OpenAI this week signaled it’ll soon begin charging for ChatGPT, its viral AI-powered chatbot that can write essays, emails, poems and even computer code. In an announcement on the company’s official Discord server, OpenAI said that it’s “starting to think about how to monetize ChatGPT” as one of the ways to “ensure [the tool’s] long-term viability.”
The monetized version of ChatGPT will be called ChatGPT Professional, apparently. That’s according to a waitlist link OpenAI posted in the Discord server, which asks a range of questions about payment preferences including “At what price (per month) would you consider ChatGPT to be so expensive that you would not consider buying it?”
The waitlist also outlines ChatGPT Professional’s benefits, which include no “blackout” (i.e. unavailability) windows, no throttling and an unlimited number of message with ChatGPT — “at least 2x the regular daily limit.” OpenAI says that those who fill out the waitlist form may be selected to pilot ChatGPT Professional, but that the program is in the experimental stages and won’t be made widely available “at this time.”
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Despite controversy and several bans, ChatGPT has proven to be a publicity win for OpenAI, attracting major media attention and spawning countless memes on social media. Some investors are implementing ChatGPT in their workflows. Ryan Reynolds enlisted ChatGPT to write an ad for Mint Mobile, the mobile carrier he part-owns. And Microsoft will reportedly incorporate the AI behind ChatGPT into its Office suite and Bing.
ChatGPT had over a million users as of early December — an enviable user base by any measure. But it’s a pricey service to run. According to OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman, ChatGPT’s operating expenses are “eye-watering,” amounting to a few cents per chat in total compute costs.
OpenAI is under pressure to turn a profit on products like ChatGPT ahead of a rumored $10 billion investment from Microsoft. OpenAI expects to make $200 million in 2023, a pittance compared to the more than $1 billion that’s been invested in the startup so far.
Semafor reported this week that Microsoft is looking to net a 49% stake in OpenAI, valuing the company at around $29 billion.
Link to the rest at TechCrunch
In a former life, PG worked in the tech sector without his attorney hat on (although it was always in his briefcase). In the OP, he senses a mad scramble going on inside OpenAI to get profitable in preparation for an “everybody gets rich” public offering of its stock.
If OpenAI pulls this off, it will give a big boost for AI businesses in general by demonstrating that people will pay money for an AI-based service.
PG isn’t turning TPV into an AI blog, but does predict a giant impact on the writing biz in general (freelance copywriters, creators of catalogues, newspaper reporters and editors, magazines, some types of indie publishers and authors, porn creators (unfortunately), etc.