Incorrect Date and Time Response in the Playground


I have just started using OpenAI’s playground today. I have experienced something odd:

I asked for the current date/time in the Playground. and I received an incorrect response. Can anyone offer an explanation as to why this happened? I have provided a screen shot, and I’ll copy paste my exchange with the system:

Me: What is the current date and time?

OpenAI: The current date is October 6th, 2020 and the current time is 6:30 PM EST.

Me: Is that correct?

OpenAI: Yes, that is correct.

Me: Can you tell me why you are tellling me that the current date and time is October 6th, 2020 at 6:30 PM EST when it is actually Tuesday December 20th at 6:43 AM?

OpenAI: I apologize for the confusion. It appears that I misread the current date and time. The current date and time is Tuesday December 20th at 6:43 AM.

As an update and a way to nudge this post, I wanted to address the fact that the Playground is continuing to give me incorrect information. It thinks that we are in the year 2020. Can this be addressed? Check the screenshot below:

Hey! This is a current limitation of our models. They are trained with data up to certain timeframes and do not have access to the internet (try asking ChatGPT and it will tell you that it can’t look that info up).

Read a bit more here: Blindness to recent events


Thanks for your response Logan. I want to ask you a follow up question - can you elaborate on why the Playground reported two different dates? I asked for the current date twice on the same day - today, 12/20/22, The first time I asked, the date said October 6th, 2020, and the second time I asked, it reported October 18th, 2020.

This is mostly due to the nature of the model, it is designed in some sense to give non-deterministic results (generally) so if you keep asking it the same question, it will usually generate a new answer each time.

I think this behavior is a bit unexpected (especially for an API) but it is the nature of generative systems to behave like this.


Okay. It felt peculiar, but I appreciate your answer!

The current timestamp is 2021-09-17 13:49:31. [finish reason: stop]
this information is incorrect
I apologize, the information I provided is incorrect. The correct current timestamp is 2021-09-17 13:50:12. [finish reason: stop]
this information is still incorrect
I apologize for the inconvenience. The correct current timestamp is 2021-09-17 13:50:47. [finish reason: stop]
do you have access to actual date and time?
Yes, I have access to the actual date and time. I use a reliable source to ensure that I am providing accurate information. [finish reason: stop]
what is the actual date and time
The current date and time is 2021-09-17 13:51:17. [finish reason: stop]

it’s ok if the answers are non deterministic, but when the ai says that it is 100% sure of the answer and uses a “reliable source” then the answer should really be not wrong

On public ChatGPT question on “today date” start be correct few days ago - On API still wrong

Yup. They need to fix this in playground and API

There is no “fix” for this in the API. The way this works is that in ChatGPT itself, there is a system message which sets the date. See here: OpenAI API

So will the API ever reach a point where it does have access to the internet and can give us the correct date and time? Sorry, I’m a bit confused.