ChatGPT-3 vs. ChatGPT-4: 8 Key Differences and How Big of an Improvement is It?

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ChatGPT-3 vs. ChatGPT-4: 8 Key Differences and How Big of an Improvement is It?

Taking the AI world and a lot of the internet by surprise in December 2022, ChatGPT has quickly grown to become a central part of every AI conversation. Since its December release, OpenAI has moved quickly to upgrade its technology and, as of early March 2023, it has moved from GPT-3 to GPT-4 as the technology that powers ChatGPT. 

As a machine learning model that can help generate text that feels very human-like, any advancements in technology can provide a huge leap in user experience, and that is very much the case between GPT-3 and GPT-4. Add in that ChatGPT-4 can handle 170 trillion parameters against ChatGPT-3’s 175 billion parameters and it’s easy to see why there is such excitement for a new release. 

What is the Difference between GPT-3 and GPT-4? 

Let’s break down how these versions differ.


One of the biggest differences between ChatGPT-3 and GPT-4 is that the latter can understand images. It’s all a little technical, but ChatGPT-4 is listed as being multimodal so it can understand different information inputs including words and images. ChatGPT, the free version from OpenAI, can only understand text inputs, while you can ask ChatGPT-4 what is taking place in an image and it will provide a description. Ultimately, the hope is that this technology with ChatGPT-4 will help anyone with vision difficulties be able to read food labels, identify objects, and more. 

Word Count

To help put some numbers to the differences, it’s worth noting that OpenAI has indicated that ChatGPT-4 can handle up to 25,000 words, or 50 pages of text, at once. This is 8x more than ChatGPT-3 can handle, which makes ChatGPT-4 all the better at handling larger documents. As larger documents continue to be a staple of business environments, the increased capacity for ChatGPT-4 is a welcome benefit.  

Multiple Inquiries

The release of ChatGPT-4 is especially notable for businesses that rely on or utilize AI functions in the form of chatbots. There is a much stronger opportunity for ChatGPT-4 to handle and automate multiple customer service inquiries at a single time over ChatGPT-3. This is better for customers in that it will provide faster responses and businesses that can handle more volume without long wait times. 

Increased Safety

One of the big advancements with ChatGPT-4 over ChatGPT-3 is that the former cannot be tricked as easily as the latter. The release of ChatGPT-4 was done after it had received extensive training on being able to stay within the defined boundaries of a request. It’s much easier to trick ChatGPT-3 and steer it away from its intended behavior patterns. OpenAI has indicated that ChatGPT-4 is “82% less likely to respond to requests for disallowed content and 40% more likely to produce factual responses.”

More Coherent

If you ask the current model of ChatGPT-3 to write you a short story, there is a good chance it will not remain consistent throughout. There might be issues with coherence as the story’s narrative develops and, while still impressive, it leaves something to be desired for future releases. ChatGPT-4 will be able to dramatically improve on building out short stories, poems, or even long-form essays that can keep a much tighter (think coherent) narrative throughout. 

Best Prompts for ChatGPT
ChatGPT’s newest version, ChatGPT-4, is capable of much more than the prior iteration, ChatGPT-3.

©Tapati Rinchumrus/Shutterstock.com

Test Scores

While not a real-world example of use, to help prove the differences between ChatGPT-3 and ChatGPT-4, OpenAI developers gave both versions of the software an opportunity to take the Bar exam. This exam is believed to be one of the most difficult in all of higher education and is required to become a practicing lawyer. ChatGPT-3 was only able to score in the bottom 10% of all test takers while ChatGPT-4 was able to score in the top 10%. 


Building on the idea that ChatGPT-4 is much improved over ChatGPT-3 on test scores, the same is true when it comes to solving complex mathematical problems. Online reviews comparing both versions have shown strong improvements with ChatGPT-4 when it comes to working on math problems within advanced calculus or working through more advanced science-based questions like those around astronomy, biology, and physics. 


One of the most popular ways to see just how advanced both ChatGPT-3 and ChatGPT-4 are has been centered around both versions and their ability to program. ChatGPT-4 has quickly shown that it’s definitely more advanced than ChatGPT-3 and can do the same level of work on the former in a few hours. This has become a fun way for programmers to test the capabilities of the ChatGPT-4 platform by asking it to debug existing code or push out specific code snippets. 

How Big of an Improvement is ChatGPT-4? 

As indicated by the 8 reasons above, ChatGPT-4 is a massive improvement over ChatGPT-3 with more discoveries to come as users continue to delve into its capabilities. As ChatGPT-4 can handle more than 8x the volume alone is perhaps one of the best examples of just how much of a jump in improvement is shown between the two versions. In addition, ChatGPT-4 can handle image descriptions, which is just another indicator that there is a huge leap in overall capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did ChatGPT-4 release?

OpenAI launched ChatGPT-4 on March 14th, 2023 compared to ChatGTP-3 which launched in December 2022. 

What will ChatGPT-5 look like?

OpenAI has indicated there is no reason to consider this at this time, at least not yet, as the company’s CEO says they are not yet working on a fifth version. 

What does ChatGPT-4 mean for everyday users?

The ability to process more information faster, assist with images and expand into more advanced mathematical capabilities means ChatGPT-4 will be far more useful for regular inquiries. 

How do you access ChatGPT-4?

As it stands in April 2023, to access ChatGPT-4, you’ll need to be a subscriber to ChatGPT Plus which currently costs $20 a month. 

Is ChatGPT-4 still limited to not knowing any events after September 2021?

Yes, for now, the same limitation around not knowing events prior to September 2021 with ChatGPT-3 is still in place with ChatGPT-4. 

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