Unlocking the Power of AI: How to Access GPT-4 for Free

We’re living in exhilarating times, when the pace of technological change is so fast that the next tool can give you an edge. The most competitive tool of the moment is GPT-4, the latest generation of AI. Often, these super-ai tools are effectively hidden behind paywalls, so what do you do if you want to use them without breaking the bank? Is it possible to get in on the action, get a glimpse of the future, for free? The answer is yes, and here’s how.

MICROSOFT Copilot: Your Free Pass to GPT-4

Microsoft’s embrace of AI democracy is evident: it has a strong affiliation with OpenAI. The next step is the rebranding of Bing Chat, effective 1 December 2023, to Copilot. The changes to Bing Chat included the elimination of the daily request limit, and the addition of Copilot to most Microsoft services. From now on, users can chat with Artificial Intelligence as much as they wish.

And then there’s Microsoft Copilot Image Creator, based on OpenAI’s DALL-E 3, which will bring your text to life as a faux-drawn image with phenomenal detail in the blink of an eye – all for free. For the adventurous AI explorer, Microsoft Copilot is a lighthouse, offering a peerless way to explore the full capabilities of GPT-4 without a ChatGPT Plus subscription.

Exploring GPT-4 Through ChatGPT

In May 2024, via its Spring Update, OpenAI gave its ChatGPT user base GPT-4o: an anaemic embodiment of GPT-4’s intellectual muscle, with an outward veneer of ‘intelligence’, yet, deliciously, with certain restrictions – not least a cap of 16 messages by a free user every three hours. Nevertheless, the enhancement in sophistication possible in web searching, data interrogation and file handling makes it a gracious offer of a taste of the next wave of AI for those who are curious.

Perplexity.ai: A Glimpse into AI’s Future

Another aspirant is Perplexity.ai, which offers the option of a special ‘Copilot’ mode (yes, it’s like that one) that subtly promises access to GPT-4, though the question limit nudges users towards a new vision of AI-powered search, too. For those of us who dream of getting a taste of the possibilities inherent in something like artificial general intelligence, such tools offer a first glimpse of what digital interactions could look like with AI.

Merlin: Magic at Your Fingertips

Chrome users, however, can use an extension called Merlin, which is a simple-to-use and straightforward limited-free version of GPT-4 that delivers three queries per day. The extension is a great example of how GPT-4 can be utilised in everyday tasks, with the exception that there is a limit to the number of queries we can receive per day. However, for casual users, it might just be all that they need to explore what AI can do for them.

Hugging Face: Collaborative AI Development

Hugging Face is a testament to the spirit of open collaboration that we’re seeing more and more of in the community of AI development. Sure, your free account might not give you direct access to GPT-4 in a meaningful way. But the foundational philosophy of the place – a shared enthusiasm for innovation – is what makes OpenAI such an interesting subject right now, and what might lead the most patient of users to discover unanticipated ways to interact with GPT-4 technology.

The Ever-Evolving Landscape of Free AI Tools

Free tools for GPT-4 remain a moving landscape. Sadly, some of these existing services have pulled back the free version due to the costs of their pricing structure, though the passion for free AI services has continued unabated. New players have emerged on the scene, with Poe by Quora and Nat.dev. The story of how these platforms have come into existence belongs to a much larger story about the potential and pitfalls of democratising access to powerful AI.

Understanding MICROSOFT’s Role in AI Accessibility

Courtesy Microsoft. Microsoft has been a pioneer in making AI accessible. From OpenAI’s early partnership with Microsoft in 2019 to the recent expansions of Copilot, the company continues to provide innovative ways for people to access the cutting edge of AI, and most of it is free. Integrating GPT-4 into a suite of services is another step toward mainstream adoption, and in some cases availability for people with disabilities. There are vision-to-text tools, which would aid people who can’t use a keyboard or have poor vision. Copilot Image Creator is another example of a tool that could help people without the artistic acumen to create beautiful images. By lowering the barrier to entry, Microsoft invites people of all sorts to participate in the training of AI, which is often touted as a boon to human creativity. As we continue on this journey of interactions between the human world and AI, Microsoft brings most of the elements that will be needed to create ethical, accessible, and useful AI.

In conclusion

Whether you’re a developer, a content creator or just an AI enthusiast, the ways to experience GPT-4 without the burden of cost are as vast and intriguing as they are expansive. And with Microsoft leading the charge, the future of AI is looking rosy, with users of every kind across the globe now in a position to unleash their creativity and capitalise on the next wave of innovation in the digital revolution.

Jun 17, 2024
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