ChatGPT has taken the world by storm, setting a record for the fastest user growth in January when it reached 100 million active users two months after launch. The implications of this tool are far-reaching, with universities around the world scrambling to find a way to detect ChatGPT use in submitted essays, and tech giants from Google to Meta rerouting entire teams to focus on commercializing their own AI efforts.
For those unaware, ChatGPT is a chatbot launched by OpenAI, a research laboratory founded by some of the biggest names in tech such as Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, and Sam Altman. It has created a lot of press due to its breadth of capabilities, from answering questions and following up on secondary queries, to writing essays, to being a coding buddy.
ChatGPT is built on-top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 large language model, which when launched in 2020 was considered one of the most sophisticated language models ever produced. It is also considered a foundational model, as it is the framework for all three of OpenAI’s consumer AI apps: ChatGPT, DALL-E, and Codex.
It is the third-generation of the language model, which was originally launched in 2018. GPT-3 was gigantic in size in comparison to the previous generation, going from 1.5 billion to 175 billion parameters. The fourth-generation of this language model is expected to be released in some form in 2023, which is expected to be a similar leap in scope as GPT-2 to GPT-3.
Even though ChatGPT is far from a complete product, with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman saying on Twitter that it is “incredibly limited” and “a mistake to rely on it for anything important”, many have used it as a tool to automate emails, essays, and a few news sites have even used the tool to write content for them (Business of Apps is not one of those).
Demand for ChatGPT has been far greater than OpenAI expected, and way more than DALL-E received when it was launched to the public. To monetize some of that demand, OpenAI has launched ChatGPT Plus for $20 per month, which provides subscribers with access to ChatGPT even at peak times, faster response time, and priority access to new features.
Running an AI model at this scale is not cheap, with some estimating the cost to be $3 million per month for OpenAI. This may be partly why the company has allied itself with Microsoft, which alongside investing over $10 billion in the company also gives either preferential rates or free access to Microsoft Azure’s cloud servers.
In return, Microsoft is embedding ChatGPT into a lot of its services, including Azure, which has an OpenAI service that includes interations with ChatGPT, GPT-3.5, DALL-E, and Codex. Microsoft has also launched a new version of its Bing search engine with ChatGPT included.
The hope, at least for Microsoft, is that ChatGPT is the next version of search. Microsoft, alongside Amazon, Apple, and Google, all perceived the next step in search to be voice assistants, but these services have not taken over in the way some expected in the mid-2010s. Microsoft has all but abandoned Cortana, its own voice assistant.
We have collected data and statistics on ChatGPT. Read on below to find out more.
ChatGPT Key Statistics
- ChatGPT set a record as the fastest app to reach 100 million active users, reaching that milestone in two months
- OpenAI projects that ChatGPT will make $200 million this year, and $1 billion in 2024
- OpenAI was most recently valued at $29 billion, in a $10 billion funding round by Microsoft
|Launch date||December 2015|
|HQ||San Francisco, California|
|People||Sam Altman (CEO, co-founder), Greg Brockman (chairman, president), Ilya Sutskever (chief scientist), Elon Musk (co-founder)|
ChatGPT Projected Revenue
OpenAI has projected revenues of $200 million for 2023 and $1 billion by 2024. In 2022, it reportedly made less than $10 million.
ChatGPT Projected Annual Revenue 2023 to 2024 ($mm)
ChatGPT set a record for the fastest app to reach 100 million users, surpassing Google+, which took one year and two months to reach that milestone.
ChatGPT Users December 2022 to February 2023 (mm)
OpenAI has seen its valuation rapidly increase over the past year, with Microsoft’s $10 billion investment valuing the startup at $29 billion.
OpenAI Valuation 2022 to 2023 ($bn)
How much does it cost to run ChatGPT?
Some have estimated it would cost $3 million per month for OpenAI to run ChatGPT, although that was in December when there was far less traffic (Tom Goldstein)
How much of a stake does Elon Musk have in OpenAI?
Elon Musk sold his entire stake of OpenAI to Microsoft in 2018 and is not affiliated with the company (Bisma Farrukh)