OpenAI is making its ChatGPT tool available to companies to incorporate into their own apps as it seeks commercial uses for the wildly popular chatbot.
The company, which introduced ChatGPT to the public in November, is now offering paid access for businesses and developers who want to use the software’s ability to answer questions and generate text in their own applications and products. Customers will be able to hook their apps into ChatGPT’s application programming interface, giving them the same version of the GPT 3.5 model that OpenAI itself uses at a cost 10 times lower than OpenAI’s existing models. Instacart Inc., Shopify Inc. and Snap Inc. are among companies already using the ChatGPT API in their products, San Francisco-based OpenAI said in a blog post on Wednesday.
While OpenAI has generated huge public interest in the best-known artificial intelligence systems of the past year — ChatGPT, which creates text, and image generator DALL-E — the company also needs to figure out how to accelerate revenue growth and pay for the huge cloud-computing bills these massive AI models rack up. In January, OpenAI negotiated an expansion of Microsoft Corp.’s investment in the company, adding a reported $10 billion. Last month, OpenAI started a waitlist for companies and developers who want to use ChatGPT in their own apps and is selling a premium version to individuals.
The AI research company acknowledged that ChatGPT has gone down too often recently and said it will prioritize companies and users running public applications on platform. “For the past two months our uptime has not met our own expectations nor that of our users,” OpenAI wrote. “Our engineering team’s top priority is now stability of production use-cases.”
Instacart, the US’s largest online grocery-delivery company, will add ChatGPT to its shopping app, blending it with Instacart’s own AI and catalog of available products. Customers will be able to ask the app to do things like suggest healthy options for kids and give instructions for how to make great fish tacos, the company said. Shopify will also use the chatbot for its consumer app — when shoppers search for a product, ChatGPT will offer recommendations.
Quizlet Inc., an electronic learning tools company, is building an AI tutoring experience where ChatGPT’s question and answer style is used to replicate the Socratic method, said Chief Executive Officer Lex Bayer. For foreign language learning, ChatGPT can also make up a story in the language being studied and test reading comprehension, or take a vocabulary list and turn it into a paragraph.
It’s a use for the chatbot that might be more welcome to teachers, who have mostly been focused on concerns students are using it to cheat and automate homework.
“With any new technology there’s going to be some apprehension,” Bayer said. “We’re constantly pushing the bounds of technology and using it in the right way that’s really constructive for students. “
On Monday, Snap Inc., maker of the photo-sharing app Snapchat, announced it’s also among the new ChatGPT customers, releasing an AI-enabled chatbot to Snapchat Plus members, who pay $3.99 a month to subscribe. Trained to display a “unique tone and personality,” Snapchat’s My AI can be used to recommend birthday gift ideas, dinner recipes and “even write a haiku about cheese for your cheddar-obsessed pal,” the company said. It will eventually be rolled out to all Snap members.
Separately on Wednesday, OpenAI also unveiled access to its Whisper speech recognition system, which can be used for transcription.
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