OpenAI is now letting users build custom versions of ChatGPT to accomplish specific personal and professional tasks as the artificial intelligence startup works to beat back competition in an increasingly crowded market.
With the new option, users will be able to quickly create their own specialized versions of ChatGPT — simply called GPTs — that can help teach math to a child or explain the rules of a board game, the company said on Monday. No coding is required, the company said. OpenAI also plans to introduce a store later this month where users can find tailored GPTs from other users — and make money from their own — much as they might with apps in Apple Inc.’s App Store.
At its first-ever developer conference on Monday, OpenAI also said it’s introducing a preview version of GPT-4 Turbo, a more powerful and speedier version of its most recent large language model, the technology that underpins ChatGPT.
ChatGPT was released to the public a year ago this month, kicking off a global frenzy around all things AI. Roughly 100 million people now use ChatGPT each week, the company said at the conference, and more than 90% of Fortune 500 businesses are building tools on OpenAI’s platform. But the ChatGPT maker is also confronting rival products from well-funded AI startups, tech giants and, most recently, Elon Musk, an early OpenAI backer.
For OpenAI, the conference represents a chance to show how much influence it wields over the developer community. Hosting a developers conference is also standard for leading tech companies, including Apple, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook. Often, these annual events offer a chance for tech companies to preview major software or product updates.
OpenAI said the Turbo version of GPT-4 was built with a trove of online data running through April of this year, giving it a greater awareness of current events. The original version of GPT-4 had access to data running through September, 2021, though the company rolled out a feature this year that enabled ChatGPT users to browse the internet to get up-to-date information.
OpenAI said the Turbo version of ChatGPT will be able to process and respond to novel-length prompts from users. By comparison, the company’s GPT-4 model has been limited to as much as about 50 pages worth of text. Turbo will also be cheaper for developers to use, the company said.
Founded in 2015, OpenAI has put out numerous AI models over the years. The technology has become more adept at what’s known as generative AI — software that can ingest a short written prompt and spit out content in response, whether it’s text that can mimic what’s written by humans or realistic-looking images.
Some people have already used OpenAI’s tools to write lyrics, draft emails, do homework assignments and create children’s books. But OpenAI and its rivals have also ignited a new wave of copyright concerns. On Monday, OpenAI said it would pay any costs users incur from copyright infringement claims. Microsoft Corp. and Google have previously taken similar steps.
OpenAI’s event was held just blocks from San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, which some have nicknamed “Cerebral Valley” for the growing number of AI startups based there. The venue, SVN West, is a multi-story event space that in past incarnations was a ballroom and, more recently, a Honda dealership.
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