After igniting a public frenzy around ChatGPT -- a chatbot that generates convincing human-like text -- OpenAI has launched a pilot subscription plan to monetize this impressive, yet controversial AI.
Starting at $20 a month, ChatGPT Plus will offer subscribers general access to the program, faster response times, and priority access to new features and improvements, the company says.
In a blog post, OpenAI wrote that since launching ChatGPT as a research preview online, it has received feedback from millions of people and “has made several important updates…across a range of professional use cases including drafting and editing content, brainstorming ideas, programming help and learning new topics.”
The company also hinted at additional future subscription plans, as it is “actively exploring” lower-cost options, business plans, data packs, and an application programming interface (API).
Furthermore, OpenAI will continue offering free use of ChatGPT and hopes the new subscription pricing will help support the free access availability to ChatGPT users.
OpenAI expects to make $200 million this year. This is a low number compared to the $1 billion that’s been invested so far. Co-founder and CEO Sam Altman recently tweeted that OpenAI spent a few cents per chat on the service, which adds up with over one million users.
The company is seeking to make this money back, especially after signing a recent deal with Microsoft, which is preparing to bring ChatGPT to Bing search results and apps like Word, PowerPoint and Outlook in the coming weeks.
ChatGPT Plus is currently available for customers living in the U.S., and OpenAI will begin inviting people from its waitlist in the coming months. It is also looking to expand Plus to additional countries and regions at an undisclosed time.
Am I understanding correctly that a "premium" subscriptions is being offered for a product that is being product tested by the masses and in effect therefore still being built and developed? Is the free version intentionally slowed down so that that faster responses can be provided at a cost? In partnering with Microsoft, does that mean subscriptions, which you now have to buy to stay up to date with the software and viruses, will increase?