenAI account. Features exclusive to paying ChatGPT users will also be available through Apple devices.

House Oversight subcommittee invites Scarlett Johansson to testify about ‘Sky’ controversy

Scarlett Johansson has been invited to testify about the controversy surrounding OpenAI’s Sky voice at a hearing for the House Oversight Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation. In a letter, Rep. Nancy Mace said Johansson’s testimony could “provide a platform” for concerns around deepfakes.

ChatGPT experiences two outages in a single day

ChatGPT was down twice in one day: one multi-hour outage in the early hours of the morning Tuesday and another outage later in the day that is still ongoing. Anthropic’s Claude and Perplexity also experienced some issues.

May 2024

The Atlantic and Vox Media ink content deals with OpenAI

The Atlantic and Vox Media have announced licensing and product partnerships with OpenAI. Both agreements allow OpenAI to use the publishers’ current content to generate responses in ChatGPT, which will feature citations to relevant articles. Vox Media says it will use OpenAI’s technology to build “audience-facing and internal applications,” while The Atlantic will build a new experimental product called Atlantic Labs.

OpenAI signs 100K PwC workers to ChatGPT’s enterprise tier

OpenAI announced a new deal with management consulting giant PwC. The company will become OpenAI’s biggest customer to date, covering 100,000 users, and will become OpenAI’s first partner for selling its enterprise offerings to other businesses.

OpenAI says it is training its GPT-4 successor

OpenAI announced in a blog post that it has recently begun training its next flagship model to succeed GPT-4. The news came in an announcement of its new safety and security committee, which is responsible for informing safety and security decisions across OpenAI’s products.

Former OpenAI director claims the board found out about ChatGPT on Twitter

On the The TED AI Show podcast, former OpenAI board member Helen Toner revealed that the board did not know about ChatGPT until its launch in November 2022. Toner also said that Sam Altman gave the board inaccurate information about the safety processes the company had in place and that he didn’t disclose his involvement in the OpenAI Startup Fund.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

The launch of GPT-4o has driven the company’s biggest-ever spike in revenue on mobile, despite the model being freely available on the web. Mobile users are being pushed to upgrade to its $19.99 monthly subscription, ChatGPT Plus, if they want to experiment with OpenAI’s most recent launch.

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

After demoing its new GPT-4o model last week, OpenAI announced it is pausing one of its voices, Sky, after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson in “Her.”

OpenAI explained in a blog post that Sky’s voice is “not an imitation” of the actress and that AI voices should not intentionally mimic the voice of a celebrity. The blog post went on to explain how the company chose its voices: Breeze, Cove, Ember, Juniper and Sky.

ChatGPT lets you add files from Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive

OpenAI announced new updates for easier data analysis within ChatGPT. Users can now upload files directly from Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, interact with tables and charts, and export customized charts for presentations. The company says these improvements will be added to GPT-4o in the coming weeks.

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

OpenAI announced a partnership with Reddit that will give the company access to “real-time, structured and unique content” from the social network. Content from Reddit will be incorporated into ChatGPT, and the companies will work together to bring new AI-powered features to Reddit users and moderators.

OpenAI debuts GPT-4o “omni” model now powering ChatGPT

OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new omni model, GPT-4o, which has a black hole-like interface, as well as voice and vision capabilities that feel eerily like something out of “Her.” GPT-4o is set to roll out “iteratively” across its developer and consumer-facing products over the next few weeks.

OpenAI to build a tool that lets content creators opt out of AI training

The company announced it’s building a tool, Media Manager, that will allow creators to better control how their content is being used to train generative AI models — and give them an option to opt out. The goal is to have the new tool in place and ready to use by 2025.

OpenAI explores allowing AI porn

In a new peek behind the curtain of its AI’s secret instructions, OpenAI also released a new NSFW policy. Though it’s intended to start a conversation about how it might allow explicit images and text in its AI products, it raises questions about whether OpenAI — or any generative AI vendor — can be trusted to handle sensitive content ethically.

OpenAI and Stack Overflow announce partnership

In a new partnership, OpenAI will get access to developer platform Stack Overflow’s API and will get feedback from developers to improve the performance of their AI models. In return, OpenAI will include attributions to Stack Overflow in ChatGPT. However, the deal was not favorable to some Stack Overflow users — leading to some sabotaging their answer in protest.

April 2024

Alden Global Capital-owned newspapers, including the New York Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, and the Denver Post, are suing OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleges that the companies stole millions of copyrighted articles “without permission and without payment” to bolster ChatGPT and Copilot.

OpenAI inks content licensing deal with Financial Times

OpenAI has partnered with another news publisher in Europe, London’s Financial Times, that the company will be paying for content access. “Through the partnership, ChatGPT users will be able to see select attributed summaries, quotes and rich links to FT journalism in response to relevant queries,” the FT wrote in a press release.

OpenAI opens Tokyo hub, adds GPT-4 model optimized for Japanese

OpenAI is opening a new office in Tokyo and has plans for a GPT-4 model optimized specifically for the Japanese language. The move underscores how OpenAI will likely need to localize its technology to different languages as it expands.

Sam Altman pitches ChatGPT Enterprise to Fortune 500 companies

According to Reuters, OpenAI’s Sam Altman hosted hundreds of executives from Fortune 500 companies across several cities in April, pitching versions of its AI services intended for corporate use.

OpenAI releases “more direct, less verbose” version of GPT-4 Turbo

Premium ChatGPT users — customers paying for ChatGPT Plus, Team or Enterprise — can now use an updated and enhanced version of GPT-4 Turbo. The new model brings with it improvements in writing, math, logical reasoning and coding, OpenAI claims, as well as a more up-to-date knowledge base.

ChatGPT no longer requires an account — but there’s a catch

You can now use ChatGPT without signing up for an account, but it won’t be quite the same experience. You won’t be able to save or share chats, use custom instructions, or other features associated with a persistent account. This version of ChatGPT will have “slightly more restrictive content policies,” according to OpenAI. When TechCrunch asked for more details, however, the response was unclear:

“The signed out experience will benefit from the existing safety mitigations that are already built into the model, such as refusing to generate harmful content. In addition to these existing mitigations, we are also implementing additional safeguards specifically designed to address other forms of content that may be inappropriate for a signed out experience,” a spokesperson said.

March 2024

OpenAI’s chatbot store is filling up with spam

TechCrunch found that the OpenAI’s GPT Store is flooded with bizarre, potentially copyright-infringing GPTs. A cursory search pulls up GPTs that claim to generate art in the style of Disney and Marvel properties, but serve as little more than funnels to third-party paid services and advertise themselves as being able to bypass AI content detection tools.

The New York Times responds to OpenAI’s claims that it “hacked” ChatGPT for its copyright lawsuit

In a court filing opposing OpenAI’s motion to dismiss The New York Times’ lawsuit alleging copyright infringement, the newspaper asserted that “OpenAI’s attention-grabbing claim that The Times ‘hacked’ its products is as irrelevant as it is false.” The New York Times also claimed that some users of ChatGPT used the tool to bypass its paywalls.

OpenAI VP doesn’t say whether artists should be paid for training data

At a SXSW 2024 panel, Peter Deng, OpenAI’s VP of consumer product dodged a question on whether artists whose work was used to train generative AI models should be compensated. While OpenAI lets artists “opt out” of and remove their work from the datasets that the company uses to train its image-generating models, some artists have described the tool as onerous.

A new report estimates that ChatGPT uses more than half a million kilowatt-hours of electricity per day

ChatGPT’s environmental impact appears to be massive. According to a report from The New Yorker, ChatGPT uses an estimated 17,000 times the amount of electricity than the average U.S. household to respond to roughly 200 million requests each day.

ChatGPT can now read its answers aloud

OpenAI released a new Read Aloud feature for the web version of ChatGPT as well as the iOS and Android apps. The feature allows ChatGPT to read its responses to queries in one of five voice options and can speak 37 languages, according to the company. Read aloud is available on both GPT-4 and GPT-3.5 models.

February 2024

OpenAI partners with Dublin City Council to use GPT-4 for tourism

As part of a new partnership with OpenAI, the Dublin City Council will use GPT-4 to craft personalized itineraries for travelers, including recommendations of unique and cultural destinations, in an effort to support tourism across Europe.

A law firm used ChatGPT to justify a six-figure bill for legal services

New York-based law firm Cuddy Law was criticized by a judge for using ChatGPT to calculate their hourly billing rate. The firm submitted a $113,500 bill to the court, which was then halved by District Judge Paul Engelmayer, who called the figure “well above” reasonable demands.

ChatGPT experienced a bizarre bug for several hours

ChatGPT users found that ChatGPT was giving nonsensical answers for several hours, prompting OpenAI to investigate the issue. Incidents varied from repetitive phrases to confusing and incorrect answers to queries. The issue was resolved by OpenAI the following morning.

Match Group announced deal with OpenAI with a press release co-written by ChatGPT

The dating app giant home to Tinder, Match and OkCupid announced an enterprise agreement with OpenAI in an enthusiastic press release written with the help of ChatGPT. The AI tech will be used to help employees with work-related tasks and come as part of Match’s $20 million-plus bet on AI in 2024.

ChatGPT will now remember — and forget — things you tell it to

As part of a test, OpenAI began rolling out new “memory” controls for a small portion of ChatGPT free and paid users, with a broader rollout to follow. The controls let you tell ChatGPT explicitly to remember something, see what it remembers or turn off its memory altogether. Note that deleting a chat from chat history won’t erase ChatGPT’s or a custom GPT’s memories — you must delete the memory itself.

OpenAI begins rolling out “Temporary Chat” feature

Initially limited to a small subset of free and subscription users, Temporary Chat lets you have a dialogue with a blank slate. With Temporary Chat, ChatGPT won’t be aware of previous conversations or access memories but will follow custom instructions if they’re enabled.

But, OpenAI says it may keep a copy of Temporary Chat conversations for up to 30 days for “safety reasons.”

January 2024

ChatGPT users can now invoke GPTs directly in chats

Paid users of ChatGPT can now bring GPTs into a conversation by typing “@” and selecting a GPT from the list. The chosen GPT will have an understanding of the full conversation, and different GPTs can be “tagged in” for different use cases and needs.

ChatGPT is reportedly leaking usernames and passwords from users’ private conversations

Screenshots provided to Ars Technica found that ChatGPT is potentially leaking unpublished research papers, login credentials and private information from its users. An OpenAI representative told Ars Technica that the company was investigating the report.

ChatGPT is violating Europe’s privacy laws, Italian DPA tells OpenAI

OpenAI has been told it’s suspected of violating European Union privacy, following a multi-month investigation of ChatGPT by Italy’s data protection authority. Details of the draft findings haven’t been disclosed, but in a response, OpenAI said: “We want our AI to learn about the world, not about private individuals.”

OpenAI partners with Common Sense Media to collaborate on AI guidelines

In an effort to win the trust of parents and policymakers, OpenAI announced it’s partnering with Common Sense Media to collaborate on AI guidelines and education materials for parents, educators and young adults. The organization works to identify and minimize tech harms to young people and previously flagged ChatGPT as lacking in transparency and privacy.

OpenAI responds to Congressional Black Caucus about lack of diversity on its board

After a letter from the Congressional Black Caucus questioned the lack of diversity in OpenAI’s board, the company responded. The response, signed by CEO Sam Altman and Chairman of the Board Bret Taylor, said building a complete and diverse board was one of the company’s top priorities and that it was working with an executive search firm to assist it in finding talent. 

OpenAI drops prices and fixes ‘lazy’ GPT-4 that refused to work

In a blog post, OpenAI announced price drops for GPT-3.5’s API, with input prices dropping to 50% and output by 25%, to $0.0005 per thousand tokens in, and $0.0015 per thousand tokens out. GPT-4 Turbo also got a new preview model for API use, which includes an interesting fix that aims to reduce “laziness” that users have experienced.

OpenAI bans developer of a bot impersonating a presidential candidate

OpenAI has suspended AI startup Delphi, which developed a bot impersonating Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) to help bolster his presidential campaign. The ban comes just weeks after OpenAI published a plan to combat election misinformation, which listed “chatbots impersonating candidates” as against its policy.

OpenAI announces partnership with Arizona State University

Beginning in February, Arizona State University will have full access to ChatGPT’s Enterprise tier, which the university plans to use to build a personalized AI tutor, develop AI avatars, bolster their prompt engineering course and more. It marks OpenAI’s first partnership with a higher education institution.

Winner of a literary prize reveals around 5% her novel was written by ChatGPT

After receiving the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for her novel The Tokyo Tower of Sympathy, author Rie Kudan admitted that around 5% of the book quoted ChatGPT-generated sentences “verbatim.” Interestingly enough, the novel revolves around a futuristic world with a pervasive presence of AI.

Sam Altman teases video capabilities for ChatGPT and the release of GPT-5

In a conversation with Bill Gates on the Unconfuse Me podcast, Sam Altman confirmed an upcoming release of GPT-5 that will be “fully multimodal with speech, image, code, and video support.” Altman said users can expect to see GPT-5 drop sometime in 2024.

OpenAI announces team to build ‘crowdsourced’ governance ideas into its models

OpenAI is forming a Collective Alignment team of researchers and engineers to create a system for collecting and “encoding” public input on its models’ behaviors into OpenAI products and services. This comes as a part of OpenAI’s public program to award grants to fund experiments in setting up a “democratic process” for determining the rules AI systems follow.

OpenAI unveils plan to combat election misinformation

In a blog post, OpenAI announced users will not be allowed to build applications for political campaigning and lobbying until the company works out how effective their tools are for “personalized persuasion.”

Users will also be banned from creating chatbots that impersonate candidates or government institutions, and from using OpenAI tools to misrepresent the voting process or otherwise discourage voting.

The company is also testing out a tool that detects DALL-E generated images and will incorporate access to real-time news, with attribution, in ChatGPT.

OpenAI changes policy to allow military applications

In an unannounced update to its usage policy, OpenAI removed language previously prohibiting the use of its products for the purposes of “military and warfare.” In an additional statement, OpenAI confirmed that the language was changed in order to accommodate military customers and projects that do not violate their ban on efforts to use their tools to “harm people, develop weapons, for communications surveillance, or to injure others or destroy property.”

ChatGPT subscription aimed at small teams debuts

Aptly called ChatGPT Team, the new plan provides a dedicated workspace for teams of up to 149 people using ChatGPT as well as admin tools for team management. In addition to gaining access to GPT-4, GPT-4 with Vision and DALL-E3, ChatGPT Team lets teams build and share GPTs for their business needs.

OpenAI’s GPT store officially launches

After some back and forth over the last few months, OpenAI’s GPT Store is finally here. The feature lives in a new tab in the ChatGPT web client, and includes a range of GPTs developed both by OpenAI’s partners and the wider dev community.

To access the GPT Store, users must be subscribed to one of OpenAI’s premium ChatGPT plans — ChatGPT Plus, ChatGPT Enterprise or the newly launched ChatGPT Team.

Developing AI models would be “impossible” without copyrighted materials, OpenAI claims

Following a proposed ban on using news publications and books to train AI chatbots in the U.K., OpenAI submitted a plea to the House of Lords communications and digital committee. OpenAI argued that it would be “impossible” to train AI models without using copyrighted materials, and that they believe copyright law “does not forbid training.”

OpenAI claims The New York Times’ copyright lawsuit is without merit

OpenAI published a public response to The New York Times’s lawsuit against them and Microsoft for allegedly violating copyright law, claiming that the case is without merit.

In the response, OpenAI reiterates its view that training AI models using publicly available data from the web is fair use. It also makes the case that regurgitation is less likely to occur with training data from a single source and places the onus on users to “act responsibly.”

OpenAI’s app store for GPTs planned to launch next week

After being delayed in December, OpenAI plans to launch its GPT Store sometime in the coming week, according to an email viewed by TechCrunch. OpenAI says developers building GPTs will have to review the company’s updated usage policies and GPT brand guidelines to ensure their GPTs are compliant before they’re eligible for listing in the GPT Store. OpenAI’s update notably didn’t include any information on the expected monetization opportunities for developers listing their apps on the storefront.

OpenAI moves to shrink regulatory risk in EU around data privacy

In an email, OpenAI detailed an incoming update to its terms, including changing the OpenAI entity providing services to EEA and Swiss residents to OpenAI Ireland Limited. The move appears to be intended to shrink its regulatory risk in the European Union, where the company has been under scrutiny over ChatGPT’s impact on people’s privacy.

FAQs:

What is ChatGPT? How does it work?

ChatGPT is a general-purpose chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to generate text after a user enters a prompt, developed by tech startup OpenAI. The chatbot uses GPT-4, a large language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text.

When did ChatGPT get released?

November 30, 2022 is when ChatGPT was released for public use.

What is the latest version of ChatGPT?

Both the free version of ChatGPT and the paid ChatGPT Plus are regularly updated with new GPT models. The most recent model is GPT-4o.

Can I use ChatGPT for free?

There is a free version of ChatGPT that only requires a sign-in in addition to the paid version, ChatGPT Plus.

Who uses ChatGPT?

Anyone can use ChatGPT! More and more tech companies and search engines are utilizing the chatbot to automate text or quickly answer user questions/concerns.

What companies use ChatGPT?

Multiple enterprises utilize ChatGPT, although others may limit the use of the AI-powered tool.

Most recently, Microsoft announced at it’s 2023 Build conference that it is integrating it ChatGPT-based Bing experience into Windows 11. A Brooklyn-based 3D display startup Looking Glass utilizes ChatGPT to produce holograms you can communicate with by using ChatGPT.  And nonprofit organization Solana officially integrated the chatbot into its network with a ChatGPT plug-in geared toward end users to help onboard into the web3 space.

What does GPT mean in ChatGPT?

GPT stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer.

What is the difference between ChatGPT and a chatbot?

A chatbot can be any software/system that holds dialogue with you/a person but doesn’t necessarily have to be AI-powered. For example, there are chatbots that are rules-based in the sense that they’ll give canned responses to questions.

ChatGPT is AI-powered and utilizes LLM technology to generate text after a prompt.

Can ChatGPT write essays?

Yes.

Can ChatGPT commit libel?

Due to the nature of how these models work, they don’t know or care whether something is true, only that it looks true. That’s a problem when you’re using it to do your homework, sure, but when it accuses you of a crime you didn’t commit, that may well at this point be libel.

We will see how handling troubling statements produced by ChatGPT will play out over the next few months as tech and legal experts attempt to tackle the fastest moving target in the industry.

Does ChatGPT have an app?

Yes, there is a free ChatGPT mobile app for iOS and Android users.

What is the ChatGPT character limit?

It’s not documented anywhere that ChatGPT has a character limit. However, users have noted that there are some character limitations after around 500 words.

Does ChatGPT have an API?

Yes, it was released March 1, 2023.

What are some sample everyday uses for ChatGPT?

Everyday examples include programing, scripts, email replies, listicles, blog ideas, summarization, etc.

What are some advanced uses for ChatGPT?

Advanced use examples include debugging code, programming languages, scientific concepts, complex problem solving, etc.

How good is ChatGPT at writing code?

It depends on the nature of the program. While ChatGPT can write workable Python code, it can’t necessarily program an entire app’s worth of code. That’s because ChatGPT lacks context awareness — in other words, the generated code isn’t always appropriate for the specific context in which it’s being used.

Can you save a ChatGPT chat?

Yes. OpenAI allows users to save chats in the ChatGPT interface, stored in the sidebar of the screen. There are no built-in sharing features yet.

Are there alternatives to ChatGPT?

Yes. There are multiple AI-powered chatbot competitors such as Together, Google’s Gemini and Anthropic’s Claude, and developers are creating open source alternatives.

How does ChatGPT handle data privacy?

OpenAI has said that individuals in “certain jurisdictions” (such as the EU) can object to the processing of their personal information by its AI models by filling out this form. This includes the ability to make requests for deletion of AI-generated references about you. Although OpenAI notes it may not grant every request since it must balance privacy requests against freedom of expression “in accordance with applicable laws”.

The web form for making a deletion of data about you request is entitled “OpenAI Personal Data Removal Request”.

In its privacy policy, the ChatGPT maker makes a passing acknowledgement of the objection requirements attached to relying on “legitimate interest” (LI), pointing users towards more information about requesting an opt out — when it writes: “See here for instructions on how you can opt out of our use of your information to train our models.”

What controversies have surrounded ChatGPT?

Recently, Discord announced that it had integrated OpenAI’s technology into its bot named Clyde where two users tricked Clyde into providing them with instructions for making the illegal drug methamphetamine (meth) and the incendiary mixture napalm.

An Australian mayor has publicly announced he may sue OpenAI for defamation due to ChatGPT’s false claims that he had served time in prison for bribery. This would be the first defamation lawsuit against the text-generating service.

CNET found itself in the midst of controversy after Futurism reported the publication was publishing articles under a mysterious byline completely generated by AI. The private equity company that owns CNET, Red Ventures, was accused of using ChatGPT for SEO farming, even if the information was incorrect.

Several major school systems and colleges, including New York City Public Schools, have banned ChatGPT from their networks and devices. They claim that the AI impedes the learning process by promoting plagiarism and misinformation, a claim that not every educator agrees with.

There have also been cases of ChatGPT accusing individuals of false crimes.

Where can I find examples of ChatGPT prompts?

Several marketplaces host and provide ChatGPT prompts, either for free or for a nominal fee. One is PromptBase. Another is ChatX. More launch every day.

Can ChatGPT be detected?

Poorly. Several tools claim to detect ChatGPT-generated text, but in our tests, they’re inconsistent at best.

Are ChatGPT chats public?

No. But OpenAI recently disclosed a bug, since fixed, that exposed the titles of some users’ conversations to other people on the service.

What lawsuits are there surrounding ChatGPT?

None specifically targeting ChatGPT. But OpenAI is involved in at least one lawsuit that has implications for AI systems trained on publicly available data, which would touch on ChatGPT.

Are there issues regarding plagiarism with ChatGPT?

Yes. Text-generating AI models like ChatGPT have a tendency to regurgitate content from their training data.





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