OpenAI has indicated that it will soon begin implementing fees for its widely-used AI-based chatbot, ChatGPT. The chatbot, which can compose a variety of written materials including compositions, correspondences, verse, and code, is a tool that the company wants to monetize in order to ensure its sustained effectiveness. The statement was made on OpenAI’s official communication platform on Discord.
According to a waitlist link shared on the said OpenAI’s official Discord server, the version of ChatGPT that will be available for purchase will be referred to as ChatGPT Professional. The link includes a survey inquiring about payment options, with questions such as “What monthly fee would be too high for you to consider purchasing ChatGPT Professional?” to help the company gauge market demand and potential pricing.
The link also outlines the perks of ChatGPT Professional, including the absence of any “blackout” periods, unrestricted usage, and the capability to send an unlimited number of messages to ChatGPT, which is a minimum of double the regular daily cap. OpenAI indicated that those who complete the waitlist form may be chosen to participate in a trial of ChatGPT Professional, but that the program is still in the developmental stage and not currently open to the general public.
In the same breath, OpenAI is developing a tool to detect when its AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT, is being used to generate text that is indistinguishable from human-written text. This tool will be used to ensure that users of the commercial version of ChatGPT, called ChatGPT Professional, comply with OpenAI’s license agreement which prohibits the use of the chatbot to generate text that is intended to deceive or mislead others.
A study by Check Point Research on underground hacking communities found that some cybercriminals are already using OpenAI to create harmful tools. The analysis revealed that some of these criminals lack programming knowledge but even with basic tools, it is only a matter of time before more advanced attackers improve their use of AI-based tools for nefarious purposes.
As of early December, ChatGPT had over a million users, which is a significant user base. However, the service is expensive to run and the operating expenses for ChatGPT are significant, according to OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman, totaling a few cents per chat in computing costs.
The chatbot is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. OpenAI is under pressure to monetize products like ChatGPT, as it is reportedly in talks with Microsoft for a $10 billion investment. The company aims to generate $200 million in 2023, which is small compared to the over $1 billion that has been invested in the startup so far.
According to a recent report, Microsoft is looking to acquire a 49% stake in OpenAI, valuing the company at around $29 billion, with the deal including a profit-sharing arrangement.