BlogGPT-4o AI goes free: A training boom and a shift in future search behavior

GPT-4o’s free release fuels training data growth and a potential search behavior shift as AI and LLMs become more accessible.

May 14, 2024

The recent news of GPT-4o becoming freely available has sent ripples through the enterprise software community. While many celebrate the potential for widespread innovation, it’s important to consider the broader implications, particularly the impact on training data and user search behavior.

Fresh training data buffet

One immediate consequence is the creation of a vast new pool of training data. As users interact with GPT-4o, they’ll be providing a constant stream of words, sound, images, and video. This will fuel the further development of GPT-4o and similar AI and large language models (LLMs), accelerating their capabilities in understanding and generating human language and creative content.

A different kind of “free”

This “free” model differs significantly from traditional social media platforms where user data, and user him/herself are the products. Rather here, users become active participants in the model’s improvement via providing of authentic human-created content. The focus shifts from extracting user data for advertising purposes to leveraging user interactions for ongoing LLM refinement. This directly benefits app developers who can integrate GPT-4o’s enhanced capabilities into their software as a paid service.

The long-term for free users

While there’s currently no advertising within the free GPT-4o experience, the long-term remains to be seen. It’s possible that monetization strategies will shift, potentially turning free users back into a product at some point. And remember, OpenAI’s Sam Altman has indicated recently that there’s a desire to make the AI more personal, with an understanding of each person’s history. That is a bank of information just waiting to be monetized at some point in the future.

A potential shift in search behavior

The free availability of GPT-4o, coupled with the broader adoption of OpenAI’s offerings, has the potential to significantly impact user search behavior. Currently, most internet users rely on traditional search engines, sifting through search engine results pages (SERPs) to find the information they need. However, as LLM usage becomes more pervasive, the general population will gain exposure to a new paradigm – directly asking questions and receiving on-the-fly, synthesized answers.

The rise of conversational search

This approach aligns well with the existing user experience (UX) established by virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. Users accustomed to interacting with these assistants will likely find the transition to conversational AI for information retrieval comfortable and intuitive. Moreover, as GPT-4o’s capabilities continue to develop with the influx of training data, the quality and accuracy of its responses are expected to improve significantly, potentially surpassing traditional search results. This confluence of factors – user familiarity with conversational AI, widespread adoption of LLMs, and the increasing sophistication of GPT-4o – could lead to a notable shift in how people search for information in the future.

Looking ahead

The free availability of GPT-4o marks a significant moment in the evolution of LLMs. The influx of training data and the potential impact on search behavior are just some of the exciting possibilities and considerations on the horizon. As AI continues to develop, it’s essential to stay informed about these trends and their implications for both developers and users, and how to define requirements and UX of software that will leverage AI.

Planorama Design: At the forefront of AI integration

Planorama Design is a leader in integrating AI into your enterprise software solutions. We can help you leverage the power of LLMs like GPT-4o to enhance your software solutions and unlock new levels of innovation. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of AI.

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