The day following the OpenAI conference in early November, where significant announcements were made, I penned an article titled "The Misleading Promise of GPTs: What Sam Altman Didn’t Tell Us." Yesterday, OpenAI disclosed their plans to launch the previously announced GPT store, enabling developers to sell their custom GPT models. However, to my astonishment, OpenAI has STILL not clarified the compensation structure, if any, for these contributions.
This revelation could potentially mark a pivotal moment for OpenAI. The absence of a clear compensation model can definitely backfire when developers begin to realize that after investing their efforts in creating and promoting their GPT models to their audiences, their GPT users will need a paid account to access these models.
In its current state, this strategy could be perceived as OpenAI leveraging the creativity and hard work of its community without offering clear, tangible incentives. Such a situation could be detrimental to the company's reputation and the adoption of its platform. Unless OpenAI pivots to address these concerns, it risks alienating a vital part of its community—the developers.
Original Article published November 10th, 2023
This past week, Sam Altman, the head of OpenAI ChatGPT, made a significant announcement at their developer conference. Amidst a flurry of revelations, one stood out and garnered the most attention from the media and AI news outlets. Altman announced the creation of Generative Pretrained Transformers (GPTs), a new way for people to monetize their ideas and knowledge.
The concept is simple yet revolutionary. Users can offer a private chatbot powered by OpenAI, and a store would be opened the following month where select developers could monetize their apps. The announcement was met with excitement and anticipation, and today, Altman rolled out the feature to all plus users.
As an eager user, I was thrilled to take it for a test drive. The setup process was straightforward, with options to add specific and private data to enhance the chatbot’s robustness. The configuration page offered three additional features for that are also offered to ChatGPT plus users, costing $20 per month: live Bing search, Dalle3 image creation, and a code interpreter.
However, the excitement quickly turned into disappointment. Despite creating a GPT without using any of the added features, users who access the GPT’s are still required to have a ChatGPT Plus account. Altman had announced plans to open an app store and share revenue with “select” apps, but he failed to mention that ANYONE using the GPTs would need a subscription first, even if they weren’t accessing any of the PLUS features offered by ChatGPT.
This move seems misleading. Developers are creating these apps and offering them to their audience, only to turn them into paying customers of ChatGPT. They could potentially get most of the information free from the ChatGPT 3.5, and this is being done without any guarantee that they will ever be able to make money in the ChatGPT store.
As an AI Strategist & GPT developer, I feel let down by Sam Altman and OpenAI. It seems like we are creating a massive sales funnel for OpenAI without any assurance of compensation.
In light of these concerns, it’s crucial for OpenAI to consider offering a free version of GPTs that doesn’t utilize any of the PLUS features. This version should only require a free sign-up, allowing the company to gain a new user. If the GPT adds any additional PLUS features, then the user will be required to upgrade to a paid subscription. This approach not only respects the efforts of developers but also ensures a fair and transparent system for all users. It’s a win-win situation: OpenAI gains a new user base, and users get to explore the basic functionalities of GPTs without any hidden costs.