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GPT-5: Everything we know about the next major ChatGPT AI upgrade

Updated Apr 14th, 2023 10:33AM EDT
ChatGPT photo illustration
Image: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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ChatGPT is the hottest generative AI product out there, with companies scrambling to take advantage of the trendy new AI tech. Microsoft has direct access to OpenAI’s product thanks to a major investment, and it’s putting the tech into various services of its own.

Google is developing Bard, an alternative to ChatGPT that will be available in Google Search. Meanwhile, OpenAI has not stopped improving the ChatGPT chatbot, and it recently released the powerful GPT-4 update.

GPT-5 will follow in late 2023, according to some reports. It might turn out to be the most important ChatGPT update to date. But OpenAI said in mid-April 2023 that it’s not training the nex-gen model.

In this guide, we’ll run through everything we know about the next big upgrade to ChatGPT.

GPT-4 was a major update

Before we get to ChatGPT GPT-5, let’s discuss all the new features that were introduced in the recent GPT-4 update.

OpenAI unveiled GPT-4 in mid-March, with Microsoft revealing that the powerful software upgrade had powered Bing Chat for weeks before that. GPT-4 is now available to all ChatGPT Plus users for a monthly $20 charge, or they can access some of its capabilities for free in apps like Bing Chat or Petey for Apple Watch.

The feature that makes GPT-4 a must-have upgrade is support for multimodal input. Unlike the previous ChatGPT variants, you can now feed information to the chatbot via multiple input methods, including text and images. The generative AI bot also supports multiple languages.

In this photo illustration, the welcome screen for the OpenAI "ChatGPT" app is displayed on a laptop screen.
In this photo illustration, the welcome screen for the OpenAI ChatGPT app is displayed on a laptop screen. Image source: Leon Neal/Getty Images

OpenAI has improved the performance of ChatGPT’s responses. This includes its ability to pass exams, with the GPT-4 engine practically ensuring top grades for almost every exam out there.

Finally, OpenAI wants to give ChatGPT eyes and ears through plugins that let the bot connect to the live internet for specific tasks. This standalone upgrade should work on all software updates, including GPT-4 and GPT-5.

ChatGPT might reach AGI once GPT-5 rolls out

Since GPT-4 is such a massive upgrade for ChatGPT, you wouldn’t necessarily expect OpenAI to be able to significantly exceed the capabilities of GPT-4 so soon with the upcoming GPT-5 upgrade.

But rumors are already here and they claim that GPT-5 will be so impressive, it’ll make humans question whether ChatGPT has reached AGI. That’s short for artificial general intelligence, and it’s the goal of companies like OpenAI.

AGI is best explained as chatbots like ChatGPT becoming indistinguishable from humans. AGI would allow these chatbots to understand any concept and task as a human would. This should significantly improve the bot’s ability to solve a problem.

Even if GPT-5 doesn’t reach AGI, we expect the upgrade to deliver major upgrades that exceed the capabilities of GPT-4.

GPT-5 release date and how to get it

WatchGPT ChatGPT app is now known as Petey - AI Assistant.
WatchGPT ChatGPT app is now known as Petey – AI Assistant. Image source: Hidde van der Ploeg

According to some reports, GPT-5 should complete its training by December 2023. OpenAI might release the ChatGPT upgrade as soon as it’s available, just like it did with the GPT-4 update.

There’s no public roadmap for GPT-5 yet, but OpenAI might have an intermediate version ready in September or October, GPT-4.5.

We’d expect the same rules to apply to access the latest version of ChatGPT once GPT-5 rolls out. The new generative AI engine should be free for users of Bing Chat and certain other apps. However, we might be looking at search-related features only in these apps.

Users who want to access the complete range of ChatGPT GPT-5 features might have to become ChatGPT Plus members. That means paying a fee of at least $20 per month to access the latest generative AI model.

There’s at least one potential roadblock that might impact the GPT-5 rollout. Privacy regulators in Europe are starting to investigate OpenAI’s practices. One country already banned ChatGPT. Others are calling for ChatGPT to pay for news access. Not to mention that some people are afraid of the negative consequences of rolling out AI improvements at such a fast rate.

These developments might lead to launch delays for future updates or even price increases for the Plus tier. We’re only speculating at this time, as we’re in new territory with generative AI.

Finally, once GPT-5 rolls out, we’d expect GPT-4 to power the free version of ChatGPT. But again, this is just speculation. And OpenAI isn’t ready to move to GPT-5.

Open AI says it’s not training GPT-5

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, addressed the GPT-5 release in a mid-April discussion on the threats that AI brings. The exec spoke at MIT during an event, where the topic of a recent open letter came up. That letter asked companies like OpenAI to pause AI development beyond GPT-4, as AI might threaten humanity.

Altman didn’t necessarily agree with the letter, saying it was “missing most technical nuance about where we need the pause.” That’s where he brought up GPT-5, saying that a previous version of the letter had mentioned the next ChatGPT upgrade.

“We are not [training GPT-5] and won’t for some time,” Altman said of the upgrade. “So in that sense it was sort of silly.” But Open AI is improving GPT-4.

“We are doing other things on top of GPT-4 that I think have all sorts of safety issues that are important to address and were totally left out of the letter,” the CEO said.

A video of the MIT chat follows below:

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.