How to get access to GPT-4 right now

Generative AI giant OpenAI released its newest product to the world on Tuesday. GPT-4, the next generation large language model, a step up from the one that took the world by storm in the form of ChatGPT, is now available.

But unlike ChatGPT’s release last November, this isn’t just a web app that anyone can try for free.

What is GPT-4?

If you’re confused about how we got to number 4, since ChatGPT came out late last year, a little clarity first: OpenAI has been releasing GPT language models since 2018. GPT-3, the third such release, was the most advanced model when ChatGPT, its chatbot product, launched in 2022. GPT-4 is the latest and most powerful Open AI large language model, but currently, if you only have free access to ChatGPT, you will still interact with the model GPT-3 (Well, GPT-3.5 if you want to get technical).

How can I access GPT-4 with ChatGPT+?

If you want to freely generate text with the GPT-4 model, you will need a paid subscription to ChatGPT+, the premium version of ChatGPT. This is how you get that:

Credit: Screenshot / OpenAI

As the OpenAI announcement page for GPT-4 makes clear, GPT-4 is the model that ChatGPT uses, but only if you are a premium member with access to ChatGPT+ (sometimes called “ChatGPT Plus”). If you’re logged into your OpenAI account, the button on that page will take you directly to ChatGPT, and if you’re a paid ChatGPT+ user, that’s it. Have fun!

However, if you are using a free membership, you will need to upgrade. Click the “Upgrade to Plus” button on the left menu.


Credit: Screenshot / OpenAI

You will then be shown a pop-up window informing you about the virtues of the “Plus” update.

the popup window

Credit: Screenshot / OpenAI

The green “Upgrade Plan” button will take you to a standard eCommerce sales page, where you’ll need to enter your usual information and pay $20 per month.

the update page

Credit: Screenshot / OpenAI

Once you are a paying customer, your access to the new model through ChatGPT will be immediate. There is no waiting list for you.

When starting a new chat, a dropdown menu will give you the option to use one of the old models or GPT-4. You will need to heed OpenAI’s warning that GPT-4 is not as fast as the others, because the speed difference is substantial.

speed options

Credit: Screenshot / OpenAI

If you are already using ChatGPT, you may be prompted to switch to GPT-4. Doing so will add a text bar to the middle of your existing chat that says, “The old model used in this conversation is not available. We’ve changed it to the latest default model.” Old outlets that used GPT-3 will have the old green OpenAI logo on their left, while GPT-4 powered outlets will have a new black logo.

A ChatGPT interaction with GPT-4

Credit: Screenshot / OpenAI

How to access GPT-4 for free

You cannot currently access GPT-4 with the free version of ChatGPT.

However, millions of Bing users can already access the new Bing chatbot. If you’re in that select group, Microsoft has confirmed(Opens in a new tab) that GPT-4 is already boosting their chatbot interactions.

And soon, you may soon have no choice but to use GPT-4 in your everyday life, because according to the OpenAI blog post about its uses(Opens in a new tab), GPT-4 is already being used by clients as diverse as Khan Academy, Stripe, Morgan Stanley, and the Icelandic government. In other words, there is a good chance that you will be interacting with GPT-4 soon, whether you like it or not.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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