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OpenAI releases GPT-4

OpenAI has released a powerful new image- and text-understanding AI model, GPT-4, that the company calls “the latest milestone in its effort in scaling up deep learning.”

GPT-4 has been hiding in plain sight, as it turns out. Microsoft confirmed today that Bing Chat, its chatbot tech co-developed with OpenAI, is running on GPT-4.

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Other early adopters include Stripe, which is using GPT-4 to scan business websites and deliver a summary to customer support staff. Duolingo built GPT-4 into a new language learning subscription tier. Morgan Stanley is creating a GPT-4-powered system that’ll retrieve info from company documents and serve it up to financial analysts. And Khan Academy is leveraging GPT-4 to build some sort of automated tutor.

GPT-4 can generate text and accept image and text inputs — an improvement over GPT-3.5, its predecessor, which only accepted text — and performs at “human level” on various professional and academic benchmarks. For example, GPT-4 passes a simulated bar exam with a score around the top 10% of test takers; in contrast, GPT-3.5’s score was around the bottom 10%.

OpenAI spent six months “iteratively aligning” GPT-4 using lessons from an internal adversarial testing program as well as ChatGPT, resulting in “best-ever results” on factuality, steerability and refusing to go outside of guardrails, according to the company. Like previous GPT models, GPT-4 was trained using publicly available data, including from public webpages, as well as data that OpenAI licensed.

OpenAI worked with Microsoft to develop a “supercomputer” from the ground up in the Azure cloud, which was used to train GPT-4.

“In a casual conversation, the distinction between GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 can be subtle,” OpenAI wrote in a blog post announcing GPT-4. “The difference comes out when the complexity of the task reaches a sufficient threshold — GPT-4 is more reliable, creative and able to handle much more nuanced instructions than GPT-3.5.”

Without a doubt, one of GPT-4’s more interesting aspects is its ability to understand images as well as text. GPT-4 can caption — and even interpret — relatively complex images, for example identifying a Lightning Cable adapter from a picture of a plugged-in iPhone.