OpenAI, the company behind the popular chatbot, ChatGPT, has announced the launch of an experimental ChatGPT Professional service. The service, which is currently available on a waitlist, aims to remove the limits of the popular chatbot by providing a paid service that is always available with no throttling, and as many messages as necessary. The company has not yet announced when the pilot program will launch and is currently gathering feedback on pricing.
The move to a paid service is driven by the cost associated with running ChatGPT. According to OpenAI, it costs a few cents for every chat, making it difficult to keep the service free for everyone. The company is looking for ways to monetize ChatGPT and make it sustainable in the long-term. It is reported that OpenAI anticipates making $200 million in revenue this year, but it hopes to earn $1 billion in 2024, which would make subscriptions a vital part of its growth strategy.
It is not yet clear if there is a large audience for ChatGPT Professional, as the current version already has over one million users as of early last month. However, it remains to be seen how many of these users are “serious” users, versus enthusiasts and casual users. Additionally, some schools and AI conferences have banned the bot. However, the pilot could be crucial in gauging real-world demand and setting prices that are necessary to turn a profit.