During the two months since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has seen a surge in popularity, with its user base growing to 100 million monthly active users, making it the fastest-growing platform in Internet history. Silicon Valley’s top firms have supported it. These include academia, the arts, marketing, medicine, gaming, and government, which have successfully integrated ChatGPT. ChatGPT is immensely popular, making it evident that it has made its mark in almost every industry.
OpenAI began developing GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) in 2016, with the release of GPT-1 in 2018, and subsequent iterations eventually leading up to GPT-3.5, which paved the way for ChatGPT’s release in November 2022 as a digital agent capable of understanding natural language inputs and generating written responses to them. Despite some limitations, such as slow response time and difficulty with up-to-date facts, ChatGPT’s success has surpassed its state-of-the-art counterparts, Siri and Alexa.
By December 2022, ChatGPT hit massive usage numbers and surpassed 100 million monthly active users in just two months, being the fastest user adoption in Internet history. It was also able to pass law school exams, which caught the attention of tech giants like Microsoft, who invested $10 billion into its R&D partnership with OpenAI. In February, the program reached a billion users and became a key part of various tech companies, including BingChat and Opera, among others. In March, OpenAI announced ChatGPT Plus, a subscription-based service, and added plug-in and API support to enable developers to add it to their applications.
In the following months, there were ongoing challenges, with Italy banning ChatGPT over GDPR issues, and the app’s limited availability on desktop browsers being expanded to an iOS app and more countries. ChatGPT also faced controversies around data handling, communications about leaks, and training methods, leading to resignations from some of its senior employees and legal challenges by copyright holders. Despite these challenges, ChatGPT has proven to have a firm foundation.