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Can We Use ChatGPT for Free? How to Maximize the Free Plan

Julia McCoy
Thursday, 13th Jul 2023
Julia McCoy
5 min read · Jan 11 2022
Can we use ChatGPT for free

That ChatGPT has taken the internet by storm is the understatement of the year. ChatGPT is a hurricane, blizzard, and tornado all in one — sweeping through the entire digital sphere. It reached 1 million users in just 5 days and 100 million in just 2 months, making it the fastest-growing app ever.

OpenAI‘s traffic increased by over 5,000% with 266 million visitors in December, 616 million in January and 1 billion in February.

The ChatGPT website has been visited a total of nearly 2 billion times so far and gets 25 million daily visits.

So, can we use ChatGPT for free?

The chatbot version of OpenAI’s GPT-3 large language model (LLM) is available to the public free of charge.

If you haven’t tried ChatGPT, then this is the perfect starting point for you. We’ll give you an overview of how it works and how you can use it in your daily life.

A lot of people wonder, “Can we use ChatGPT for free and meet our needs? Or do we need ChatGPT Plus?”

With that in mind, we’ll also examine the limitations of the free version so you can decide whether an upgrade to ChatGPT Plus is right for you.

Table Of Contents:

ChatGPT Overview

ChatGPT is an advanced large language model developed by OpenAI that uses artificial intelligence to generate human-like text based on the input it receives. It has gained popularity in various industries due to its ability to answer questions accurately and create written content in various tones and styles efficiently. There are many things that ChatGPT is used for and it is expected to have more use-cases in the future.

How Does ChatGPT Work?

Using the language engine GPT-3, ChatGPT understands and generates text by analyzing patterns in large datasets. The model was trained on 500 billion “tokens” of data obtained from books, articles, Wikipedia, and other pieces of writing on the Internet. From this vast database of text, it is able to recognize context, grammar, and semantics when generating responses or content.

Image source: Zapier

Users can interact with ChatGPT through an API or web-based interface where they provide prompts that guide the AI’s output.

Screenshot from ChatGPT

Common Uses for ChatGPT

ChatGPT has gained popularity among students, writers, content marketers, and SEO specialists as a tool to create well-written content, essays, and more within seconds. 

Here are some of the most common uses of ChatGPT.

1. Content Creation

The primary use of ChatGPT is to generate high-quality, original content quickly. You can input a topic or keyword and the bot will respond with an essay, article, or blog post based on your requirements.

This feature makes it an excellent tool for busy writers who need inspiration or ideas for stories, poems, and code snippets.

2. Language Translation

If you have international clients or partners who speak different languages, you may find yourself struggling with communication barriers at times. With its language translation capabilities, ChatGPT makes multilingual communication easier than ever.

ChatGPT can provide translation assistance from one language to another. While it may not be as accurate as specialized translation tools, it can still offer basic translation capabilities.

3. Writing Assistance

ChatGPT can be used as a writing tool, offering suggestions for sentence structure, grammar, word choice, and overall coherence. It can act as a virtual writing assistant, helping to improve the quality of written content.

ChatGPT can help you with daily routine writing tasks such as composing emails, brainstorming content ideas and copy (like headlines or product descriptions), summarizing and rewriting information (like turning a paragraph into a tweet or a social media caption), and more.

4. Personal Assistance

ChatGPT works like a charm as a personal assistant for personal organization, reminders, scheduling, and general productivity. It can help manage to-do lists, set alarms, provide weather updates, and offer suggestions for various tasks.

You can ask ChatGPT questions and get answers on various topics, such as general knowledge, current events, historical facts, scientific concepts, and more.

5. Customer Service

Ever interacted with automated customer service? If so, you might have been talking to a ChatGPT-like AI tool.

Companies can integrate ChatGPT into their customer support systems to handle common queries and provide basic assistance to customers. It can help with answering frequently asked questions, troubleshooting common issues, and guiding users through processes.

Banks, e-commerce sites, and even airlines are already turning to AI-powered bots for round-the-clock support.

6. Tutoring and Learning

AI chatbots like ChatGPT can help users understand complex concepts by explaining them in simpler terms. It can provide examples, analogies, and step-by-step explanations to aid in learning.

7. Creative Projects

ChatGPT can collaborate with users on creative projects such as storytelling, world-building, character development, and more. It can generate ideas, provide feedback, and engage in interactive storytelling experiences.

8. Simulation and Training

ChatGPT can be used as a simulated character in training environments or video games, allowing for interactive and dynamic interactions. It can serve as a practice partner for language learning or as a simulated opponent in game development.

9. Research and Exploration

ChatGPT can assist researchers and explorers by providing access to vast amounts of knowledge and helping analyze complex data. It can aid in information synthesis, hypothesis generation, and data interpretation.

How to use ChatGPT for marketing

What Are the Benefits of ChatGPT?

  • Time-saving: With its capability to generate content quickly, users can save time spent on manual writing processes.
  • Creativity booster: The AI-generated suggestions help users come up with unique ideas and perspectives they might not have considered otherwise.
  • Versatility: ChatGPT is a highly versatile language model that can understand and generate text on a wide range of topics. From drafting emails and reports to crafting engaging stories or scripts, ChatGPT offers a wide range of applications across different industries.
  • Language fluency: ChatGPT is trained on vast amounts of text data, allowing it to generate human-like text conversations with a high degree of fluency. It can understand complex queries and provide detailed and coherent answers, enhancing the conversational experience.
  • 24/7 availability: As a digital tool, ChatGPT can be accessed at any time, providing round-the-clock availability. This makes it convenient for users who need assistance or information outside regular working hours.
  • Quick response times: ChatGPT can generate responses rapidly, allowing for real-time or near-real-time interactions. Users can receive prompt answers to their queries, enhancing their overall experience.
  • Learning capabilities: ChatGPT can learn from user interactions and adapt its responses over time. By incorporating user feedback and fine-tuning, it can continually improve its performance, providing more accurate and relevant responses.
  • Reduced costs: Can we use ChatGPT for free? Absolutely! Unlike paid AI tools, ChatGPT lets you get a free account, which can significantly reduce costs in various domains. It can also automate repetitive tasks, freeing up human resources for more complex or specialized work.
  • Easy to use: The messaging-style interface makes it easy for anyone to start using this powerful tool right away.
  • Interactive and engaging experience: ChatGPT offers an interactive and engaging experience, simulating conversations with a human-like entity. This can enhance user engagement, provide personalized assistance, and create a more enjoyable user experience.

What Are the Limitations of ChatGPT?

  • Limited creativity: ChatGPT only works after a user enters a prompt — the bot cannot develop its own ideas. All the memories, emotions, and experiences that form human creativity are lacking in AI.
  • Lack of real-world understanding: ChatGPT lacks real-world experience and understanding. It processes text based on patterns learned from training data, but it doesn’t have genuine comprehension or contextual understanding of the world. This can lead to responses that sound plausible but may not be accurate or appropriate in certain situations.
  • Wrong answers: Does ChatGPT deliver accurate information all the time? Sometimes ChatGPT gives flat-out wrong answers or even makes up facts. These are called “hallucinations.“ ChatGPT aims to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses, but it doesn’t verify the accuracy of the information it provides. Consequently, it may occasionally generate responses that sound plausible but are factually incorrect, especially if the information it was trained on is flawed or if it encounters novel or ambiguous queries.
  • Limited knowledge beyond its training data: ChatGPT is only trained on information up to September 2021, so any event that happened beyond that is out of its reach. It may lack awareness of recent events, discoveries, or developments that have occurred after its knowledge cutoff. (For ChatGPT to access the internet and thus up-to-date information in real-time, you’ll have to spring for ChatGPT Plus – more on that later.)
  • Sensitive to input phrasing: ChatGPT can be highly sensitive to the phrasing or wording of input. Small changes in how a question is asked can sometimes result in different or inconsistent answers. This can make it challenging to predict or control the model’s responses accurately.
  • Tendency to be verbose or overuse certain phrases: ChatGPT can sometimes generate verbose or excessively wordy responses. It may also exhibit a tendency to overuse certain phrases or expressions that were present in its training data. This can result in answers that sound repetitive or less concise than desired.
  • Lack of explicit source citation: While ChatGPT attempts to provide helpful and informative responses, it doesn’t explicitly cite sources or provide references for its claims. Users should independently verify the information provided by ChatGPT when accuracy is crucial.
  • Difficulty with multi-turn conversations: Although ChatGPT can engage in short-term context-dependent conversations, it may struggle with maintaining coherence and context over longer conversations or multiple exchanges. It can sometimes provide inconsistent or nonsensical answers when presented with a series of questions or prompts.
  • Limited ability to reason or explain: While ChatGPT can provide answers and explanations to some extent, it lacks deeper reasoning capabilities. It may not be able to explain the underlying logic or provide detailed justifications for its responses, especially in complex or abstract scenarios.
  • Biased or offensive content: ChatGPT learns from the data it is trained on, which can include biases and offensive language present in the training data. It may unintentionally generate biased or objectionable responses. Efforts have been made to mitigate this issue, but it may still occur in certain cases.

Source: Gartner

Can We Use ChatGPT for Free?

Yes, there is a free version of ChatGPT available on OpenAI’s website. All you need to do is create an account using either your email address, Google account, or Microsoft account. 

As of April 2023, there are no usage limits on the free version of ChatGPT. This means that anyone can use this cutting-edge technology without worrying about any hidden fees or subscription charges. It offers access to GTP-3.5 which is still incredibly capable and useful in many applications.

Does ChatGPT Have a Daily Limit?

Yes, your free ChatGPT account may be subject to daily limits depending on the specific implementation or platform through which you access it. These limits are typically put in place to manage resource usage and ensure fair access for all users.

If you are using ChatGPT through an API or an online service, there may be restrictions on the number of requests or the amount of usage you can have within a given day. These limits can include factors such as the number of API calls, the number of tokens processed, or the duration of usage.

There is no specific limit to how many ChatGPT prompts you can send in 24-hour time frame but there is a word and character limit for responses.

The bot stops at around 500 to 750 words. If you need more information on the same topic, you can type “continue” in the message box.

If you are using Microsoft Bing AI chat, its ChatGPT limit is 20 chats per session or 200 messages total per day.

It’s important to review the documentation or terms of service of the specific platform or provider you are using to understand any limitations or quotas that may apply to your usage of ChatGPT. This will help you stay within the allowed usage limits and avoid unexpected interruptions or restrictions.

Does ChatGPT Have a Limit Per Hour?

Some users encounter this error message while using ChatGPT for work or personal projects: 

This happens when the user sends too many requests to the app in succession. ChatGPT has a cap on the number of requests you can submit within an hour to prevent overloading its server.

There is no specific number on how many is too many responses but if you get this error, you can try using another account or wait an hour for the limit to reset.

Limitations of the ChatGPT Free Version

  • Fewer features: The free version typically offers fewer functionalities compared with premium plans. For instance, advanced customization options or priority support may not be included in the free version. Specialized features like ChatGPT plugins are exclusively available to paying customers.
  • Limited availability: Free access to ChatGPT may be available only for a specific period or to a limited number of users. OpenAI has implemented this approach to manage server load and ensure a smooth experience for users.
  • Usage restrictions: Free access to ChatGPT may come with certain usage limitations, such as a maximum number of queries or tokens processed per minute or per day. These restrictions are in place to prevent abuse and ensure fair usage for all users.
  • Priority access for paying customers: During the availability of free access, paying customers may receive priority access and have fewer restrictions compared to free users. OpenAI has typically introduced paid subscription plans alongside free access to accommodate users with different requirements.

Making the Most of the ChatGPT Free Version

  • Plan your queries: Before interacting with ChatGPT, think about the specific questions or prompts you want to explore. Having well-formulated queries can help you get more targeted and accurate responses.
  • Write detailed prompts: To get better results, provide clear and concise instructions to ChatGPT. Avoid overly long or convoluted prompts, as they may increase the chances of receiving irrelevant or confusing responses. For example, specify the format you want the answer in or ask the bot to write a step-by-step solution to your query.
  • Experiment with different approaches: If you’re not satisfied with the bot’s answers, try rephrasing your question or instruction. Sometimes changing the way you ask can lead to more accurate responses from ChatGPT. Refine your prompts based on previous responses and continue the conversation to gather the information you need.
  • Provide context and specify requirements: If you have specific requirements or constraints for your query, provide the necessary context to ChatGPT. For example, you can specify a particular time period, request a concise summary, or ask for expert opinions to refine the response.
  • Set limits on response length: You can control the length of generated content by asking the app to write with a specific word count.
  • Explore different domains: ChatGPT can generate responses on various topics, so explore different domains and subject areas to leverage its versatility. From general knowledge questions to specific technical inquiries, test its capabilities in different areas of interest.
  • Fact-check and verify: While ChatGPT strives to provide accurate information, it’s always a good practice to fact-check and verify the responses it generates, especially for critical or important matters like health and finance. Relying on multiple sources can help ensure the information’s reliability.
  • Give feedback: If you encounter incorrect or unsatisfactory responses, consider providing feedback to OpenAI. This helps them improve the system and address any limitations or issues that arise during the free access period.
  • Follow community guidelines: Be mindful of any guidelines or terms of service provided by OpenAI for using ChatGPT. Respect the system’s limitations, avoid misuse, and engage in responsible and ethical usage.
  • Stay informed: Stay updated on any announcements or changes from OpenAI regarding the free access period. OpenAI may introduce updates, new features, or modifications to their offerings, and being aware of these developments can help you make the most of your access.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When using the free version of ChatGPT, you may occasionally encounter some common issues or challenges.

Here are a few troubleshooting tips for common problems:

  • Incomplete answers: If the answer is cut off due to response limits, consider asking a follow-up question.
  • Vague or incorrect answers: If the AI replies with information that seems ambiguous or inaccurate, fact-check this information through external sources.
  • Verbose or lengthy responses: ChatGPT can sometimes generate verbose or excessively wordy responses. To address this, you can explicitly ask for a concise answer or specify the level of detail you’re seeking. You can also experiment with different phrasing or ask for a summary of the response.
  • Lack of response or timeout: If ChatGPT doesn’t generate a response or you experience timeouts, it could be due to high server load or usage limits. Wait for a moment and try again later. If the issue persists, ensure that you’re within any usage limits specified by the service provider.
  • Repetitive or generic answers: ChatGPT might provide repetitive or generic answers, especially if the training data contains similar patterns. To overcome this, try providing more specific input or asking follow-up questions to dive deeper into the topic. You can also experiment with different phrasings or request alternative perspectives.
  • Sensitive or inappropriate content: If ChatGPT generates sensitive, biased, or inappropriate responses, it’s crucial to provide feedback to the service provider. Reporting such instances helps improve the system and address any potential issues related to biases, offensive content, or misinformation.
  • Misunderstanding or misinterpretation: ChatGPT may occasionally misinterpret or misunderstand certain queries. If you notice this, try to rephrase your question or provide additional context to clarify your intention. Break down complex questions into simpler parts, if applicable, to enhance clarity.
  • Outdated information: ChatGPT’s knowledge is based on its training data, which has a cutoff date. If you receive outdated information or encounter gaps in knowledge about recent events, consider cross-referencing with current and reliable sources.
  • Unresponsive to specific prompts: ChatGPT may not respond effectively to every type of prompt or question. If you’re encountering unresponsiveness, try asking a different question, changing the phrasing, or approaching the topic from a different angle.

Remember that while ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it has limitations. It’s important to critically evaluate its responses, verify information independently, and use it as a complement to human judgment and expertise. Providing feedback to the service provider can also help them improve the system’s performance and address any issues that arise.

Getting started with ChatGPT’s free edition is easy — perfect for those who want to experiment without having to pay. But if you want uninterrupted service with higher-quality responses, then consider upgrading to ChatGPT Plus which now comes with GPT-4 technology.

What is ChatGPT-4?

ChatGPT-4 is an advanced chatbot that uses the power of GPT-4 to generate human-like responses from a given prompt or context. It’s the latest version of the ChatGPT series and comes with many new features that make it stand out from its predecessors.

One of the most interesting additions to ChatGPT-4 is the slow rollout of plugins that allow for more specialized functionality. For example, there will be plugins available for e-commerce sites that enable customers to make purchases directly through the chat interface.

With this latest version, ChatGPT has become even more powerful and efficient in delivering accurate responses.

Screenshot from Synthedia

How Do I Access ChatGPT 4?

ChatGPT-4 is only available to select API developers. If you’re a general user and want to access it, you’ll need to pay for it through the ChatGPT Plus paid subscription.

How Much Does ChatGPT4 Cost?

It costs $20/month if you’re accessing GPT-4 through the ChatGPT Plus plan.

Is ChatGPT Plus Available for $20 a Month?

ChatGPT Plus subscribers can access GPT-4 for $20 per month. This comes with a usage cap of 100 messages every 4 hours.

What Do You Get with ChatGPT Plus?

If you need more advanced features and faster response times than what the free version offers, then consider subscribing to ChatGPT Plus. This plan provides reliable availability when demand increases while giving priority access to new features like plugins.

Features Available in the Paid Version

  • Faster response time
  • Offers reliable availability — no downtime!
  • Priority access to new features like ChatGPT plugins
  • GTP-4 model

What Are ChatGPT Plugins?

The release of ChatGPT plugins has caused quite a buzz in the developer community. These plugins have been dubbed as one of the most powerful developer platforms ever created, and for good reason.

With the introduction of plugins in the latest version of ChatGPT, developers can now build custom features directly into the chatbot — similar to how the App Store expanded the capabilities of the iPhone. This means that developers can create applications that connect directly to ChatGPT. 

how many chatgpt plugins are there

Some examples provided by OpenAI include booking travel through Expedia or making reservations at restaurants through OpenTable.

The possibilities for what these plugins could accomplish are endless. They allow businesses to automate processes and provide better customer service without having to invest in expensive software development projects.

Screenshot from MarkTechPost

ChatGPT Controversies

While ChatGPT has gained popularity for its advanced chatbot capabilities, it’s not immune from controversy.

The Future of Jobs

One major concern with generative AI like ChatGPT is that it could lead to significant job loss. According to Goldman Sachs, as many as 300 million jobs worldwide could be lost due to automation by 2030.

While there are benefits to using advanced technology in the workplace, companies must also consider how their use of such tools will impact employees and society as a whole.

Misuse of Technology

Sometimes people use ChatGPT for tasks that should really be handled by humans. For example, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody School came under fire when they used the tool to generate an email about a mass shooting and community support. 

Similarly, JPMorgan Chase had to restrict employee access to ChatGPT after concerns about workers relying too heavily on the chatbot for generating emails.

Ethical Concerns

In addition to privacy concerns, there are ethical considerations around using generative AI.

Some worry that if these tools become too good at mimicking human language and behavior, they could be used maliciously or even deceive people into thinking they’re interacting with another person instead of a bot.

Aced Wharton MBA Exam

The most recent controversy surrounding ChatGPT involves its alleged ability to pass the Wharton MBA exam with flying colors. According to reports from Wharton Business School itself, it scored between B- and B+. 

However impressive this may seem, it does raise questions about the integrity of such exams and how students might use AI to cheat.

As we continue to develop and use these advanced chatbots, it’s crucial that we consider their impact on society.

Can We Use ChatGPT for Free? Yes, But Tread Carefully

ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can help you communicate more effectively. While there is a free version of ChatGPT available, it does come with some limitations. By following our guide, you can make the most of the free version of ChatGPT and maximize its features.

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Written by Julia McCoy

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