OpenAI on Monday announced a marketplace that will allow users to use personal artificial intelligence “apps” to teach math or design stickers, signaling an effort to expand its consumer business.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman shared the updates at the AI lab’s first developer conference, which attracted 900 developers from around the world and marked the company’s latest attempt to capitalize on ChatGPT’s popularity by offering incentives to build the ecosystem.
ChatGPT, which launched in November 2022, now has 100 million weekly active users, Altman said.
OpenAI calls the custom AI apps “GPTs,” which the company says are early versions of AI assistants that perform real-world tasks, such as booking flights, on behalf of the user.
Later this month, it will open a GPT store where people can share their GPT and earn money based on the number of users. It’s a follow-up to the company’s failed attempts to build an ecosystem of ChatGPT plugins earlier this year.
“In the end, you just ask the computer what you need, and it does all these tasks for you,” Altman said during a keynote speech at the event in San Francisco.
“We truly believe that gradual, iterative deployment is the best way to address the security challenges of AI. We think it is especially important to move carefully towards this future.”
In addition to GPTs, OpenAI also released a number of developer-focused updates, including significant cost cuts. This announcement drew a loud cheer from the crowd.
Even before attendees could check in early Monday morning, hundreds had lined up around the block in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood. Most were developers who were already using OpenAI technology and wanted updates.
A YouTube live stream of Altman’s speech drew more than 40,000 viewers, and some even organized viewing parties.
OpenAI announced to its 2 million developers the new GPT-4 Turbo model, which compared to its predecessor GPT-4 is several orders of magnitude cheaper and processes much more data.
It revealed assistant application programming interfaces (APIs) with vision and image modalities, confirming the Reuters report. It also launched a beta program for developers to fine-tune GPT-4 models.
“It’s a huge boom for startups like us. All of a sudden, costs dropped by a factor of three X, which is huge,” said Flo Crivello, founder of AI assistant startup Lindy and one of the conference participants.
Crivello also acknowledged that Lindy could compete with OpenAI’s upcoming GPT bots, calling his startup’s relationship with OpenAI “complicated.”
Speaking to the media on Monday, Altman cautioned startups using OpenAI technology against building apps with only simple integrations with OpenAI.
“We’re going to build obvious features,” he said. “But there’s tremendous value in building deeper integration on top of OpenAI.”
Altman said he envisions a future where each person has multiple GPTs that can work together to complete tasks for them.
OpenAI wants more companies and developers to build models that compete with Google-developed models from Anthropic and Alphabet, as well as open-source models such as Meta Platforms’ Llama. It also competes with Microsoft for business customers.
Satya Nadella, CEO of OpenAI support Microsoft, made a brief, surprise appearance at the conference and reiterated his support for the expensive competition to build basic models. Microsoft has invested over $10 billion in OpenAI.
“We are deeply committed to ensuring that all of you builders of these foundational models have not only the best training and inference systems, but also the most computing to keep you moving forward at the frontier,” he said.
To address the concerns of large companies, OpenAI launched the Custom Models program, which offers custom GPT-4 models at an “expensive” price.
It matched offers from Google and Microsoft to cover the legal costs of copyright infringement claims for business users.
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