OpenAI Inc. is bringing its ChatGPT generative AI tool to smartphones for the first time, releasing an iPhone version on Thursday and promising a service for Android devices in the future.
The software, which is free, is now available in the US for iOS devices through Apple Inc. ’s App Store. With it, users can type questions and receive responses from the chatbot. It also includes voice recognition so users will be able to speak their queries, according to a Thursday blog post from the Palo Alto, California-based startup. The bot will only respond in writing, however. The app also syncs text-based conversations across various devices.
Users who pay for OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus subscription can also use its most powerful large language model, GPT-4, via the app, the company said. OpenAI plans to offer its app in more countries in the coming weeks and expects to roll out the Android version soon.
Since its release on the web late last year, millions of people have experimented with ChatGPT and other bots — such as Bard, created by Alphabet Inc.’s Google. This new wave of chatbots are built atop LLMs, the AI models trained on huge swaths of internet data so that they can predict and generate humanlike responses to user prompts. ChatGPT and its ilk are already being harnessed for everything from writing birthday greetings to coding, but they are also prone to exhibiting biases and fabricating believable fiction.
In an ironic twist, Apple is restricting internal use of ChatGPT and other AI tools just as the new app comes out. The company is concerned that the software could be used to release confidential data, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a document. Apple joins Samsung Electronics Co. and other corporate giants in banning employee use of the tools.
For consumers, the release of an iOS app may put ChatGPT at many more people’s fingertips than the web-based version of the chatbot. It could also subject OpenAI more directly to consumer scrutiny via reviews that users can post in the App Store for others to see.
“We’re eager to see how you use the app,” the company said in its blog post. “As we gather user feedback, we’re committed to continuous feature and safety improvements for ChatGPT.”
Users will need the premium version to get faster response times, as well as previews of new features.