OpenAI launches ChatGPT Professional, a premium chatbot

This week, OpenAI said it will charge for ChatGPT, their viral AI-powered chatbot that writes essays, emails, poems, and code. OpenAI claimed on its own Discord channel that it’s “beginning to think about how to commercialize ChatGPT” to “guarantee [the tool’s] long-term survival.”

OpenAI begins piloting ChatGPT Professional, a premium version of its viral chatbot

Photo Credit: Getty Images

ChatGPT Professional will be the monetized version. A waitlist link OpenAI placed in the Discord server includes questions about payment preferences, such as “At what price (per month) would you consider ChatGPT to be so expensive that you would not consider buying it?”

ChatGPT Professional has no “blackout” windows, no throttling, and “at least 2x the standard daily limit” of messages, according to the queue. OpenAI says users on the queue may be chosen to pilot ChatGPT Professional, but the program is still in development and won’t be generally available “at this time.”

ChatGPT has garnered media attention and social media memes for OpenAI despite many bans. Investors are using ChatGPT. ChatGPT wrote an ad for Mint Mobile, which Ryan Reynolds co-owns. Microsoft’s Office and Bing will use ChatGPT’s AI.

OpenAI launches ChatGPT Professional, a premium chatbot

ChatGPT’s million-plus users in early December were impressive. It’s expensive to operate. OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman calls ChatGPT’s computing costs “eye-watering,” a few cents per chat. Azure hosts ChatGPT.

Before Microsoft invests $10 billion, OpenAI must make ChatGPT profitable. OpenAI aims to produce $200 million in 2023, a pittance compared to its $1 billion in funding.

This week, Semafor reported that Microsoft is seeking a 49% interest in OpenAI at $29 billion. Microsoft would receive three-quarters of OpenAI’s income until it recovers its investment, with additional investors taking 49% and OpenAI keeping 2%.

OpenAI’s “capped-profit” approach limits investors’ profits to 100 times their investment or less in the future.

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