Last year, ChatGPT looked like the next big thing. And it indeed was a revolution! Fans used it to simplify their work, write stories, compose songs, and manage spreadsheets. However, a recent Reddit thread paints a very different picture: ChatGPT is now a source of stress rather than an assist, resulting in a wave of membership cancellations. This shift in user mood was captured in the post by a former OpenAI fan who deemed the service’s failing too severe to ignore. It turns out, that the user’s unhappiness is not unusual, and much more dissatisfaction comes around as more users drop a line in the comments section.

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The author was among those of us truly impressed with what AI could do. All of a sudden, you have a tool that helps you craft game plans, whips up short stories for your kid, and even sorts out complex Excel sheets. That was the reality for the author of the Reddit post that’s got everyone talking. They were all in, using ChatGPT to jazz up their professional and personal life. But fast forward to today, and the tune has drastically changed.

The user claims that a recent declaration by OpenAI’s CEO describing ChatGPT 4 as “terrible” became an eye-opener for them, and they believe it for many others as well. This unexpected criticism from the top has intensified existing frustrations among users. It seems there’s no solid plan to fix the issues plaguing ChatGPT 4, which has left users like the Reddit poster feeling abandoned at sea without a lifeboat.

The trouble started with the filters. Designed to keep the conversation clean and on-topic, these filters have gone overboard. Now, trying to get ChatGPT to analyze an Excel spreadsheet or handle a four-part request is like pulling teeth. Get three parts right? Cool, but the fourth part will likely come back botched. Try to fix it, and another part goes haywire. It’s a cycle of frustration that ends with the user having to double-check everything the AI produces, which beats the purpose of using it in the first place.

Add to that, there’s no way to tell OpenAI what’s going wrong – the lack of a feedback form feels like shouting into the void. The author’s decision to cancel their subscription was the final step in a journey from admiration to disappointment, driven by a series of underwhelming fixes and bizarre restrictions on content. They believe the whole issue is much bigger than just a tool that doesn’t work well anymore. They have the feeling that the creators are now more focused on avoiding bad PR and pleasing lawmakers than on delivering a groundbreaking product.

The bottom line? What started as a revolutionary tool has become a source of daily frustration, prompting the author and many others to jump ship.

AI Drift and Filtering Issues

So, what’s the real headache with ChatGPT lately? It’s what tech heads call “AI drift,” a fancy term that boils down to the AI not doing what it’s supposed to do. Imagine you’re asking for a chocolate cake recipe, and it gives you chocolate chip cookies instead—not the end of the world, but not quite what you asked for.  This issue crops up because the AI’s been loaded with a ton of filters that are supposed to keep the chat wholesome and politically correct. While the intent might be good—to avoid generating harmful or inappropriate content—the execution has been less than stellar.

OpenAI Faces User Dropouts Over ChatGPT's Declining Performance

These filters are like overly strict parents at a party: they suck the fun out by policing every word, making sure nothing remotely risky slips through. Want to analyze an Excel file? Sorry, can’t do that without possibly scraping the wrong data. Need help with a multi-part query? Good luck getting all parts answered correctly without one part going completely off-track. It’s as if the AI is walking on eggshells, trying so hard not to make a mistake that it ends up making even sillier ones.

Users across the board have been vocal about this. One mentioned, “It’s just gotten way dumber… I can’t analyze any Excel spreadsheets anymore.” Another frustrated soul shared, “if I have a request with 4 parts to it, it will get 3 out of 4 right every time then when you try to fix the 4th it messes up one it had.” And it’s not just the occasional accident – it’s a consistent issue. “I canceled yesterday,” one user complained, “Couldn’t rely on the responses. Can’t regenerate 100 entry column of an Excel sheet without putting 1-3 of the entries in the wrong space, effectively making it useless for my needs.”

This excessive caution has led to bizarre and often laughable errors, a far cry from the AI’s earlier capabilities, which users had come to rely on for both complex and simple tasks. The consensus? The AI’s new “personality”is frustratingly inept at tasks it used to handle with ease. As one user put it,

OpenAI Faces User Dropouts Over ChatGPT's Declining Performance

Is Claude the New Go-To AI Over ChatGPT?

While ChatGPT has been fumbling, a new contender has stepped on the AI scene—Claude. Released by Anthropic, Claude is designed as a conversational AI that seems to understand the assignment better than its predecessors. Launched publicly in 2023, Claude aims to offer a more nuanced understanding of user requests, with fewer restrictions than those that have frustrated ChatGPT users.

OpenAI Faces User Dropouts Over ChatGPT's Declining Performance
Claude promises to provide a more sophisticated understanding of user demands than ChatGPT. Image source:

Claude and ChatGPT are similar in their fundamental purpose: they both serve as AI-driven assistants that can generate text, answer queries, and theoretically improve productivity. However, Claude appears to have taken a slightly different path, focusing on reliability and user-centric modifications. It allows file uploads (currently with a limit of five per session), understands context better, and generally produces responses that feel more in tune with what users actually need.

The shift toward Claude is palpable in user communities. One user explained, “For me, Claude has an overall better understanding of tasks and speed. It has nuances like the five file upload limit per chat, but hopefully, they’ll fix that.” Another user, disillusioned with ChatGPT, switched to Claude and hasn’t looked back:

OpenAI Faces User Dropouts Over ChatGPT's Declining Performance

Claude’s rise as a worthy alternative is explained by performing similar functions with a precision that users felt was lacking in ChatGPT. The feedback loop Claude offers seems more responsive to user input, making adjustments that are closely aligned with expectations. This has led to a growing perception that Claude is the AI that could potentially replace the now-floundering ChatGPT in the hearts and workflows of disillusioned users.

Future Outlook with ChatGPT 5

As the chatter around ChatGPT 4’s underperformance grows louder, the tech world is humming with speculation about the next generation: ChatGPT 5. This upcoming version is anticipated. It’s expected to be a comprehensive overhaul that addresses numerous issues plaguing its predecessor. The hope among the disappointed user base is that ChatGPT 5 will rectify the current flaws and introduce new functionalities that could reinstate it as the frontrunner in AI conversations.

The potential release of ChatGPT 5 presents an opportunity for OpenAI. It’s a chance to reclaim leadership and demonstrate that they are responsive to user feedback and criticism. For a community that has increasingly felt ignored, the development and deployment of ChatGPT 5 could be a make-or-break moment. OpenAI needs to confirm that they not only address the technical glitches and AI drift but also enhance the transparency and user engagement that were sorely missed. That’s how they can begin rebuilding trust and perhaps even excitement among their user base.


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