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OpenAI has a lot on its plate. The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the generative AI leader for possible violations of consumer protection law. And on Monday, comedian and author Sarah Silverman sued OpenAI and Meta for copyright infringement of her humorous memoir, , published in 2010.

But while OpenAI lawsuits and investigations may be flying fast and furiously — and product releases such as Code Interpreter for ChatGPT Plus users have continued apace — it was a report Wednesday by Business Insider that OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, which powers ChatGPT, had become “lazier and dumber” due to a “radical redesign” that prompted a response from the company’s product team.

Community members on OpenAI’s developer forum had been discussing what they perceived as a decrease in GPT-4 quality — losses in reasoning and logic capabilities, API denials and poorer results overall. They speculated OpenAI might have modified the learning algorithm, changed the training data or modified the model’s infrastructure. The complaints and reports of degraded service followed similar posts on the grassroots Reddit communities or subreddits of r/OpenAI and r/ChatGPT for the last several months.

One commenter, self-identified as a paying OpenAI subscriber, said that “it went from being a great assistant sous-chef to dishwasher.”


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In response, Peter Welinder, VP of product at OpenAI, tweeted that not only had the company not made GPT-4 dumber, but each new version was smarter than the one before. His current hypothesis, he said, was that “when you use it more heavily, you start noticing issues you didn’t see before.” He continued: “If you have examples where you believe it’s regressed, please reply to this thread and we’ll investigate.”

While some supported Welinder’s comments, others disagreed, with one respondent calling GPT-4 “plain worse.” And certainly part of the problem is that GPT-4 remains a “black box,” so developers don’t know whether changes are being made to the model.

That has been a sticking point since the highly anticipated model’s release in March. At that time, there was a raft of online criticism about what accompanied the announcement: a 98-page technical report about the “development of GPT-4.”

Many said the report was notable mostly for what it did not include. In a section called Scope and Limitations of this Technical Report, it says: “Given both the competitive landscape and the safety implications of large-scale models like GPT-4, this report contains no further details about the architecture (including model size), hardware, training compute, dataset construction, training method, or similar.”

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