This ChatGPT update fixed one of my biggest productivity issues with the AI chatbot

You no longer have to sacrifice this important feature to opt out of having your data used for model training.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Temporary Chat ChatGPT
Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Generative AI models such as ChatGPT leverage user inputs to improve their models further and get smarter. Starting April 2023, if you wanted to opt out of ChatGPT using your data to train its models, you'd have to sacrifice access to your chat history -- until now. 

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On Tuesday, OpenAI announced it's updating its data controls for ChatGPT free and Plus users, allowing them to view their chat history even if they have opted out of training for model improvement. 

This upgrade is a big workflow win for users who prioritize privacy because they can still enjoy the benefits of having a chat history, such as being able to revisit previous conversations, continue chatting, or use it as inspiration for other chats, while having the peace of mind that their inputs will not be used to train the model further. 

For example, on multiple occasions, I lost access to original recipes I had ChatGPT generate based on random ingredients in my fridge, which I would have loved to recreate later. Now, I no longer have to worry about losing useful information to the abyss for the sake of protecting my data.

OpenAI shares the feature is available on the web version now and will be available on mobile soon. Users' previous choices for model improvement will be kept as they were; however, users can change that choice by visiting Settings > Data Controls > Model Improvement and toggling it on or off. 

OpenAI also introduced another feature called Temporary Chat for users who would still prefer not to have their chats saved to their chat history even if the model improvement is turned off.

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Similar to browsing in incognito mode, with Temporary Chat users can have one-off conversations that won't appear in their chat history or be used to train the models further. To start a Temporary Chat, users click on the dropdown at the top right corner where it reads "ChatGPT" and check the Temporary Chat option. 

This update follows OpenAI's expansion of the 'Memory' feature to all ChatGPT Plus subscribers on Monday, which makes it possible for ChatGPT to remember any user-supplied insights or information that could prove useful when formulating future answers. 

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