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Artificial Intelligence

ChatGPT will now remember you and what you like

Chatting with an AI chatbot can sometimes feel like a broken record, repeating the same info about your email preferences or the weekend plans you’ve already done a million times. But OpenAI is on a mission to change that. They’re giving ChatGPT a major upgrade with “memory,” so the bot can actually remember stuff about you and your chats over time.

Memory works in two ways. You can tell ChatGPT to remember something specific about you, like you prefer coding in Javascript, your city’s name is Mumbai, or your kid is allergic to peanut butter. Or, ChatGPT can just try to pick up on those details over time, storing info about you as you chat. The idea is to make ChatGPT feel more personal and a bit smarter, without having to remind it every time.

Each custom GPT you use will have its own memory, too. Take the Books GPT, for instance: with memory turned on, it can keep track of the books you’ve already read and which genres you’re into.

There are tons of spots in the GPT Store where memory could come in handy. For example, Tutor Me could whip up a way better course load once it knows what you’re already good at; Kayak could skip the fluff and go straight to your fave airlines and hotels; and GymStreak could keep tabs on your gains over time.

Memory is a feature that ChatGPT really needs, but it’s also a tricky one. OpenAI’s approach here is similar to how other online services learn about you: they observe your actions, take note of what you search for, click on, like, and so on, and build a profile of you over time.

But, naturally, that approach makes a lot of folks uneasy! A bunch of users are already cautious about OpenAI scooping up their questions and messages and using them as training data to make the bot even more personalized; the thought of ChatGPT “knowing” users is both neat and a bit creepy.

OpenAI assures users that they’re in charge of ChatGPT’s memory. They’ve trained the system not to remember sensitive stuff like your health info. If you’re curious about what ChatGPT knows about you, just ask! You can also tell the bot to forget something or delete it in the new Manage Memory section of settings. OpenAI’s also introducing Temporary Chat as a kind of incognito mode: a way to chat without ChatGPT remembering anything about you. And if you’re not into the memory thing at all, you can just turn it off for your whole account.