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Saturday, May 25, 2024

All You Need to Know About ChatGPT

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From essay helper to Fortune 500 darling, OpenAI’s ChatGPT soared. CEO turmoil sparked concerns, but with 100M users and GPT-4 advancements, can competitors catch up?

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved into a behemoth used by more than 92% of Fortune 500 companies for more wide-ranging needs. And that growth has propelled OpenAI itself into becoming one of the most-hyped companies in recent memory, even if CEO and co-founder Sam Altman’s firing and swift return raised concerns about its direction and opened the door for competitors.

What does that mean for OpenAI, ChatGPT, and its other ambitions? The fallout is still settling, but it might empower competitors like Meta and its LLaMA family of large language models or help other AI startups get attention and funding as the industry watches OpenAI implode and put itself back together.

While there is a more…nefarious side to ChatGPT, it’s clear that AI tools are not going away anytime soon. Since its launch nearly a year ago, ChatGPT has hit 100 million weekly active users, and OpenAI is heavily investing in it.

Before the leadership chaos, on November 6, OpenAI held its first developer conference: OpenAI DevDay. During the conference, it announced a slew of updates coming to GPT, including GPT-4 Turbo (super-charged versions of GPT-4, its latest language-writing model), a multimodal API, and a GPT store where users can create and monetize their custom versions of GPT.

GPT-4, which can write more naturally and fluently than previous models, remains largely exclusive to paying ChatGPT users. However, you can access GPT -4 for free through Microsoft’s Bing Chat on Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Safari web browsers. Beyond GPT-4 and OpenAI DevDay announcements, OpenAI recently connected ChatGPT to the internet for all users. And with the integration of DALL-E 3, users can also generate both text prompts and images right in ChatGPT. 

Here’s a timeline of ChatGPT product updates and releases, starting with the latest, which we’ve been updating throughout the year.

After pausing ChatGPT Plus subscriptions in November due to a “surge of usage,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman announced they have enabled sign-ups again. The Plus subscription includes access to GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo.

OpenAI and Axel Springer partner up for a “real-time” ChatGPT news deal

OpenAI has struck a new deal with Berlin-based news publisher Axel Springer, which owns Business Insider and Politico, to “help provide people with new ways to access quality, real-time news content through our AI tools.” OpenAI will train its generative AI models on the publisher’s content and add recent Axel Springer-published articles to ChatGPT.

Stanford researchers say ChatGPT didn’t cause an influx in cheating in high schools

New research from Stanford University shows that the popularization of chatbots like ChatGPT has not caused an increase in cheating across U.S. high schools. In a survey of more than 40 U.S. high schools, researchers found that cheating rates are similar across the board this year.

ChatGPT users worry the chatbot is experiencing seasonal depression

Starting in November, ChatGPT users have noticed that the chatbot feels “lazier” than normal, citing instances of simpler answers and refusing to complete requested tasks. OpenAI has confirmed that they are aware of this issue, but aren’t sure why it’s happening.

Some users think it plays into the “winter break hypothesis,” which argues that AI is worse in December because it “learned” to do less work over the holidays, while others wonder if the chatbot is simulating seasonal depression.

Judges in the U.K. are now allowed to use ChatGPT in legal rulings

The U.K. Judicial Office issued guidance permitting judges to use ChatGPT and other AI tools to write legal rulings and perform court duties. The guidance outlines ways to use AI responsibly in the courts, including being aware of potential bias and upholding privacy.

OpenAI makes repeating words “forever” a violation of its terms of service after the Google DeepMind test

Following an experiment by Google DeepMind researchers that led ChatGPT to repeat portions of its training data, OpenAI has flagged asking ChatGPT to repeat specific words “forever” as a violation of its terms of service.

Lawmakers in Brazil enacted an ordinance written by ChatGPT

City lawmakers in Brazil enacted legislation written entirely by ChatGPT without even knowing. Weeks after the bill was passed, Porto Alegre councilman Ramiro Rosário admitted using ChatGPT to write the proposal and did not tell fellow council members until after the fact.

OpenAI reportedly delays the launch of its GPT store to 2024

According to a memo seen by Axios, OpenAI plans to delay the launch of its highly anticipated GPT store to early 2024. Custom GPTs and the accompanying store were a major announcement at OpenAI’s DevDay conference, with the store expected to open last month.

November 2023

ChatGPT mobile apps top 110M installs and nearly $30M in revenue

After launching for iOS and Android in May and July, ChatGPT has topped 110 million combined installs and has reached nearly $30 million in consumer spending, according to a market analysis by data.ai.

ChatGPT celebrates first anniversary

OpenAI hit a major milestone: one year of ChatGPT. What began as a “low-key research preview” evolved into a powerhouse that changed the AI industry forever. In a post on X, CEO Sam Altman looked back on the night before its launch: “What a year it’s been…”

Apple and Google avoid naming ChatGPT as their ‘App of the Year’

Neither Apple nor Google chose an AI app as its app of the year for 2023, despite the success of ChatGPT’s mobile app, which became the fastest-growing consumer application in history before Meta’s Threads broke the record.

An attack from researchers prompts ChatGPT to reveal training data

A test led by researchers at Google DeepMind found a significant amount of privately identifiable information in OpenAI’s LLMs. The test involved asking ChatGPT to repeat the word “poem” forever, among other words, which, over time, led the chatbot to churn out private information like email addresses and phone numbers.

ChatGPT and other AI chatbots are fueling an increase in phishing emails

According to a new report by SlashNext, there’s been a 1,265% increase in malicious phishing emails since Q4 of 2022. The report alleges that cybercriminals are prominently using AI tools like ChatGPT to write compelling and sophisticated phishing emails.

South African officials are investigating if President Cyril Ramaphosa used ChatGPT to write a speech

Following speculation, social media users fed portions of Ramaphosa’s November 21 speech in Johannesburg through AI detectors, alleging parts of it may have been written with ChatGPT. South African presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya refuted the claims, and local officials are investigating.

ChatGPT Voice can be used to replace Siri

Now that OpenAI’s ChatGPT Voice feature is available to all free users, it can replace Siri on an iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max by configuring the new Action Button. The new feature lets you ask ChatGPT questions and listen to its responses — like a much smarter version of Siri.

Sam Altman returns as CEO

Altman’s return came swiftly, with an “agreement in principle” announced between him and OpenAI’s board that will reinstate him as CEO and restructure the board to include new members, including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. The biggest takeaway for ChatGPT is that the board members are more focused on the nonprofit side of OpenAI, with the most concerns over the commercialization of its tools being pushed to the side.

ChatGPT Voice rolls out to all free users

Even if its leadership is in flux, OpenAI is still releasing updates to ChatGPT. First announced in September and granted to paid users on a rolling basis, the text-to-speech model can create a voice from text prompts and a few seconds of speech samples. OpenAI worked with voice actors to create the five voice options, and you can give it a shot by heading to the settings in your mobile ChatGPT app and tapping the “headphones” icon.

Sam Altman might return, but it’s complicated

The only constant within OpenAI right now is change, and in a series of interviews, Nadella hedged on earlier reporting that Altman and Brockman were headed to Microsoft.

“We want Sam and Greg to have a fantastic home if they’re not going to be in OpenAI,” Nadella said in an interview with CNBC, saying that we were “open” to them settling at Microsoft or returning to OpenAI should the board and employees support the move.

Confirmation: Sam Altman will not return as OpenAI’s CEO

Several investors and OpenAI employees tried to bring back Altman after his sudden firing by the company’s board. However, following a weekend of negotiations, it was confirmed that Altman would not return to OpenAI, and new leadership would take hold. What this means for ChatGPT’s future and the OpenAI Dev Day announcements remains to be seen.

Sam Altman ousted as OpenAI’s CEO

Sam Altman has been fired from OpenAI. He will leave the company’s board and step down as CEO, with OpenAI’s chief technology officer, Mira Murati, stepping in as interim CEO. In a blog post from OpenAI, the company writes that the board “no longer has confidence in [Altman’s] ability to continue leading OpenAI.”

In a statement on X, Altman said working at OpenAI “was transformative” for him and “hopefully the world.”

OpenAI explores how ChatGPT can be used in the classroom

OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap revealed at a San Francisco conference that the company will likely create a team to identify ways AI and ChatGPT can be used in education. This announcement comes when ChatGPT was criticized by educators for encouraging cheating, resulting in bans in certain school districts.

OpenAI pauses new ChatGPT Plus subscriptions due to a “surge of usage”

Following OpenAI’s Dev Day conference, Sam Altman announced the company is putting a pause on new subscriptions for its premium ChatGPT Plus offering. The temporary hold on sign-ups and the demand for ChatGPT Plus’ new features, like making custom GPTS, have led to many resellers on eBay.

ChatGPT gets flagged as potentially unsafe for kids

An independent review from Common Sense Media, a nonprofit advocacy group, found that  ChatGPT could potentially be harmful to younger users. ChatGPT got an overall three-star rating in the report, with its lowest ratings on transparency, privacy, trust, and safety. 

OpenAI blames a DDoS attack for the ChatGPT outage

OpenAI confirmed that a DDoS attack was behind outages affecting ChatGPT and its developer tools. ChatGPT experienced sporadic outages for about 24 hours, making users unable to log into or use the service.

OpenAI debuts GPT-4 Turbo

OpenAI unveiled GPT-4 Turbo at its first-ever OpenAI DevDay conference. GPT-4 Turbo comes in two versions: one strictly text-analyzing and another understanding the context of both text and images.

GPT-4 gets a fine-tuning

As opposed to the fine-tuning program for GPT-3.5, the GPT-4 program will involve more oversight and guidance from OpenAI teams, the company says — largely due to technical hurdles.

OpenAI’s GPT Store lets you build (and monetize) your GPT

Users and developers will soon be able to make their own GPT without requiring coding experience. Anyone building their own GPT can also list it on OpenAI’s marketplace and monetize it.

ChatGPT has 100 million weekly active users

After being released nearly a year ago, ChatGPT has 100 million weekly active users. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman also revealed that over two million developers, including over 92% of Fortune 500 companies, use the platform.

OpenAI launches DALL-E 3 API, new text-to-speech models

DALL-E 3, OpenAI’s text-to-image model, is now available via an API after first coming to ChatGPT-4 and Bing Chat. OpenAI’s newly released text-to-speech API, Audio API, offers six preset voices to choose from and two generative AI model variants.

OpenAI promises to defend business customers against copyright claims

Bowing to peer pressure, OpenAI will pay legal costs incurred by customers who face lawsuits over IP claims against work generated by an OpenAI tool. The protections seemingly don’t extend to all OpenAI products, like the free and tiers of ChatGPT.

As OpenAI’s multimodal API launches broadly, research shows it’s still flawed

OpenAI announced that GPT-4 with vision will become available alongside the upcoming launch of GPT-4 Turbo API. However, some researchers found that the model remains flawed in several significant and problematic ways.

OpenAI launches API, letting developers build ‘assistants’ into their apps

At its OpenAI DevDay, OpenAI announced the Assistants API to help developers build “agent-like experiences” within their apps. Use cases range from a natural language-based data analysis app to a coding assistant or even an AI-powered vacation planner.

October 2023

ChatGPT app revenue shows no signs of slowing, but it’s not #1

OpenAI’s chatbot app far outpaces all others on mobile devices regarding downloads, but it’s surprisingly not the top AI app by revenue. Several other AI chatbots, like  “Chat & Ask AI” and “ChatOn — AI Chat Bot Assistant”, are making more money than ChatGPT.

ChatGPT tests the ability to upload and analyze files for Plus users

Subscribers to ChatGPT’s Enterprise Plan have reported new beta features, including uploading PDFs to analyze and ask questions about them directly. The new rollout also allows users to no longer manually select a mode like DALL-E and browse when using ChatGPT. Instead, users will automatically be switched to models based on the prompt.

ChatGPT officially gets web search

OpenAI has formally launched its internet-browsing feature to ChatGPT, three weeks after re-introducing the feature in beta after several months of hiatus. The AI chatbot has historically been limited to data up to September 2021.

OpenAI integrates DALL-E 3 into ChatGPT

The integration means users don’t have to think carefully about their text prompts when asking DALL-E to create an image. Users will also now be able to receive images as part of their text-based queries without having to switch between apps.

Microsoft-affiliated research finds flaws in GPT-4

A Microsoft-affiliated scientific paper looked at LLMs’ “trustworthiness” and toxicity, including GPT-4. Because GPT-4 is more likely to follow the instructions of “jailbreaking” prompts, the co-authors claim that GPT-4 can be more easily prompted than other LLMs to spout toxic, biased text.

ChatGPT’s mobile app hit a record $4.58M in revenue in September

In September, OpenAI amassed 15.6 million downloads and nearly $4.6 million in gross revenue across its iOS and Android apps worldwide. However, revenue growth has now begun to slow, according to new data from market intelligence firm Appfigures, dropping from 30% to 20% in September.

September 2023

ChatGPT can now browse the internet (again)

OpenAI posted on Twitter/X that ChatGPT can now browse the internet and is no longer limited to data before September 2021. The chatbot had a web browsing capability for Plus subscribers back in July, but the feature was taken away after users exploited it to get around paywalls.

ChatGPT now has a voice

OpenAI announced adding a new voice for verbal conversations and image-based smarts to the AI-powered chatbot.

Poland opens an investigation against OpenAI

The Polish authority publically announced it had opened an investigation regarding ChatGPT — accusing the company of a string of breaches of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

OpenAI unveils DALL-E 3

The upgraded text-to-image tool, DALL-E 3, uses ChatGPT to help fill in prompts. Subscribers to OpenAI’s premium ChatGPT plans, ChatGPT Plus and ChatGPT Enterprise, can type in a request for an image and hone it through conversations with the chatbot — receiving the results directly within the chat app.

Opera GX integrates ChatGPT-powered AI

Powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the AI browser Aria launched on Opera in May to give users an easier way to search, ask questions, and write code. Today, the company announced it is bringing Aria to Opera GX, a version of the flagship Opera browser built for gamers.

The new feature allows Opera GX users to interact directly with a browser AI to find the latest gaming news and tips.

August 2023

OpenAI releases a guide for teachers using ChatGPT in the classroom

OpenAI wants to rehabilitate the system’s image regarding education, as ChatGPT has been controversial in the classroom due to plagiarism. OpenAI has offered various ways to put the chatbot to work in the classroom.

OpenAI launches ChatGPT Enterprise

ChatGPT Enterprise can perform the same tasks as ChatGPT, such as writing emails, drafting essays, and debugging computer code. However, the new offering also adds “enterprise-grade” privacy and data analysis capabilities on top of the vanilla ChatGPT and enhanced performance and customization options.

Survey finds relatively few Americans use ChatGPT

Recent Pew polling suggests the language model isn’t quite as popular or threatening as some would have you think. Ongoing polling by Pew Research shows that although ChatGPT is gaining mindshare, only about 18% of Americans have ever used it.

OpenAI brings fine-tuning to GPT-3.5 Turbo

With fine-tuning, companies using GPT-3.5 Turbo through the company’s API can make the model better follow specific instructions. For example, the model should always respond in a given language. Or improving the model’s ability to consistently format responses and hone the “feel” of the model’s output, like its tone, so that it better fits a brand or voice. Most notably, fine-tuning enables OpenAI customers to shorten text prompts to speed up API calls and cut costs.

OpenAI is partnering with Scale AI to allow companies to fine-tune GPT-3.5. However, it is unclear whether OpenAI is developing an in-house tuning tool to complement platforms like Scale AI or serve a different purpose altogether.

Fine-tuning costs:

  • Training: $0.008 / 1K tokens
  • Usage input: $0.012 / 1K tokens
  • Usage output: $0.016 / 1K tokens

OpenAI acquires Global Illumination

In OpenAI’s first public acquisition in its seven-year history, the company announced it had acquired Global Illumination, a New York-based startup leveraging AI to build creative tools, infrastructure, and digital experiences.

“We’re very excited for the impact they’ll have here at OpenAI,” OpenAI wrote in a brief post published on its official blog. “The entire team has joined OpenAI to work on our core products, including ChatGPT.”

The ‘custom instructions’ feature is extended to free ChatGPT users

OpenAI announced that it’s expanding custom instructions to all users, including those on the free service tier. The feature allows users to add various preferences and requirements that they want the AI chatbot to consider when responding.

China requires AI apps to obtain an administrative license

Multiple generative AI apps have been removed from Apple’s China App Store ahead of the country’s latest generative AI regulations set to take effect August 15.

“As you may know, the government has been tightening regulations associated with deep synthesis technologies (DST) and generative AI services, including ChatGPT. DST must fulfill permitting requirements to operate in China, including securing a license from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT),” Apple said in a letter to OpenCat, a native ChatGPT client. “Based on our review, your app is associated with ChatGPT, which does not have requisite permits to operate in China.”

July 2023

ChatGPT for Android is now available in the US, India, Bangladesh, and Brazil

A few days after putting up a preorder page on Google Play, OpenAI flipped the switch and released ChatGPT for Android. The app is now live in a handful of countries.

ChatGPT is coming to Android

ChatGPT is available to “pre-order” for Android users.

The ChatGPT app on Android looks more or less identical to the iOS one in functionality, meaning it gets most, if not all, of the web-based version’s features. You should be able to sync your conversations and preferences across devices, too — so if you’re an iPhone at home and an Android at work, no worries.

OpenAI launches customized instructions for ChatGPT

OpenAI launched custom instructions for ChatGPT users so they don’t have to write the same instruction prompts to the chatbot every time they interact with it.

The company said this feature lets you “share anything ChatGPT wants to consider in its response.” For example, a teacher can say they are teaching fourth-grade math, or a developer can specify their preferred code language when asking for suggestions. People can also specify their family size, so the text-generating AI can respond to meals, groceries, and vacation planning accordingly.

The FTC is reportedly investigating OpenAI

The FTC is reportedly in the exploratory phase of investigating whether OpenAI’s flagship ChatGPT conversational AI made “false, misleading, disparaging or harmful” statements about people.

TechCrunch Reporter Devin Coldewey reports:

This kind of investigation doesn’t just appear out of thin air — the FTC doesn’t look around and say, “That looks suspicious.” Generally, a lawsuit or formal complaint is brought to their attention and the practices described imply that regulations are being ignored. For example, a person may sue a supplement company because the pills made them sick, and the FTC will launch an investigation on the back of that because there’s evidence the company lied about the side effects.

OpenAI announced the general availability of GPT-4

Starting July 6, all existing OpenAI developers “with a history of successful payments” can access GPT-4. OpenAI plans to open access to new developers by the end of July.

In the future, OpenAI says that it’ll allow developers to fine-tune GPT-4 and GPT-3.5 Turbo, one of the original models powering ChatGPT, with their data, as has long been possible with several of OpenAI’s other text-generating models. That capability should arrive later this year, according to OpenAI.

June 2023

ChatGPT app can now search the web only on Bing

OpenAI announced that subscribers to ChatGPT Plus can now use a new feature called Browsing, which allows ChatGPT to search Bing for answers to questions.

The Browsing feature can be enabled by heading to the New Features section of the app settings, selecting “GPT-4” in the model switcher, and choosing “Browse with Bing” from the drop-down list. Browsing is available on both the iOS and Android ChatGPT apps.

Mercedes is adding ChatGPT to its infotainment system

U.S. owners of Mercedes models that use MBUX can opt into a beta program starting June 16, activating the ChatGPT functionality. This will enable the highly versatile large language model to augment the car’s conversation skills. You can join up simply by telling your car, “Hey Mercedes, I want to join the beta program.”

It’s not clear what for, though.

ChatGPT app is now available on iPad and adds support for Siri and Shortcuts

The new ChatGPT app version brings native iPad support to the app and support for using the chatbot with Siri and Shortcuts. Drag and drop is also available, allowing users to drag individual messages from ChatGPT into other apps.

ChatGPT now runs in full-screen mode on iPad, optimized for the tablet’s interface.

May 2023

Texas judge orders all AI-generated content must be declared and checked

The Texas federal judge has added that any attorney appearing in his court must attest that “no portion of the filing was drafted by generative artificial intelligence,” or if it was, that it was checked “by a human being.”

ChatGPT app has expanded to more than 30 countries

The list of new countries includes Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Estonia, Ghana, India, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nauru, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Slovenia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

ChatGPT app is now available in 11 more countries

OpenAI tweeted that the ChatGPT mobile app is now available on iOS in the U.S., Europe, South Korea, and New Zealand, and soon more will be able to download the app from the app store. In just six days, the app topped 500,000 downloads.

The ChatGPT app for iOS is now available to users in 11 more countries — Albania, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Jamaica, Korea, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and the UK. More to come soon!

— OpenAI (@OpenAI) May 24, 2023

OpenAI launches a ChatGPT app for iOS

ChatGPT is officially going mobile. The new ChatGPT app will be free to use, free from ads, and allow for voice input, the company says, but it will initially be limited to U.S. users at launch.

When using the mobile version of ChatGPT, the app will sync your history across devices — meaning it will know what you’ve previously searched for via its web interface and make that accessible to you. The app is also integrated with Whisper, OpenAI’s open-source speech recognition system, to allow for voice input.

Hackers are using ChatGPT lures to spread malware on Facebook

Meta said in a report on May 3 that malware posing as ChatGPT was rising across its platforms. Since March 2023, the company said its security teams have uncovered ten malware families using ChatGPT (and similar themes) to deliver malicious software to users’ devices.

“In one case, we’ve seen threat actors create malicious browser extensions available in official web stores that claim to offer ChatGPT-based tools,” said Meta security engineers Duc H. Nguyen and Ryan Victory in a blog post. “They would then promote these malicious extensions on social media and through sponsored search results to trick people into downloading malware.”

April 2023

ChatGPT parent company OpenAI closes $300M share sale at $27B-29B valuation

VC firms, including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive, and K2 Global, are picking up new shares, according to documents seen by TechCrunch. A source tells us Founders Fund is also investing. Altogether, the VCs have put in just over $300 million at a valuation of $27 billion to $29 billion. This is separate from a big investment from Microsoft announced earlier this year, a person familiar with the development told TechCrunch, which closed in January. Microsoft’s investment is believed to be around $10 billion, a figure we confirmed with our source.

OpenAI previews a new subscription tier, ChatGPT Business

Called ChatGPT Business, OpenAI describes the forthcoming offering as “for professionals who need more control over their data as well as enterprises seeking to manage their end users.”

“ChatGPT Business will follow our API’s data usage policies, which means that end users’ data won’t be used to train our models by default,” OpenAI wrote in a blog post. “We plan to make ChatGPT Business available in the coming months.”

OpenAI wants to trademark “GPT”

OpenAI applied for a trademark for “GPT,” which stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer,” last December. Last month, the company petitioned the USPTO to speed up the process, citing the “myriad infringements and counterfeit apps” beginning to exist.

Unfortunately for OpenAI, its petition was dismissed last week. According to the agency, OpenAI’s attorneys neglected to pay an associated fee and provide “appropriate documentary evidence supporting the justification of special action.”

That means a decision could take up to five more months.

Auto-GPT is Silicon Valley’s latest quest to automate everything

Auto-GPT is an open-source app created by game developer Toran Bruce Richards. It uses OpenAI’s latest text-generating models, GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, to interact with software and services online, allowing it to “autonomously” perform tasks.

Depending on what objective the tool’s provides, Auto-GPT can behave in very… unexpected ways. One Reddit user claims that, given a budget of $100 to spend within a server instance, Auto-GPT made a wiki page on cats, exploited a flaw in the instance to gain admin-level access and took over the Python environment in which it was running — and then “killed” itself.

FTC warns that AI technology like ChatGPT could ‘turbocharge’ fraud

FTC chair Lina Khan and fellow commissioners warned House representatives of the potential for modern AI technologies, like ChatGPT, to be used to “turbocharge” fraud in a congressional hearing.

“AI presents a whole set of opportunities, but also a whole set of risks,” Khan told the House representatives. “And I think we’ve already seen ways it could be used to turbocharge fraud and scams. We’ve been putting market participants on notice that instances in which AI tools are effectively being designed to deceive people can place them on the hook for FTC action,” she stated.

Superchat’s new AI chatbot lets you message historical and fictional characters via ChatGPT

The company behind the popular iPhone customization app Brass, sticker maker StickerHub, and others is out today with a new AI chat app called SuperChat, which allows iOS users to chat with virtual characters powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. However, what makes the app different from the default experience or the dozens of generic AI chat apps now available are the characters you can use to engage with SuperChat’s AI features.

Italy gives OpenAI to-do list for lifting ChatGPT suspension order

Italy’s data protection watchdog has laid out what OpenAI needs to do it to lift an order against ChatGPT issued at the end of last month — when it said it suspected the AI chatbot service was in breach of the EU’s GSPR and ordered the U.S.-based company to stop processing locals’ data.

The DPA has given OpenAI a deadline — of April 30 — to get the regulator’s compliance demands done. (The local radio, TV, and internet awareness campaign has a slightly more generous timeline of May 15 to be actioned.)

Researchers have discovered a way to make ChatGPT consistently toxic

A study co-authored by scientists at the Allen Institute for AI shows that assigning ChatGPT a “persona” — for example, “a bad person,” “a horrible person,” or “a nasty person” — through the ChatGPT API increases its toxicity sixfold. Even more concerning, the co-authors found having the conversational AI chatbot pose as certain historical figures, gendered people, and members of political parties also increased its toxicity — with journalists, men, and Republicans, in particular, causing the machine learning model to say more offensive things than it normally would.

The research used the latest version, but the model is not currently in preview based on OpenAI’s GPT-4.

Y Combinator-backed startups are trying to build ‘ChatGPT for X’

YC Demo Day’s Winter 2023 batch features no fewer than four startups that claim to be building “ChatGPT for X.” They’re all chasing after a customer service software market that’ll be worth $58.1 billion by 2023, assuming the rather optimistic prediction from Acumen Research comes true.

Here are the YC-backed startups that caught our eye:

  • Yuma, whose customer demographic is primarily Shopify merchants, provides ChatGPT-like AI systems that integrate with help desk software, suggesting drafts of replies to customer tickets.
  • Baselit, uses one of OpenAI’s text-understanding models to allow businesses to embed chatbot-style analytics for their customers.
  • Lasso customers send descriptions or videos of the processes they’d like to automate. The company combines a ChatGPT-like interface with robotic process automation (RPA) and a Chrome extension to build out those automations.
  • BerriAI, whose platform is designed to help developers spin up ChatGPT apps for their organization data through various data connectors.

Italy orders ChatGPT to be blocked

OpenAI has started geoblocking access to its generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, in Italy.

Italy’s data protection authority has just put out a timely reminder that some countries have laws that already apply to cutting-edge AI: It has ordered OpenAI to stop processing people’s data locally with immediate effect. The Italian DPA said it’s concerned that the ChatGPT maker is breaching the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is opening an investigation.

March 2023

1,100+ signatories signed an open letter asking all ‘AI labs to immediately pause for six months’

The letter’s signatories include Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and Tristan Harris of the Center for Humane Technology. The letter calls on “all AI labs to immediately pause for at least six months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”

The letter reads:

Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks,[3] and we must ask ourselves: Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? Should we automate all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete, and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilization? Such decisions must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders. Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their positive effects and risks will be manageable.

OpenAI connects ChatGPT to the internet

OpenAI launched plugins for ChatGPT, extending the bot’s functionality by granting it access to third-party knowledge sources and databases, including the web. Available in alpha to ChatGPT users and developers on the waitlist, OpenAI says it’ll initially prioritize a small number of developers and subscribers to its premium ChatGPT Plus plan before rolling out larger-scale and API access.

OpenAI launches GPT-4, available through ChatGPT Plus

GPT-4 is a powerful image- and text-understanding AI model from OpenAI. Released March 14, GPT-4 is available for paying ChatGPT Plus users through a public API. Developers can sign up on a waitlist to access the API.

ChatGPT is available in Azure OpenAI service

ChatGPT is generally available through the Azure OpenAI Service, Microsoft’s fully managed, corporate-focused offering. Customers who must already be “Microsoft managed customers and partners” can apply here for special access.

OpenAI launches an API for ChatGPT

OpenAI makes another move toward monetization by launching a paid API for ChatGPT. Instacart, Snap (Snapchat’s parent company) and Quizlet are among its initial customers.

February 2023

Microsoft launches the new Bing, with ChatGPT built in

At a press event in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft announced its long-rumored integration of OpenAI’s GPT-4 model into Bing, providing a ChatGPT-like experience within the search engine. The announcement spurred a 10x increase in new downloads for Bing globally, indicating a sizable consumer demand for new AI experiences.

Other companies beyond Microsoft joined in on the AI craze by implementing ChatGPT, including OkCupid, Kaito, Snapchat, and Discord, putting pressure on Big Tech’s AI initiatives, such as Google.

OpenAI launches ChatGPT Plus, starting at $20 per month

After ChatGPT took the internet by storm, OpenAI launched a new pilot subscription plan for ChatGPT called ChatGPT Plus, aiming to monetize the technology starting at $20 per month. A month prior, OpenAI posted a waitlist for “ChatGPT Professional” as the company began considering monetizing the chatbot.

January 2023

OpenAI teases ChatGPT Professional

OpenAI said it’s “starting to think about how to monetize ChatGPT” in an announcement on the company’s official Discord server. According to a waitlist link OpenAI posted in Discord, the monetized version will be called ChatGPT Professional. The waitlist document includes the benefits of this new paid version of the chatbot, including no “blackout” windows, no throttling, and an unlimited number of messages with ChatGPT — “at least 2x the regular daily limit.”

December 2022

ShareGPT lets you easily share your ChatGPT conversations

A week after ChatGPT was released into the wild, two developers — Steven Tey and Dom Eccleston — made a Chrome extension called ShareGPT to make capturing and sharing the AI’s answers with the world easier.

November 2022

ChatGPT was first launched to the public as OpenAI quietly released GPT-3.5

GPT-3.5 broke cover with ChatGPT, a fine-tuned version of GPT-3.5 that’s essentially a general-purpose chatbot. ChatGPT can engage with various topics, including programming, TV scripts, and scientific concepts. Writers everywhere rolled their eyes at the new technology, much like artists did with OpenAI’s DALL-E model, but the latest chat-style iteration seemingly broadened its appeal and audience.

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