OpenAI just launched ChatGPT-4o with powerful voice assistant and vision features

GPT-40 closeup
(Image credit: OpenAI)

ChatGPT 4o is coming. OpenAI revealed its latest model at its May 13, Spring Update event. No longer do you need to type in queries to its AI or wait extended periods for it to respond to your spoken interactions. Instead, you can talk to it with a degree of emotion, speed and lifelike interactions we haven't seen before from ChatGPT

During the event, the hosts performed a series of demonstrations that included asking the AI to tell them a story with varying degrees of emotion, showing ChatGPT math equations, asking for hints without giving them the answer, and a coding problem they needed to work through. They even requested ChatGPT to sing the story's conclusion, and the assistant sang it surprisingly humanly.

The programming and math features come from what OpenAI calls Vision. Basically, ChatGPT can "see" through your phone's camera and help with visual problems. In a way, it's like Google Lens ramped up to maximum functionality. 

ChatGPT even seemed to get emotional when it was told that the hosts loved it, which was both cool and creepy. 

It's even faster to respond, too. OpenAI said, "With GPT-4o, we trained a single new model end-to-end across text, vision, and audio, meaning that all inputs and outputs are processed by the same neural network." Later in its blog post, the company said, "GPT-4o achieves GPT-4 Turbo-level performance on text, reasoning, and coding intelligence, while setting new high watermarks on multilingual, audio, and vision capabilities." 

Perhaps the biggest news about GPT-4o came from Mira Murati, OpenAI CTO, who announced that free users would have access to GPT-4o. This applies to the vision features, voice features, and all the other good stuff the company is adding with the newest model. Of course, paid users will get five times as many prompts with the new technology as free ones, but it's good that the company isn't locking the latest and greatest behind a paywall. 

The company is also releasing a macOS desktop app for ChatGPT, allowing users to interact with the AI without opening a web browser on those devices. 

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Dave LeClair is the Senior News Editor for Tom's Guide, keeping his finger on the pulse of all things technology. He loves taking the complicated happenings in the tech world and explaining why they matter. Whether Apple is announcing the next big thing in the mobile space or a small startup advancing generative AI, Dave will apply his experience to help you figure out what's happening and why it's relevant to your life.