ChatGPT isn't getting an upgrade anytime soon and I'm...relieved

Webpage of OpenAI's GPT-4 is seen on a smartphone. GPT-4 is a multimodal large language model created by OpenAI, the fourth in the GPT series, released on March 14.
(Image credit: Tada Images via Shutterstock)

ChatGPT and its AI chatbot variants have been evolving at a frankly scary rate, but it seems like the next big leap in brain power won't come along quite so quickly.

Speaking at an event at MIT, OpenAI’s CEO and co-founder Sam Altman confirmed that the company is not currently training GPT-5, which would be the successor to the recently released GPT-4 (which ChatGPT is based on).

The co-founder was asked about the recent open letter circulated by tech leaders that requested companies like OpenAI to pause the development of their AI systems that would be “more powerful than ChatGPT”. 

The letter addressed concerns about the safety of future systems but since its circulation has faced criticism, with people disagreeing about the nature of the proposed threat by AI and how industries would ‘pause’ production in the first place.

Altman said at the event that the letter missed a lot of nuance as to where they were supposed to pause, as well as addressing the claim that OpenAI was already working on GPT-5. The CEO said “We are not and won’t for some time”, adding that “in that sense, it was [the letter] was sort of silly.”

But, these don’t let OpenAI off the hook and imply that the team are sitting back and taking a break. Altman stressed at the event that “We are doing other things on top of GPT-4 that I think have all sorts of safety issues that are important to address that was totally left out of the letter,” he said, which suggests that the company is at least aware of the public safety concerns and looking to address them in some way.

Quiet Reflection 

Personally, I'm relieved to hear we won’t be seeing a new wave of impressive and somewhat spooky updates to the AI-powered chatbot just yet. There's no denying that ChatGPT is an excellent tool and has proven to be applicable across a wide range of industries and personal uses, but having a break before yet more major ‘updates’ might be a good thing.

Without a huge update on the horizon and a newly trained bot, we can take a bit more time to really understand the version we have, and reflect and redirect the way we interact with, and feel about, ChatGPT. It almost feels like a blur with how quickly it seems to have burrowed into our lives.

Hopefully, while AI companies like OpenAI develop further safety precautions we can expect to see are less frantic AI integration rollout amongst ChatGPT chatbots and let the dust settle, so we can all have a collective look at the technology we have all just been handed, and figure out not only how we feel about it, but how we plan to live with it. As it seems ChatGPT and other AI chatbots are not going away for a long time. 

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).