The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT iPhone app has caused a frenzy in the app stores, with multiple copycat apps flooding the market. However, the official OpenAI app is currently only available in the US app store and will be rolled out to other regions in due course. In the UK app store, there were already 25 ChatGPT apps available for download, all of which require in-app purchases once downloaded. This feeding frenzy highlights the growing interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and the potential for AI to be integrated into everyday life.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT went from zero to one million users in just five days, and by January it had 100 million users, making it the fastest-growing app ever. Initially, the company planned to provide access to their model as a service, charging premium users $20 a month. However, in March, OpenAI published a set of application programming interfaces (API) that would allow developers to add a version of ChatGPT to their services for a fee, without the need to build and train their own language models. This move ensured that ChatGPT would be available everywhere in due course.
The potential for AI integration into everyday life is similar to what happened with Google Maps. Google co-founders mapped the entire planet, creating one of the most useful resources for the networked world. Now, when booking a hotel, restaurant, or finding a sports venue, the relevant segment of a Google map is incorporated into the site using the company’s Maps Embed API. A similar process is beginning to happen with ChatGPT, and in time, whenever a text box is encountered on a website or in an app, ChatGPT (or one of its digital peers) will be used, courtesy of an API. This means that Sundar Pichai’s idea of “AI everywhere” will be realised, even if the AI in question isn’t particularly intelligent.
Many current discussions around AI are too focused on big questions about whether AI is something we should build or not. However, as it is a general-purpose technology, one that can affect an entire economy, every organisation, company, school, university, charity, etc., will have to make decisions about whether and how to make use of it. Therefore, it might make sense to download the OpenAI app when it finally arrives in the UK, as sometimes experience can be the mother of invention.
In summary, the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT iPhone app has generated a feeding frenzy in the app stores, with multiple copycat apps available for download. OpenAI’s decision to publish a set of APIs has made it possible for other companies to build businesses on the platform, ensuring that ChatGPT will be available everywhere in due course. The potential for AI integration into everyday life is similar to what happened with Google Maps, and in time, ChatGPT (or one of its digital peers) will be used whenever a text box is encountered on a website or in an app. Every organisation, company, school, university, charity, etc., will have to make decisions about whether and how to make use of AI, and downloading the OpenAI app might be a good place to start.