OpenAI debuts GPT Store for users to buy and sell customized chatbots

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OpenAI on Wednesday launched its GPT Store, a marketplace where paid ChatGPT users can buy and sell specialized chatbot agents based on the company’s language models.

The company, whose wildly popular product ChatGPT helped kickstart the boom in AI, already offers customized bots through its paid ChatGPT Plus service. The new store will allow users to offer and monetize a broader range of tools.

Through the new models, chatbot agents could be developed with their own personalities or themes, including models for salary negotiating, creating lesson plans and developing recipes. In a blogpost announcing the launch, OpenAI said more than 3m custom versions of ChatGPT have already been created. It also said it plans to highlight useful GPT tools within the store every week.

The store has been compared with Apple’s App store, fostering new development in the AI space from a wider range of users. Meta offers chatbots with differing personalities in a similar offering.

The GPT store was originally slated to open in November before its launch was delayed by internal upheaval at the company late last year when OpenAI’s board fired Sam Altman as CEO. He returned to the role a week later after a near-mass exodus by employees.

The company said in a blogpost it would launch a revenue-sharing program in the first quarter of this year, through which builders will be paid based on user engagement with their GPTs. Details of that have yet to be shared.

In an email to developers for the platform last week, OpenAI told users to ensure that their chatbots meet usage polices and GPT brand guidelines. The company highlighted several products already on offer in a press release accompanying the launch, including ones from the design app Canva and the hiking app AllTrails.

The new store is available to subscribers of its premium services ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise, as is a new subscription tier called Team, which costs $25 each month for each user. Team subscribers can also create custom GPTs for team needs.

During it inaugural demo day for developers, Altman offered to cover the legal costs for developers who may run afoul of copyright law in creating products based on ChatGPT and OpenAI’s technology. OpenAI itself has been sued multiple times for alleged copyright infringement for using copyrighted text to train its large language models. Altman said in early January that it would be “impossible” to create ChatGPT without including copyrighted material in the training corpus of the artificial intelligence.

ChatGPT, the company’s flagship product, was released in November 2022 to little fanfare but quickly caught on with consumers, accruing 100 million users in a matter of months. OpenAI also makes the Dall-E image generation software, though it is not clear as yet whether the store will allow for custom image bots or solely bespoke chatbots.

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