ChatGPT announced that as of today it is rolling out the ability for anyone to use it without having to sign up or log into the service. Aside from some missing features, the exact same functionality is available in the free service that was previously available to users who signed up for a free account.

Mainstream media is going to talk about how it uses data for training but that’s not the big news here. What’s significant is that it is one step in the direction of eating Google’s lunch by fulfilling Google’s own mission statement that prescribes organizing “the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Use ChatGPT Instantly

OpenAI is rolling out availability of ChatGPT 3.5 to the public on an instant basis without having to sign in or register with the service. Using ChatGPT is now as easy as using a search engine like Google.

The announcement explained:

“Starting today, you can use ChatGPT instantly, without needing to sign-up. We’re rolling this out gradually, with the aim to make AI accessible to anyone curious about its capabilities.”

Shared Content May Be Used For Training

OpenAI noted that content that’s shared in ChatGPT may be used for training the model but that there is a way to turn this off through the Settings.

But at the moment there is no clear way to access those settings for turning off using the content for training in the instant ChatGPT.

The official statement on data use:

“We may use what you provide to ChatGPT to improve our models for everyone. If you’d like, you can turn this off through your Settings – whether you create an account or not. Learn more about how we use content to train our models and your choices in our Help Center.”

There is also a notice beneath the chat window:

“By sending a message, you agree to our Terms. Read our Privacy Policy. Don’t share sensitive info. Chats may be reviewed and used to train our models. Learn about your choices.”

Using Instant ChatGPT Means Agreement For Data Use

Instant ChatGPT

Additional Safeguards

OpenAI also announced additional guardrails to keep the free version safer than the other versions. For example, OpenAI said that is is blocking output from a wider range of topics.

What’s Missing In The Free Account

OpenAI listed the benefits of creating a free or paid account which are not available in the instant chat version.

Unavailable features:

  • Cannot save or review chat history
  • Cannot share chats
  • No access to voice instructions
  • No access to custom instructions

Prelude To Competing Against Google?

The obvious question is if this is a step in the direction of creating an alternative to using a search engine, replacing Google’s business model with an entirely new way to find information.

Free instant chat fulfills Google’s mission statement to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” in a way that Google search does not. So it’s not an unreasonable question to ask.

See also: 5 Questions Answered About The OpenAI Search Engine

Featured Image by Shutterstock/rafapress

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