ChatGPT no longer requires a login but you might want one anyway. Here's why

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Even though OpenAI has kept ChatGPT free and readily accessible to the public, users were required to create and sign into their OpenAI accounts every time they wanted to access the chatbot — until now. 

On Monday, OpenAI announced that it is doing away with sign-ups, allowing users to access the chatbot instantly by visiting the ChatGPT website, as seen in the demo below. The update will be rolled out gradually. 

Also: OpenAI’s Voice Engine can clone a voice from a 15-second clip. Listen for yourself

According to Open AI, the purpose of this update is to make AI more accessible to users by reducing the barriers to accessing ChatGPT. 

“It’s core to our mission to make tools like ChatGPT broadly available so that people can experience the benefits of AI,” said OpenAI. “We’re rolling this out gradually, with the aim to make AI accessible to anyone curious about its capabilities.” 

The company does note that when users access ChatGPT without an account, the AI may automatically use their conversations to train its models further. However, even without an account, users can opt out of training. 

All users need to do is click on the question mark in the bottom left-hand corner and toggle “Improve the model for everyone feature” on or off, depending on their preference. 

To ensure safe practices with the increased availability, OpenAI said it included additional content safeguards such as blocking prompts in a wider range of categories. 

Despite not requiring users to sign in, having an OpenAI account still comes with certain perks — such as the ability to save and review chat history and access custom instructions. Creating an OpenAI account is easy since users can use their existing Apple, Microsoft, or Google account to sign in or create a new OpenAI account. 

Also: OpenAI’s Voice Engine can clone a voice from a 15-second clip. Listen for yourself

The removal of the sign-in wall will likely usher in a floodgate of new users who want to try out the chatbot but don’t want to go through the trouble of creating an account and signing in. 

With this change, the chatbot becomes more of a direct competitor with Google since neither requires a sign-in, both are free to use,  and both can provide users with conversational responses to their search needs. However, before using ChatGPT as a search engine, it is worth remembering that ChatGPT has a knowledge cutoff, whereas Google does not. 

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