It's been a rollercoaster of updates for ChatGPT and the most surprising could be OpenAI’s recent announcement about testing a paid version of its viral chatbot.
In an official statement on the company's Discord server, the developer said that it's "starting to think about how to monetize ChatGPT" as one of the ways to "ensure [the tool’s] long-term viability."
ChatGPT's monetized version will be called ChatGPT Professional.
Apart from that, there's a waitlist link OpenAI posted on the Discord server, which asks a range of questions about payment preferences, including, "at what price (per month) would you consider ChatGPT to be so expensive that you would not consider buying it?"
The waitlist also reveals ChatGPT Professional’s benefits, which include no "blackout" (i.e., unavailability) windows, no throttling and an unlimited number of messages with ChatGPT — "at least 2x the regular daily limit."
OpenAI states, "those who fill out the waitlist form may be selected to pilot ChatGPT Professional, but the program is in the experimental stages and won’t be made widely available at this time."
In fact, despite controversy and several bans, the wonder app has proven to be a publicity win for OpenAI, attracting significant media attention and spawning countless memes on social media, plus potential investments from leading tech companies. Some investors are now implementing ChatGPT in their workflows.
The app continues to make a noise, with Ryan Reynolds enlisting ChatGPT to write an ad for Mint Mobile, the mobile carrier he part-owns. Microsoft also reportedly plans to incorporate the AI behind ChatGPT into its Office suite and Bing.
The news of a premium service came to light as OpenAI is under pressure to turn a profit on products like ChatGPT ahead of a rumored $10 billion investment from Microsoft, which has a whopping $200 million valuation in 2023, a pittance compared to more than $1 billion that’s been invested in the startup so far.