San Francisco-based artificial intelligence (AI) company, OpenAI, recently released an application programming interface (API) for ChatGPT, a large language model designed to generate human-like responses in conversation. This release has sparked an AI goldrush, enabling hobbyists and businesses to turn their AI tinkering into fully-fledged businesses.
One of the first users of the ChatGPT API was Daniel Habib, a former Facebook and Oculus employee, who built QuickVid AI just four days after ChatGPT launch in November 2022. QuickVid AI automates much of the creative process involved in generating ideas for YouTube videos. Creators input details about the topic of their video and what kind of category they’d like it to sit in, then QuickVid AI interrogates ChatGPT to create a script. Other generative AI tools then voice the script and create visuals. Tens of thousands of users used it daily, but Habib had been using unofficial access points to ChatGPT, which limited how much he could promote the service and meant he couldn’t officially charge for it.
However, on March 1, 2023, OpenAI announced the release of API access to ChatGPT and Whisper, a speech recognition AI the company has developed. Within an hour, Habib hooked up QuickVid to the official ChatGPT API, allowing him to officially charge for his service and reach a much larger audience.
According to Hassan El Mghari, who runs TwitterBio, which uses ChatGPT’s computational power to generate Twitter profile text for users, “What this release means for companies is that adding AI capabilities to applications is much more accessible and affordable.” This release opens up opportunities for businesses to incorporate AI into their products and services, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity.
David Foster, a partner at Applied Data Science Partners, a data science and AI consultancy based in London, notes that OpenAI’s change in a data retention policy is critical in getting companies to use the API. OpenAI has promised to only hold on to users’ data for 30 days and not use data that users input to train its models. This change means that companies can feel in control of their data, rather than having to trust a third party to manage where it goes and how it’s used.
API access to ChatGPT (or GPT3.5 as OpenAI is calling it) is 10 times cheaper than access to OpenAI’s lower-powered GPT3 API, which launched in June 2020. The cheaper and faster access to the API could change the economics of AI for many businesses and could spark a new rush of innovation.
Alex Volkov, the founder of Targum language translator for videos, which was built unofficially off the back of ChatGPT at a December 2022 hackathon, notes that “It’s much cheaper and much faster. That doesn’t happen usually. With the API world, usually, prices go up.”
The release of ChatGPT API has also opened up opportunities for other AI chatbot services. It is predicted that the near future will see a proliferation of AI chatbots that can be integrated into various applications. Every app out there is going to have some type of chat interface or large language model integration, says Habib. People are going to have to get very used to talking to AI.