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How to get ChatGPT’s GPT-4 upgrade for free with Microsoft Bing

Published Mar 15th, 2023 8:36AM EDT
ChatGPT photo illustration
Image: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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This is a big week for generative AI, as OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT’s next big upgrade, GPT-4. The new AI software supports multimodal input, which means the chatbot can do more than just read text. It can now understand images, which will open the door to additional exciting uses for the bot. However, ChatGPT with GPT-4 costs money: $20 per month via ChatGPT Plus. You can still use the older ChatGPT AI bot for free, but you won’t get the new GPT-4 features. 

The alternative is going for Microsoft’s implementation of GPT-4, which has been powering Bing for a few weeks. It has all the new GPT-4 features, and it’s totally free to use.

Microsoft has a big AI event of its own scheduled for Thursday. But the company already confirmed the arrival of GPT-4 support for ChatGPT last week during an event in Germany.

At the time, we weren’t sure when OpenAI might unveil the ChatGPT upgrade. Or whether GPT-4 might be available only from Microsoft’s products at first. After Wednesday’s announcements, we know where things stand. OpenAI isn’t ready to make GPT-4 tech available for free to all ChatGPT users.

But Microsoft is a major investor in OpenAI, which would explain why the company is willing to offer the upgrade for free to Bing users who can access ChatGPT inside the search engine.

Microsoft confirmed in a short blog post that Bing preview has been using GPT-4 for the last five weeks:

We are happy to confirm that the new Bing is running on GPT-4, which we’ve customized for search. If you’ve used the new Bing preview at any time in the last five weeks, you’ve already experienced an early version of this powerful model. As OpenAI makes updates to GPT-4 and beyond, Bing benefits from those improvements. Along with our own updates based on community feedback, you can be assured that you have the most comprehensive copilot features available.

While Bing’s ChatGPT remains free to access, it’s worth pointing out something that Microsoft said in the announcement above. Bing runs on GPT-4, but the ChatGPT support only concerns search. You might still need an OpenAI ChatGPT Plus account to experience the multimodal powers of the new AI upgrade.

As for Microsoft’s new Bing browser, you’ll have to join a waitlist to get in, and it all starts at this link.

That said, Microsoft still has an event scheduled for March 16th to unveil additional AI products. It’s possible that the company will announce multimodal CharGPT GPT-4 support in Microsoft Bing.

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.