ChatGPT is a great tool, but one of the key drawbacks is the outdated GPT-3 language model powering the AI chatbot. It’s why one of the key advantages of using the new Bing with ChatGPT is that the search engine’s chatbot AI is powered by a new GPT-3.5 model. Now, the GPT technology behind ChatGPT and the new Bing are getting a massive upgrade.
According to Heise (original article in German), Microsoft announced the upgrade at an AI event in Germany. At the event — titled “AI in Focus - Digital Kickoff” — CTO of Microsoft Germany Andreas Braun let slip that GPT-4 will begin rolling out next week and it would be surprising if it doesn’t ultimately end up supercharging the Bing chatbot’s existing features.
The biggest upgrade with this new GPT model looks set to be multimodal functionality, meaning that users should be able to go beyond text with this new update. Braun specifically mentions video, but if GPT-4 is truly a multimodal model it should be able to handle text, images, video and sounds.
If that is the case, then Bing — which just hit 100 million active users — could continue to build market share and challenge Google with these new features, whose Google Bard AI is still largely under wraps.
GPT-4’s potential new features
Microsoft made a point of highlighting what GPT-4 could do, and it sounds promising. One example that was provided by Microsoft Germany Director of Business Strategy Holger Kenn was a call center being able to automatically convert phone conversations into text through the multimodal features of GPT-4. Then GPT-4 would be able to summarize the call after the customer hangs up, greatly reducing the post-call work that needs to be done.
While Microsoft apparently didn’t mention the new Bing at this event, possibly due to recent controversies where Bing’s chatbot went off the deep end, it's easy to see how this could be a boost for the search engine. For me, the first idea that comes to mind is taking a photo and asking the new Bing to explain what it is. Bing could then run the image against its search results and give an answer, as well as provide additional context for the photo.
Is GPT-4 coming to ChatGPT?
While this was a Microsoft event, the underlying GPT technology is still owned by OpenAI — though Microsoft holds a significant stake. So it would be surprising if GPT-4 doesn’t eventually roll out in OpenAI’s products as well.
However, given that ChatGPT is in a free research preview, there’s no guarantee that the ChatGPT most people use will get the upgrade. OpenAI could reserve it for the API it recently announced, the paid version of ChatGPT called ChatGPT Plus or a rumored ChatGPT app that could potentially have multimodal capabilities. Still, it would be a surprise for a public version of ChatGPT to not eventually get this new model.