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OpenAI debuts GPT-4o model, new desktop app, and more

Published May 13th, 2024 1:56PM EDT
ChatGPT photo illustration
Image: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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OpenAI has debuted some big changes coming to its AI chatbot, including its new ChatGPT GPT-4o update, a desktop app, and some other big changes users can expect to see soon. Here are all of the biggest announcements from the OpenAI spring update.

A new GPT model

Perhaps one of the biggest announcements to come out of the spring update is the introduction of GPT-4o, the latest GPT model, which will start rolling out to ChatGPT users today. The new model’s API offers some massive improvements over GPT-4 Turbo, including being two times faster, 50 percent cheaper, and five times higher rate limits.

One of the big improvements with the ChatGPT GPT-4o update is real-time conversational responses. GPT will respond in even more human ways now, making it much easier to interact with the chatbot. You can even interrupt the chatbot, which means you won’t have to wait for it to finish a statement before changing how you want it to act.

ChatGPT’s GPT4-o update will also allow you to change the emotion the chatbot responds with voice, giving you more customization over the way that it responds to your queries. OpenAI says the new model was trained across audio, vision, and text, to provide a much faster response time than GPT-3.5 and GPT-4.

It’ll also support up to 50 different languages, and the new voice mode will start rolling out for testing in the coming weeks.

GPT-4o will come to free users, too

The ChatGPT GPT-4o update will start rolling out today, but it won’t just be premium users getting access to the new model. OpenAI has also revealed that GPT-4o will be available with limited usage rates for ChatGPT free users, a huge improvement over past models like GPT-4, which was only available to those who subscribed to ChatGPT Plus.

ChatGPT Plus subscribers will get up to five times the messages of free users, OpenAI has shared, so there’s still a reason to subscribe to the premium version of the chatbot if you want to have the ability to work with it more before switching back to GPT-3.5.

Official ChatGPT desktop app

Alongside the new model, OpenAI is also launching a new desktop app with access to GPT-4o and other GPT models. The desktop app will feature options to capture your screen, listen to your voice, and directly interact with it through text and other means — like images and documents.

It’s the first time that ChatGPT has offered an official desktop app, which should make it an even better option for those who want easier access to GPT on their computers without having to sign into their web browser. Further, the ChatGPT GPT-4o update will be available in the desktop app at the same time as the web, so you won’t have to cherry-pick which option you’re using to get the new model.

The team showed off the usefulness of the desktop app during the OpenAI Spring Update showcase, including sharing snippets of code and even being able to talk directly with the chatbot while you work.

The desktop app is only available on MacOS at the time of this article’s publishing, but OpenAI plans to release a Windows desktop app, too. The desktop app will start rolling out for Plus users today, with more access coming in the next few weeks.

A more streamlined UI

Another change coming to ChatGPT in the coming weeks is a more streamlined UI. OpenAI says it wants to make AI more accessible for everyone, and the UI is a great way to make it easier to use, while also opening the door for more capabilities along the way.

Users signing into ChatGPT’s webpage will now be able to see the new UI, though it might not be available immediately, as it and the ChatGPT GPT-4o update are rolling out to users over the coming weeks. The new UI includes an updated homepage to help make jumping in much easier.

All of these changes, especially the new model, are really impressive. And its honestly great to see OpenAI opening up GPT-4os capabilities to free users, too. It’s unclear exactly how long it’ll take the new model to rollout to everyone, so just keep an eye out for the new changes to appear in your ChatGPT app.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.