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December 16, 2022updated 09 Mar 2023 9:57am

ChatGPT updated as developer OpenAI forecasts $1bn in revenue by 2024

Daily usage limits and a log of previous conversations are coming to the wildly popular chatbot in a bid to improve performance.

By Ryan Morrison

OpenAI has published the first major update to its viral chatbot ChatGPT since it launched last month, including performance enhancements and daily usage limits. It comes as the company updated its revenue forecast, suggesting it could bring in $200m next year and $1bn in 2024.

ChatGPT has proved to be a 'viral hit' since it launched on 30 November this year with a million users in the first week
ChatGPT has proved to be a ‘viral hit’ since it launched on 30 November this year with a million users in the first week.

ChatGPT proved a major success for OpenAI, reaching a million users in less than a week and wowing many users with its ability to create long, complex and accurate pieces of text. Others complained of mistakes, with coding platform StackOverflow banning its use for answers to programming questions raised by users.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has urged caution, warning that “it’s a mistake to be relying on [ChatGPT] for anything important right now, it’s a preview of progress”, adding that there was a lot of work to do on the system’s robustness and truthfulness.

The latest update works towards the first of those areas, and aims to make ChatGPT more reliable and usable with performance-related changes to its algorithm. OpenAI says “among other improvements, users will notice that ChatGPT is now less likely to refuse to answer questions.”

To improve the overall performance for all users the company is also considering the introduction of daily message limits, that would restrict certain high-intensity users to a certain number of responses per day to reduce the overall load on the engine. “If you’re included in this group, you’ll be presented with an option to extend your access by providing feedback to ChatGPT,” OpenAI wrote.

ChatGPT update: feedback is ‘essential’

ChatGPT is a “research preview” with user feedback on poorly performing responses designed to help further train the model ahead of a commercial API release in the future. The usage limits seem to be a way to encourage more users to give feedback.

“We know that many limitations remain,” OpenAI warned on its website. “We plan to make regular model updates to improve in such areas. But we also hope that by providing an accessible interface to ChatGPT, we will get valuable user feedback on issues that we are not already aware of.”

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“Users are encouraged to provide feedback on problematic model outputs through the UI, as well as on false positives/negatives from the external content filter which is also part of the interface.

“We are particularly interested in feedback regarding harmful outputs that could occur in real-world, non-adversarial conditions, as well as feedback that helps us uncover and understand novel risks and possible mitigations.”

A final new feature which hasn’t been implemented but is “coming soon”, according to OpenAI, will give users access to previous conversations with the chatbot in the hope it will reduce the number of repeat attempts to get the same answer.

“You’ll soon be able to view past conversations with ChatGPT, rename your saved conversations and delete the ones you don’t want to keep. We are gradually rolling out this feature,” the company declared in the update announcement.

OpenAI targets $1bn revenue in two years

The success of ChatGPT comes as Microsoft-backed OpenAI made a bold prediction for its future revenue prospects, reaching a $1bn by 2024 according to Reuters. This is a seemingly monumental feat as the last declared revenue for 2021 was $59.6m, with a projected $200m for next year.

The company, which was originally founded as a not-for-profit research organisation by Altman, Elon Musk and others, is now thought to be worth about $20bn, seeing a major surge in growth in the past year due to generative AI models like DALL-E2 and ChatGPT.

OpenAI charges developers and companies for access to its API, with a few cents charged per image or for every few thousand words of text. It has also entered partnership agreements with the likes of Shutterstock to provide generative AI images within its stock library and copywriting start-ups like Synthesia.

The rapid rate of AI growth and advancement has led to some of this enhanced growth potential with Microsoft president Brad Smith telling Reuters “we’re going to see advances in 2023 that people two years ago would have expected in 2033”.

Read more: OpenAI’s new chatbot ChatGPT could be a game-changer for businesses

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