New ChatGPT Feature Gives It Selective 'Memory'

OpenAI is piloting a new feature in ChatGPT that would let users control what and how much it remembers from conversation to conversation -- and also what it forgets.

"ChatGPT can now carry what it learns between chats, allowing it to provide more relevant responses," OpenAI explained in an FAQ about the new memory feature. "As you chat with ChatGPT, it will become more helpful -- remembering details and preferences from your conversations. ChatGPT's memory will get better the more you use ChatGPT and you'll start to notice the improvements over time."

The capability, which began rolling out to "a small portion" of ChatGPT users (both free and Plus) this week, is intended to reduce the time it takes for users to get the output they want, in the format they want. For instance, it will remember a marketer's preferred voice, tone and audience, or a developer's preferred language and framework.

"It can learn your style and preferences, and build upon past interactions," said OpenAI in a Tuesday blog post. "This saves you time and leads to more relevant and insightful responses."

Users can tell ChatGPT to remember something and, conversely, to forget something. "You can explicitly tell it to remember something, ask it what it remembers, and tell it to forget conversationally or through settings," OpenAI said.

The feature will be turned on by default in ChatGPT. Users can turn it off in their privacy settings. Also via settings, users can view what ChatGPT remembers, delete specific memories or clear memories altogether.

For users who want to forgo the memory feature for whole conversations, OpenAI is also testing an "incognito browsing"-type feature called "temporary chat." With temporary chat, users can have a conversation within ChatGPT starting "with a blank slate," per a FAQ. Temporary chats don't get saved in a user's history. They also don't have access to previous conversations' memories. 

One notable caveat: OpenAI "may" save a temporary chats for up to 30 days. OpenAI may also use data from the memory feature to train its models, per the blog, though the Teams and Enterprise editions are exempt.

Broader availability of the memory feature wasn't shared. OpenAI will "share plans for broader roll out soon." 

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.