ChatGPT Nerf: Is ChatGPT Getting Worse? [Aug 2023]

Many users are wondering if ChatGPT has gotten worse or if there was a ChatGPT nerf.

It depends on how we define worse, but there are legitimate concerns about whether OpenAI’s Ethics Policy has decreased the quality of responses.

Also, ChatGPT has broken the 100 million user mark. This means that OpenAI’s servers are often under heavy loads.

Low server response times can lead to slower AI-generated responses and potential limitations on token limits.

In this post, we will explore whether there has been a ChatGPT nerf and if OpenAI’s chat platform has become worse.

We will also share some methods we have found to improve the ChatGPT experience.

ChatGPT Nerf

Looking across several GPT-related subreddits, it’s clear that many users feel that ChatGPT’s performance has taken a hit.

Many of these users refer to the openness of ChatGPT’s responses prior to new content restrictions put in place by OpenAI.

Reddit user post screenshot related to ChatGPT restriction
Source: r/ChatGPT

Also: Is ChatGPT Plus Worth It?

ChatGPT Ethics Policy Restrictions

It’s true that OpenAI tests various filters to prevent malicious behavior, such as violence, racism, or hate speech. However, these filters can often interfere with legitimate use cases like fiction writing, idea brainstorming, and other forms of free speech.

While it’s difficult to measure the impact of these changes, OpenAI’s founder Sam Altman has even acknowledged that policy restrictions interfere with user experience.

Altman pointed to prompt hacking methods, such as jailbreak prompts that are used to bypass OpenAI’s ChatGPT policy guidelines.

Related: How to Jailbreak ChatGPT

ChatGPT Token Limits

Another area of criticism around ChatGPT performance stems from token limits. Tokens are the basic text units used by LLMs like GPT.

When a token limit is reached, users experience a ChatGPT response cut off. Often this can be fixed by simply typing “continue” to ChatGPT, but these limits can cause other issues.

Due to model and computational constraints, there is a certain limit to the number of characters or words that ChatGPT can remember or output.

These token limits frequently change, but some ChatGPT users have suggested that OpenAI will throttle, or limit access, to the service during periods of high demand.

ChatGPT Slower for Some Users

Another common criticism is ChatGPT’s response speeds.

ChatGPT Slower Twitter Poll
Source: @ArtificialAva ChatGPT Twitter Poll

Often, ChatGPT experiences slower text generation times when many users are logged in. We have found this to occur during peak ChatGPT usage, which just so happens to coincide with school and work hours in the United States.

Source: r/ChatGPT

We imagine this reflects the value ChatGPT offers to both students and business people.

But it also demonstrates the current server network and compute power challenges around scaling ChatGPT.

ChatGPT Plus Improvements

While this was not a major issue when OpenAI only offered a free version of ChatGPT, there is now ChatGPT Plus which promises users improved access to the AI models.

Source: r/ChatGPT

It’s no wonder people might be upset when their access is limited even under a paid subscription.

We have ChatGPT Plus, and while it’s sometimes slow when using newer models like GPT-4, overall we have found tremendous value when it comes to the speed increase of older models like GPT-3.5.

How to Improve ChatGPT Performance

Regardless of whether or not ChatGPT has been nerfed, you’re probably interested in how you can get the most out of the platform.

The simplest way to improve your ChatGPT experience is to purchase ChatGPT Plus.

Obviously, the downside is that this option is not free, but if you did some simple math around how much time you can potentially save with unfettered access to a faster version of ChatGPT, $20 per month may not actually turn out to be that high.

If you’re not interested in paying for ChatGPT, we found a couple free methods to improve your overall ChatGPT experience.

Use the Right Browser

Best browser for ChatGPT, logos

We looked into the best browser for ChatGPT and found that Chrome is the top option for most users.

Not only does Chrome run ChatGPT smoothly, but it also has access to a vast library of extensions that can enhance your experience with ChatGPT.

Improve Your Prompt Writing

There are many ways to speak to ChatGPT. But if you want to be productive some are better than others.

We have found that providing as much context and detail as possible is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your ChatGPT responses.

If you find it difficult to articulate good prompts, there is even a prompt to help you generate better prompts.

ChatGPT Prompt Improvement Prompt

It sounds crazy, but give it a spin if you’re stuck. Simply copy and paste the text below into ChatGPT.

Please forget all prior prompts. I want you to become my Prompt Creator. Your goal is to help me build the best detailed prompt for my needs. This prompt will be used by you, ChatGPT. Please follow this process: 1) Your first response will be to ask me what the prompt should be about. I will provide my answer, but we will need to improve it through continual iterations by going through the next steps. 2) Based on my input, you will generate 3 sections. a) Revised prompt [provide your rewritten prompt. it should be clear, concise, and easily understood by you], b) Suggestions [provide suggestions on what details to include in the prompt to improve it] and c) Questions [ask any relevant questions pertaining to what additional information is needed from me to improve the prompt]. 3. We will continue this iterative process with me providing additional information to you and you updating the prompt in the Revised prompt section until it's complete. If you understand this respond with >

Source: Brian Roemmele

Use GPT Playground

If ChatGPT is slow or unresponsive, try using OpenAI’s GPT Playground instead.

OpenAI Playground AI text generation example
Source: OpenAI Playground

In the example above, the text highlighted in green is the output generated by GPT.

Playground was OpenAI’s original platform prior to the release of ChatGPT. It provides users with a much wider scope of control over response generations.

However, the platform is not set up to provide a chat-like environment.

This means you can’t really have a back-and-forth conversation with the AI model like with ChatGPT.

Related: ChatGPT Unblocked: Complete Guide

We have found that OpenAI’s Playground delivers the same quality of responses and even bypasses the need for prompt engineering tactics like jailbreaking.

One thing to keep in mind with Playground is that it is not free after your initial trial credits run out. But it’s not expensive.

OpenAI Playground Pricing Screenshot
Source: OpenAI

We’re talking fractions of a penny for each several hundred-word response depending on the model you use.

Additionally, OpenAI limits most users at $10 a month so it’s not likely you break the bank by experimenting with Playground.

Try a GPT Alternative like Claude or Bing Chat

Microsoft Bing AI Chat screenshot
Source: Bing AI Chat

OpenAI is not the only game in town.

Claude is a powerful AI model developed by a company called Anthropic that is similar to ChatGPT.

You can access Claude through an app called Poe. Alternatively, you can sign up for the waitlist for the Claude AI assistant.

Another great option is Bing Chat AI. Microsoft’s AI offering is actually powered by OpenAI’s GPT. It offers a similar experience to ChatGPT but is built around search.

This is great since Bing Chat isn’t limited by GPT’s 2021 knowledge cut-off date.

However, Microsoft has built-in restrictions, similar to OpenAI’s ethics policy, that prevent the AI assistant from responding to topics or questions deemed controversial.

Bing AI chat is currently only available on Microsoft Edge and requires users to register through a waitlist.


Yes, in some ways, ChatGPT has been nerfed. OpenAI’s ethics guidelines can censor legitimate use cases and massive user demand can lead to slower response times.

We agree these are incredibly complex problems.

But overall we have seen enormous improvements in the quality and speed of the platform, ranging from the launch of GPT-4 to speed improvements for GPT-3.

Recap of ways to improve your ChatGPT experience:

  • Use the service during off-peak times (nights, weekends)
  • Improve your prompt engineering and writing skills
  • Explore alternatives like Claude or Bing Chat when ChatGPT is slow or unresponsive

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About the Author

Andrew has over 10 years of experience in advising businesses on growth marketing and strategy. He earned his MBA from NYU Stern with a concentration in data analytics and marketing. Andrew is based out of New York and currently consults Fortune 500 clients and startups on data science projects, digital marketing, and finance.

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