ChatGPT, the free chatbot released in November 2022 by artificial intelligence (AI) research company OpenAI, has taken the internet by storm. In its first months of existence, ChatGPT inspired users to imagine a host of use cases for the model, including using ChatGPT to negotiate parking tickets, make workout plans, and even create bedtime stories for children. Some artificial intelligence experts believe that ChatGPT could revolutionize both the way that humans interact with chatbots and AI more broadly.
Below, we explore this new technology and how it could eventually make money.
What Is ChatGPT?
Put simply, ChatGPT is an AI model that engages in conversational dialogue. It is an example of a chatbot, akin to the automated chat services found on some companies’ customer service websites. It was developed by OpenAI, a tech research company dedicated to ensuring that artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity. The “GPT” in ChatGPT refers to “Generative Pre-training Transformer,” referring to the way that ChatGPT processes language.
What sets ChatGPT apart from chatbots over the last several decades, however, is that ChatGPT was trained using reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF). RLHF involves the use of human AI trainers and reward models to develop ChatGPT into a bot capable of challenging incorrect assumptions, answering follow-up questions, and admitting mistakes.
To put ChatGPT to the test, Investopedia asked it to “write a journalistic-style article explaining what ChatGPT is.” The bot responded that it was “designed to generate human-like text based on a given prompt or conversation.” It added that, because it is trained on a data set of human conversations, it can understand context and intent and is able to have more natural, intuitive conversations.
In its response to our prompt, ChatGPT said that its applications could include customer service bots, creation of content for social media or blogs, and translation of text from one language to another.
Benefits of ChatGPT
As mentioned, there are numerous potential uses for ChatGPT. They range from more direct, chatbot-type functions to much more obscure applications, and it is likely that users will explore a host of other possible ways to utilize this technology in the future, including in search engines.
While chatbots have existed for many years, ChatGPT is viewed as a significant improvement on the intelligibility, fluidity, and thoroughness of prior models. One demonstration of the sophistication of ChatGPT provided by OpenAI includes a prompt that was designed to trick the bot: asking about when Christopher Columbus (supposedly) came to the United States in 2015. ChatGPT’s response easily avoided the trap, clarifying that while Columbus did not come to the U.S. in 2015, it can posit some of the ways he may have reacted to his visit if he had.
Disadvantages of ChatGPT
OpenAI lists some of the limitations of ChatGPT as it currently exists in its presentation of the model. These include that ChatGPT sometimes writes coherent but incorrect statements, that it makes assumptions about ambiguous queries, and that the model tends to be excessively verbose, among similar concerns.
In the first weeks of its public release, ChatGPT made headlines for its alleged use among students in creating AI-written papers and assignments. Concerns about the misuse of ChatGPT for academic cheating grew large enough that a computer science student at Princeton University created an app designed to identify and expose writing created by the bot.
For some, ChatGPT poses additional and more serious risks. For instance, some analysts have predicted that the bot could be used to make malware and phishing attacks more sophisticated, or that hackers may utilize the technology to develop their own AI models that may be less well-controlled. As concerns about misinformation have proliferated, some are especially sensitive to the possibility that ChatGPT could be used to create and share convincing but misleading material of a political nature.
How Does ChatGPT Make Money?
OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, has not yet monetized ChatGPT on a wide scale. As of Jan. 11, 2023, ChatGPT was free to use through the OpenAI website. However, the company does sell the application programming interface on a subscription basis to organizations looking to use the model for their own purposes, according to Investopedia’s query to ChatGPT itself.
In mid-January 2023, OpenAI announced that it planned to launch a paid version of ChatGPT called ChatGPT Professional. The paid iteration of the model will reportedly include benefits such as no blackout windows, an unlimited number of messages with the bot, and similar perks.
The viral success of ChatGPT could be worth a huge amount to OpenAI, which was co-founded by Elon Musk. Within a week of its launch, the model had gained one million users. And two months after ChatGPT was released, OpenAI raised the possibility of selling existing shares in a tender offer that would place the value of the company at about $29 billion, making it among the most valuable startups. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) may invest $10 billion in OpenAI as it intends to use ChatGPT to bolster its Bing search engine.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot designed to provide natural, fluid, dialogue-like responses to queries.
What makes ChatGPT stand out?
ChatGPT’s functionality, including its ability to understand context and detail and to recognize when it has made mistakes, is seen as standing out among rivals.
What are potential uses of ChatGPT?
There are a host of ways that ChatGPT could potentially be used, including enhancing search engine functionality, automating processes like disputing traffic tickets or bills, and creating code, among many other applications.
ChatGPT has also raised concerns about its potential misuse by malicious actors. Hackers could utilize the bot to create convincing malware or phishing scams, and the model could be tasked with creating and spreading misinformation.
The Bottom Line
ChatGPT is a powerful AI bot that engages in human-like dialogue based on a prompt. It is designed to respond in a natural, intuitive way and has numerous potential uses. The bot gained viral attention shortly after its release in November 2022 and achieved 1 million users within a few days.
However, there are concerns about the potential misuse of the bot by hackers, spreaders of misinformation, and other bad actors.
OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, is planning to offer a paid professional version of the model and is considering a tender offer to value the company at $29 billion.