How ChatGPT Started an AI Arms Race

How ChatGPT Started an AI Arms Race

How ChatGPT Started an AI Arms Race

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But two months after its debut, ChatGPT has more than 30 million users and receives around five million visits a day, two people with knowledge of the figures said. This makes it one of the fastest growing software products in memory. (Instagram, on the other hand, took nearly a year to get its first 10 million users.)


Growth has brought challenges. ChatGPT has experienced frequent crashes as it lacks processing power, and users have found ways to circumvent some of the bot’s security features. The hype surrounding ChatGPT has also annoyed some big tech rivals, who have underline that its underlying technology is not, strictly speaking, all that new.

ChatGPT is also, for now, a money pit. There is no advertising, and the average conversation costs the business”single digit centsin processing power, according to a Twitter post by OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman, likely amounting to millions of dollars per week. To offset costs, the company announced this week that it would begin selling a $20 monthly subscription, known as ChatGPT Plus.

Despite its limitations, ChatGPT’s success propelled OpenAI into the ranks of Silicon Valley powerhouses. The company recently struck a $10 billion deal with Microsoft, which plans to integrate the startup’s technology into its Bing search engine and other products. Google declared a “code red” in response to ChatGPT, accelerating many of its own AI products in a bid to catch up.

Kevin Roose and Casey Newton are the hosts of Hard Fork, a podcast that makes sense of the rapidly changing world of technology. Subscribe and listen.

Mr. Altman said his goal at OpenAI was to create what is called “artificial general intelligence,” or AGI, artificial intelligence that matches the human intellect. He has been a strong proponent of AI, saying in a recent interview that its benefits to humanity could be “so unbelievably good that it’s hard for me to even imagine”. (He also said that in the worst case the AI ​​could kill us all.)

While ChatGPT has captured the imagination of the world, Mr. Altman has been placed in the rare position of trying to downplay the importance of a successful product. He worries that too much hype for ChatGPT will cause a regulatory backlash or create inflated expectations for future releases, two people familiar with his view said. On Twitter, he tried to calm the excitement, call ChatGPT “incredibly limited” and warning users that “it’s a mistake to rely on it for anything important right now.”

He also discouraged employees from bragging about ChatGPT’s success. In December, days after the company announced that more than one million people had signed up for the service, Greg Brockman, president of OpenAI, tweeted that it had reached two million users. Mr. Altman asked him to delete the tweet, telling him it was unwise to advertise such rapid growth, said two people who saw the exchange.


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