Since ChatGPT first launched in late November, the platform has acquired millions of users, stretching the limits of the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot to the point where new users must join a waitlist, and existing users sometimes get stuck in long queues. But not anymore. For $20 a month, you can skip the line, get faster responses, and enjoy reliable access.
On February 1st, OpenAI, the maker of the widely popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, announced ChatGPT Plus. This monthly subscription program gives users priority access without getting the “ChatGPT is at capacity right now” error, even during peak times.
In addition to priority access during peak times, subscribers have early access to the chatbot’s new features and improvements.
The subscription-based service, however, comes with a hefty price tag – $20 per month or $240 per year. According to OpenAI, offering a premium version of ChatGPT will support the cost of running the free version.
The free version will still be available if you rarely use ChatGPT or are willing to wait for a few hours during peak times.
Although there is no exact launch date yet, OpenAI revealed that the paid tier would first launch in the United States, expanding to other countries later.
Avid US-based ChatGPT users can now join the waitlist for ChatGPT Plus by completing the form in their announcement.
ChatGPT is made by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based research lab backed by Microsoft. Thanks to user-friendliness, free access, and human-like, conversational responses, it went viral in late November last year.
To use ChatGPT, you just ask the chatbot a question or give it instructions, and it returns a response to your query. The technology is so robust that it can answer various questions, including solving math problems, writing essays, and explaining complex topics. Amazingly, it can also produce programming code.
ChatGPT does have limitations. It cannot provide references, and sources and the responses may generate outdated or wrong information. Some of its knowledge is limited as OpenAI only trained the tool through 2021. For instance, if you ask, “who is United Kingdom’s prime minister,” the response is Boris Johnson, but Johnson already stepped down in July 2022.
The popularity of the AI tool continues to soar. According to an analysis by UBS, the AI chatbot amassed an estimated 100 million users in January, just two months after its launch. For comparison, TikTok took nine months to reach the same number.
Due to the popularity of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s valuation has doubled from $14 billion in 2021 to $29 billion. In a recent report, Microsoft is set to release a new version of Bing with ChatGPT technology integrated into the search engine.
ChatGPT has put search engines on high alert since it removes the need to open a window, go to Google (or other search engines), input your query, and check the search results one by one. In December, Google issued a “Code Red” in response to ChatBot’s probability of disrupting traditional search engines. In early February, Google announced a ChatGPT competitor, Bard, that seeks to enhance Google’s search results.
ChatGPT is also surrounded by controversies and concerns. In December 2022, Stack Overflow, a website where programmers can ask and answer questions, temporarily banned the use of ChatGPT, citing that “the average rate of getting correct answers from ChatGPT is too low.”
In early January, the New York City Public Schools also blocked the AI tool, citing cheating concerns and the accuracy of the responses. They also added that it doesn’t help with “critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.”
The Rise of AI Writing Tools and The Need for a Human’s Touch
Using AI to produce content is not something new; it dates back to the 1960’s when MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum introduced ELIZA, a simple chatbot that uses natural language processing (NLP). It mimicked human conversation by pairing the entered word with possible scripted responses.
Today, many AI writing tools have varying features and capabilities to produce long-form content, listicles, essays, social media captions, product descriptions, ad copies, and other types of written content.
Despite being able to generate content in mere seconds, many AI writing content tools are missing one key ingredient – a human’s personal touch.
Many AI writing content tools use machine learning programs to scour the internet for information relevant to the requested article topic. They then use natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG) methods to stitch the details together, making the generated content as “human” as possible.
Some of the outputs are accurate and concise. However, others produce random and repetitive paragraphs and even disparaging remarks.
Since ChatGPT relies on large language models (LLMs) to analyze and search for statistical regularities in text, using a grammar checker like Grammarly and a human editor ensures that the generated content is flawless and in line with the brand’s voice.
Fact-checking is also crucial since inaccuracies and ambiguities can still occur, as many AI writing tools like ChatGPT do not provide proper citations.