ChatGPT breaks record with 100 million users – and investors come flocking

Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT recently reached 100 million active monthly users only two months after its launch, claiming the record for the fastest-growing consumer application in history.

Before ChatGPT came onto the scene, social media platform TikTok held the record, having taken nine months to reach 100 million active monthly users after its launch in 2016. 

OpenAI launched ChatGPT on 30 November 2022 as a way to optimise language models for dialogue.

“We’ve trained a model called ChatGPT, which interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests,” the OpenAI website explains.

Users can visit the ChatGPT website, register for a free account, ask the chatbot questions and receive a response.

ChatGPT is a sibling model to InstructGPT, another AI chatbot that is trained to follow instructions in a prompt and provide a detailed response.

These models were both built on top of OpenAI’s Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) family of large language models. 

GPT-3 is a language model that was originally authored by OpenAI to use “deep learning” to generate human-like text.

Since the success of ChatGPT’s launch, and despite not being publicly traded, OpenAI has caught the eye of big investors like LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, technology investment firm Bedrock Capital and, most recently, technology giant Microsoft.

Microsoft previously invested in OpenAI in 2019 and 2021 and has now, in light of ChatGPT’s success, entered a new phase of partnership with the company – one worth $10 billion.

The partnership between the two companies relates to Microsoft’s cloud service, Microsoft Azure. 

Microsoft’s initial investment of $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 made Azure the exclusive provider of OpenAI’s cloud computing services. 

The latest investment by Microsoft ensures that Azure stays OpenAI’s exclusive provider. 

Private sector investment in AI was relatively low until recently and has increased rapidly from 2018 onwards.

ChatGPT is one of many AI-powered inventions that have recently come to the forefront.

Alphabet (Google) recently suffered a $100 billion loss when its shares fell more than 7% after unveiling Bard, its own version of a chatbot that did not live up to ChatGPT’s abilities.

Johan Steyn, a human-centred artificial intelligence advocate, told Business Day TV that AI is developing at far faster speeds than people realise, and the only thing we can do to prepare is to ensure that the field is properly regulated.

When asked how it feels about its success, ChatGPT answered, “As an artificial intelligence language model, I do not have emotions or feelings. However, I am designed and programmed to assist and provide helpful responses to users”.

How many months it has taken popular internet platforms to reach 100 million active monthly users. Source: USB/Yahoo Finance


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