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

OpenAI's chatbot is now as easy to use as Google Search. How soon before 'ChatGPTing' is a verb?
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Log in for ChatGPT
Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Even though OpenAI has kept ChatGPT free 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 users can access the chatbot simply by visiting the ChatGPT website, as seen in the demo below. The company is rolling out the change globally but it may take a while before you see it.

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

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

Whether you have an account or not, the company retains the right to use your conversations with ChatGPT to train its models. Even without an account, however, you can opt out of the company using your data for model training. Simply click on the question mark in the bottom left-hand corner, click on Settings, and turn off "Improve the model for everyone."   

To ensure safe practices with the increased availability, OpenAI says the company has 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. You can create an OpenAI account with your email address or by using your existing Apple, Microsoft, or Google account. 

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

Removing the sign-in wall could bring a flood 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 every time. 

With this change, ChatGPT becomes as easy to use as Google Search, since both no longer require signing in, are free to use, and can provide users with conversational responses to their search needs. Before you go all in on using ChatGPT as a search engine, remember that ChatGPT has a knowledge cutoff, whereas Google does not.

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