OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, has introduced a new premium service for its artificial intelligence-powered language model ChatGPT aimed at businesses, as it seeks to boost revenue and address a decline in user growth.
ChatGPT Enterprise is intended to help organisations "own and control" their business data, the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post on Monday.
The service has been released amid a decline in user interest in OpenAI, following rapid adoption when it was launched.
Here, we take a look at the key points of its latest offering.
What is ChatGPT Enterprise?
ChatGPT Enterprise is the "most powerful version" of the service, the company said. It comes with additional top-tier features and is now available to use.
Its features include enterprise-grade security and privacy, longer context windows for processing longer inputs, unlimited advanced data analysis capabilities, customisation options and unlimited higher-speed GPT-4 access, removing all usage caps and performing up to two times faster, OpenAI said.
How much does it cost?
ChatGPT Enterprise is the third tier OpenAI is offering to users, after its basic free service and the $20-a-month Plus plan.
OpenAI does not provide upfront pricing for ChatGPT Enterprise. Instead, it will vary depending on requirements of individual companies.
The company will "work with everyone to figure out the best plan for them", chief operating officer Brad Lightcap told Bloomberg.
"We believe AI can assist and elevate every aspect of our working lives and make teams more creative and productive. Today marks another step towards an AI assistant for work that helps with any task, is customised for your organisation and that protects your company data," OpenAI said in the blog.
Why does it matter?
AI has long been used by businesses and enterprises to streamline their operations and help make workloads more efficient.
Its popularity soared with the introduction of generative AI, which rose to prominence thanks to ChatGPT – and looping in the likes of Google, X owner Elon Musk and Apple into the fray in varying degrees.
Overall, it has created a new battlefront in the tech sector, where companies are jockeying to get a head start and broaden their scope in generative AI.
Major technology companies have large scientific teams dedicated to AI research and development.
However, generative AI's emergence has forced them to diversify their strategies and try to integrate the technology into their services, which would ultimately help their bottom line.
As with any new popular service, OpenAI has had to fend off challengers. Last week, Meta Platforms launched Code Llama – free software that helps programmers and developers to automatically generate code – aimed at generative AI models from companies including OpenAI and Google.
Code Llama, a rival to OpenAI's Codex platform, is based on Llama 2, the large language model released by Meta in July – also free of charge.
Meta last week released an AI-powered translation engine that can translate nearly 100 languages across text and speech.
Codex was free during its testing phase but now charges users. It is unclear whether OpenAI plans to rethink this strategy, given there are other code-generating services being offered at no cost.
Has ChatGPT's momentum stalled?
Yes. In January, a study from UBS showed that ChatGPT amassed 100 million users, two months after its launch, which made it the fastest-growing consumer app in history – until it was passed last month by Meta's Threads, a rival to X, formerly known as Twitter, which hit that milestone in five days, according to data from Sensor Tower.
Global traffic on ChatGPT – including desktop and mobile – declined nearly 10 per cent in June, the first month it posted a drop, after growth began to level out in May, according to a report by internet analytics firm Similarweb, which attributed the slowdown to the school summer holidays.
But the latest Similarweb data as of Tuesday shows that ChatGPT traffic is down by nearly a quarter compared with July, suggesting it is "a sign that the novelty has worn off for AI chat".
Groundbreaking services reporting a dip in momentum is not uncommon and requires companies to innovate to sustain their business model. In this case, "chatbots will have to prove their worth, rather than taking it for granted, from here on out", Similarweb said.
Who has tried ChatGPT Enterprise?
More than 80 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted the ChatGPT service since its launch in November, OpenAI said.
The latest release of ChatGPT Enterprise sees OpenAI trying to boost the momentum of the software. Among its early adopters are consultancy PwC, private equity firm Carlyle Group, cosmetics major Estee Lauder and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's Block, the company said.
"We've heard from business leaders that they’d like a simple and safe way of deploying it in their organisation," OpenAI said.
"Early users of ChatGPT Enterprise are redefining how they operate and are using ChatGPT to craft clearer communications, accelerate coding tasks, rapidly explore answers to complex business questions, assist with creative work and much more."
Is OpenAI planning to offer more new services?
Yes – and they are all meant for the wider ChatGPT ecosystem.
Among them are customisation, which securely extend ChatGPT’s knowledge with company data by connecting the applications already being used, and availability for all team sizes, including a "self-serve" offering for smaller teams.
Users can also expect "power tools", which are "more powerful versions" of OpenAI's advanced data analysis, and "solutions for your function", which are tools for specific roles, such as data analysts, marketers and customer support.
OpenAI did not give a timetable for the release of these updates, but they will be launched "as soon as they’re ready".
"We look forward to sharing an even more detailed roadmap with prospective customers and continuing to evolve ChatGPT Enterprise based on your feedback. We’re onboarding as many enterprises as we can over the next few weeks," OpenAI said.