Tuesday, May 21, 2024

OpenAI launches ChatGPT Professional pilot, a premium version its viral chatbot.

OpenAI announced this week that ChatGPT will soon be charging for its viral AI-powered chatbot, which can write essays and poems, as well as code, this week. OpenAI announced that it is “starting to consider how to monetize ChatGPT” in order to “ensure [the platform’s] long-term viability.”

ChatGPT Professional will be the monetized version. This is according to the waitlist Link OpenAI, which asked a variety of questions about payment preferences such as “At what price per month would you consider ChatGPT so expensive that it would be unwise to buy it?”

ChatGPT Professional benefits are also listed on the waitlist. These include no “blackout” (i.e. ChatGPT Professional’s benefits include no “blackout” (i.e., inaccessibility) windows, no throttling and unlimited chats with ChatGPT — but this is still an experimental stage and will not be widely made available.

ChatGPT has been a major publicity win for OpenAI, drawing attention from major media outlets and many memes on social media. Some investors are using ChatGPT to improve their workflows. Ryan Reynolds hired ChatGPT for an advertisement for Mint Mobile. Mint Mobile is a mobile carrier that he co-owns. Microsoft will reportedly integrate the AI behind ChatGPT in its Office suite, and Bing.

ChatGPT has over one million users as of December 1, which is a huge user base. It’s expensive to operate. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, co-founder of ChatGPT, said that ChatGPT’s operational expenses are “eye-watering.” This is to a few dollars per chat in total compute cost. (ChatGPT’s Azure cloud hosts it.

OpenAI faces pressure to make a profit on products such as ChatGPT in the face of a $10 billion investment by Microsoft. OpenAI projects making $200 million in 2023. This is a small amount when compared to the more than $1 billion invested in the startup.

Semafor reported that Microsoft plans to acquire a 49% share in OpenAI. This would value the company at approximately $29 billion. The deal would see Microsoft receiving three-quarters OpenAI’s profits, while additional investors take 49%. OpenAI will retain the remaining 2%.

OpenAI operates under an unusual corporate structure. It is governed by a “capped profit” model, which limits backers’ returns at 100 times their investment. This could be reduced in the future.

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