On Monday, OpenAI released a new AI model and desktop version of ChatGPT, along with an updated user interface, the company’s latest effort to expand the use of its popular chatbot.

The update makes GPT-4 available to everyone, including free OpenAI users, said chief technology officer Mira Murati in a live event. She added that the new GPT-4o model is “much faster” with improved text, video and audio capabilities. OpenAI said it plans to eventually allow users to video chat with ChatGPT.

“This is the first time we’ve really taken a huge step forward when it comes to ease of use,” Muratti said.

OpenAI powered by Microsoft, has been valued at more than $80 billion by investors. The company, founded in 2015, is under pressure to stay on top of the generative AI market while finding ways to make money as it spends huge sums on processors and infrastructure to build and train its models.

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The O in GPT-4o stands for omni. The new model allows ChatGPT to handle 50 different languages ​​with improved speed and quality, and will also be available through the OpenAI API, allowing developers to start building apps using the new model today, Muratti said.

She added that GPT-4o is twice as fast and half as cheap as GPT-4 Turbo.

OpenAI team members demonstrated the new model’s audio capabilities, such as asking it to help calm someone down before a public speech. OpenAI researcher Mark Chen said the model is able to “pick up your emotion”, adding that the model can also deal with users interrupting it. The team also asked it to analyze the user’s facial expressions to comment on the emotions the person might be feeling.

“Hello! What’s up? How can I brighten your day today?” ChatGPT’s audio mode said when a user greeted him.

The company plans to test the voice mode in the coming weeks, with early access for paid ChatGPT Plus subscribers, according to a blog post. OpenAI also said the new model can respond to users’ audio prompts “in just 232 milliseconds, with an average of 320 milliseconds, which is similar to the response time of a human in a conversation.”

Chen demonstrated the model’s ability to tell a bedtime story and asked him to change the tone of his voice to be more dramatic or robotic. He even asked him to sing the story.

In addition, the new OpenAI model can function as a translator, even in audio mode, the company said. Chen demonstrates the tool’s ability to listen to Muratti speak Italian while he speaks English and translate into their respective languages ​​as they converse.

Team members also demonstrated the model’s ability to solve mathematical equations and help write code, positioning it as a stronger competitor to Microsoft’s own GitHub Copilot.

For OpenAI, the launch was one of the company’s biggest announcements since early August of ChatGPT Enterprise, a business-grade AI chatbot. That tool had been in development for “less than a year” and had the help of more than 20 companies of various sizes and industries, OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap told CNBC at the time.

OpenAI, Microsoft and Google are at the forefront of an AI-generating gold rush as companies in seemingly every industry race to add AI-based chatbots and agents to key services to avoid falling behind the competition. Earlier this month, OpenAI competitor Anthropic announced its first enterprise offering and a free iPhone app.

A record $29.1 billion was invested in nearly 700 generative AI deals in 2023, an increase of more than 260% from the previous year, according to PitchBook. The market is predicted to top $1 trillion in revenue within a decade.

Some in the industry have expressed concern about the speed at which untested new services are coming to market, and academics and ethicists are concerned about the technology’s tendency to spread bias.

After ChatGPT launched in November 2022, it broke records at the time as the fastest growing user app in history and now has around 100 million weekly active users. OpenAI says more than 92% of Fortune 500 companies use the platform.

Muratti said at Monday’s event that OpenAI wants to “take some of the mysticism out of the technology.”

“Over the next few weeks, we’re going to make those opportunities available to everyone,” she said.

The the new model will be released first on Tuesday to ChatGPT Plus and Team customers, and then to Enterprise later, it said in a blog post on Monday. It will also be available to free ChatGPT users from Monday, with usage restrictions. ChatGPT Plus users will have five times the messaging capacity of free users, and ChatGPT Team and Enterprise customers will have even greater usage limits.

Muratti concluded the live event by thanking Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and his company for providing the necessary graphics processing units (GPUs) to power OpenAI’s technology.

“I just want to thank the amazing OpenAI team, and also thank Jensen and the Nvidia team for providing us with the most advanced GPUs to make this demo possible today,” she said.

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