We tested ChatGPT Plus: what is the paid version of AI worth?

In early February, OpenAI launched a paid version of its generative artificial intelligence ChatGPT Plus. Offered at $24.20 or €22.50 in Europe, the subscription is primarily aimed at professional users who rely on AI for their day-to-day activities.

Some professions can really use a chatbot to make their lives easier. This is the case of developers, editors, advertisers, teachers, writers, or communicators in general. For our part, we essentially turned to ChatGPT for help to get synonyms, ideas, reformulate sentences, or get information on certain points. However, from work in our daily lives, we use ChatGPT to give us ideas for recipes, trips, music to listen to, or books to read.

Read also: We compared Microsoft Bing with ChatGPT, here are our impressions

Faster responses…really?

Our debut with ChatGPT Plus was pretty disappointing. After a few exchanges, we quickly noticed that the chatbot was not as fast as we had hoped. As with the free version, it sometimes took the AI ​​about ten seconds to generate an answer to even the simplest questions, such as a synonym query. However, in order to attract subscribers, OpenAI guarantees that the GPT Plus response time will be shorter…

When asked, ChatGPT Plus even goes against the promises of OpenAI. According to AI, the paid version is not necessarily faster than the free one:

“As a language model, the responsiveness of ChatGPT Plus is not necessarily faster than ChatGPT Free. Both models can generate responses quickly, within seconds, depending on the complexity of the request and the load on the servers.

According to the chatbot, the paid version differs in the size of its database:

“ChatGPT Plus has been trained on even more data than ChatGPT Free, allowing it to provide more accurate and contextual responses. This means that ChatGPT Plus is able to understand the nuances and intricacies of natural language and can provide users with more useful and informative responses.”

Digging through the OpenAI website, we couldn’t find any mention of training on the larger and more diverse dataset for ChatGPT Plus. It is likely that the chatbot once again started talking nonsense based on our requests. Unfortunately, this is very common in ChatGPT, whether you’re using the paid or free version.

Is the chatbot still available?

Shortly after our registration, all exchanges with artificial intelligence became impossible. The chatbot displayed an error message with each new question. He was completely disabled. When we went to the OpenAI website, we noticed that all language models went offline for a moment.

We were deprived of the chatbot for almost two hours… right after paying about twenty euros for a monthly subscription. However, the startup promises uninterrupted access to ChatGPT Plus subscribers “even during peak hours.” This is even one of the main advantages of OpenAI. If the free version of ChatGPT, which has fallen victim to its brilliant success, is regularly unavailable, we can legitimately hope for the best from the paid version.

Ultimately, this is not the case. Like users of the free version, I was in a quandary when the servers experienced crashes. This happened three times in a week. These phases of dysfunction lasted from 10 minutes to two hours. So far, OpenAI has not kept its promises. This is problematic because the startup guarantees in black and white that ChatGPT Plus subscribers will always have the opportunity to access its chatbot. For professional users who pay more than 20 euros per month to be sure to be able to ask questions in ChatGPT, such failures are unacceptable.

Smoother conversation

After several days of testing, however, we must admit that it was an exceptional failure. The rest of the time, ChatGPT Plus is completely at the disposal of the user, as OpenAI promises. When the servers are not overloaded, the responses even fly at lightning speed.

The increased responsiveness of artificial intelligence is also likely to change the user experience. As soon as the answers were not long in coming, we were more inclined to communicate with the chatbot, as with a human assistant. In addition to significant time savings, ChatGPT Plus allows you to deepen the work of generative artificial intelligence and understand its work.

During a few days of experimentation, we were more likely to turn to ChatGPT than when we used the free version, which sometimes has an annoying delay. The chatbot has quickly become part of our smartphone or computer habits. Unfortunately, once the OpenAI servers are pushed to the limit and the free ChatGPT is not available, the responses get a bit slower. We regularly observed slowdowns, even at the limit of perceptible, in the responsiveness of the AI.

During our test, we also noticed the complete disappearance of blackouts. When we used the free version of ChatGPT, we were constantly logged out. We had to reconnect every time, whether on mobile or desktop, in order to continue the conversation, which caused us to lose track of our thoughts. Also, the error messages were regular after a long period of inactivity. With ChatGPT Plus, those issues are history… and that changes everything.

“Reflex ChatGPT”

Prior to signing up for ChatGPT Plus, we only occasionally used the chatbot. Sometimes we asked ChatGPT this or that question while writing an article or watching TV in order to quickly get information without missing half the movie. The exchanges were usually very short. We asked our question and immediately after that we closed the conversation.

Very often we even left the OpenAI website without getting a response to our request. Delayed responses and occasional blackouts quickly got the better of our patience. Too often, the chatbot was even unavailable, overwhelmed by a horde of interlocutors. For all these reasons, we haven’t had a “ChatGPT reflex” yet.

With ChatGPT Plus, our usage has expanded rapidly. Over time, the “ChatGPT reflex” has become a part of our everyday life. Instead of typing to Google to get a basic answer (perfect frittata timing, the presence of an actor at a series casting…), we are now happy to turn to ChatGPT, despite its occasional glitches.

Most often we request it through our smartphone. In our opinion, the lack of a mobile app remains a barrier to day-to-day use of ChatGPT Plus, especially for the less tech-savvy among us. OpenAI seems to be aware of this. The startup is rumored to be working on a smartphone app.

At the same time, we got more pleasure from communicating with AI. While our exchanges were limited to one or two questions in the free version of ChatGPT, we are in the habit of gradually refining our requests in the paid version. Thus, we received more and more accurate and up-to-date results. ChatGPT Plus, with its increased responsiveness and greater stability, seems to be one of the keys to chatbot acceptance among the general public.

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