OpenAI Launches ChatGPT Professional: A Premium Chatbot Experience

OpenAI this week announced that it intends to start charging for ChatGPT, its popular AI-powered chatbot that can write essays, emails, poems and even computer code. In a statement on the company’s Discord server, OpenAI said monetization was necessary to ensure the tool’s long-term success.

ChatGPT Professional is OpenAI’s monetized version of ChatGPT. They posted a waitlist link in their Discord server, asking questions about payment preferences including, “What price per month would make you not consider buying it?”

ChatGPT Professional offers a host of benefits, including no “blackout” windows, no throttling and unlimited messages – up to 2x regular daily limit. Filling out the waitlist form may get you selected to pilot this experimental program but currently it is not available for general use.

OpenAI ChatGPT Professional

Photo courtesy of OpenAI

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has caused a stir and been subject to bans, but it has still proved to be beneficial for the company in terms of publicity. It’s generated significant media coverage plus plenty of memes on social media. Investors have even adopted it into their workflows, while Ryan Reynolds used the AI-powered tool to write an ad for his mobile carrier Mint Mobile. Microsoft are also said to be incorporating ChatGPT into Office and Bing in future updates.

With over 1 million users by early December, ChatGPT is an impressive success. However, operating the service comes with a hefty price tag of “eye-watering” expenses for total compute costs estimated at a few cents per chat due to Azure hosting.

OpenAI faces the challenge of generating a profit from products like ChatGPT ahead of Microsoft’s rumored $10 billion investment. Despite over $1 billion already invested in the startup, OpenAI targets only $200 million in earnings by 2023.

Microsoft this week agreed to purchase a 49% stake in OpenAI, valuing the company at $29 billion. Microsoft will receive 75% of OpenAI’s profits until their investment is recovered, while additional investors hold 49%, and 2% remain with OpenAI as equity.

OpenAI has a unique corporate structure, with a “capped-profit” model that caps backers’ returns at 100X their investment – or possibly even lower in the future.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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