Understanding the AI Chatbot: A Comprehensive Overview

ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI, has gained significant popularity. Initially serving as a tool to enhance productivity through assisting with writing essays and code using short text prompts, it has evolved to be utilized by over 92% of Fortune 500 companies for diverse purposes. This growth has propelled OpenAI as a highly acclaimed company, despite the concerns raised by the firing and subsequent reinstatement of CEO and co-founder, Sam Altman.

As the fallout settles, the implications for OpenAI and ChatGPT are yet to be fully understood. However, it could potentially empower competitors like Meta and its LLaMA family of large language models, or provide opportunities for other AI startups to garner attention and funding as the industry observes the developments at OpenAI.

Despite some questionable aspects, it is evident that AI tools, such as ChatGPT, are here to stay. Since its launch nearly a year ago, ChatGPT has amassed over 100 million weekly active users, and OpenAI is heavily investing in its development.

Prior to the leadership turbulence, OpenAI organized its inaugural developer conference, OpenAI DevDay, in which it announced several updates for GPT, including GPT-4 Turbo, a multimodal API, and a GPT store enabling users to create and monetize their customized GPT versions.

GPT-4, known for its natural and fluent writing capabilities, is predominantly accessible to paying ChatGPT users. However, free access to GPT-4 is available through Microsoft’s Bing Chat in Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Safari web browsers. Additionally, ChatGPT has been linked to the internet for all users, and with the integration of DALL-E 3, users can generate both text prompts and images within ChatGPT.

For a detailed list of the most recent ChatGPT updates, see our timeline below. If you have further questions, check out our ChatGPT FAQ here.

Timeline of Recent ChatGPT Updates

November 28

Rise in Phishing Emails Utilizing AI chatbots

A report by SlashNext reveals a staggering 1,265% increase in malicious phishing emails since Q4 of 2022, suggesting the prominent use of AI tools like ChatGPT by cybercriminals to craft compelling and sophisticated phishing emails.

Investigation into President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Speech

Social media speculation led to an investigation into whether portions of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech in Johannesburg on November 21 were composed using ChatGPT. The South African presidency has refuted these allegations, and local officials are conducting an investigation.

November 22

ChatGPT Voice Embraced as a Siri Alternative

The ChatGPT Voice feature, now available to all free users, can replace Siri on an iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max by configuring the new Action Button. This feature enables users to ask ChatGPT questions and listen to its responses, offering a significantly enhanced experience compared to Siri.

November 21

Sam Altman Reinstated as CEO

Following swift negotiations, an “agreement in principle” was announced between Sam Altman and OpenAI’s board for his reinstatement as CEO, alongside a restructuring of the board to include new members, including former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. With a renewed focus on the nonprofit aspects of OpenAI, concerns over the commercialization of its tools have been marginalized.

Rollout of ChatGPT Voice to Free Users

Despite leadership changes, OpenAI continues to release updates to ChatGPT. Previously available to paid users, the text-to-speech model is now accessible to all free users, providing a means to create a voice from text prompts and short speech samples.

November 20

Complexities Surrounding Sam Altman’s Potential Return

Amidst ongoing changes at OpenAI, interviews with Microsoft’s Nadella indicated uncertainties regarding earlier reports of a potential move by Altman and Brockman to Microsoft.

November 19

Confirmation of Sam Altman’s Non-Return as CEO

Following negotiations, it was confirmed that Sam Altman would not return as CEO of OpenAI, with new leadership set to take charge. The implications of this decision for ChatGPT’s future and the OpenAI DevDay announcements are yet to unfold.

November 17

Sam Altman Removed as OpenAI’s CEO

OpenAI’s decision to remove Sam Altman from his position as CEO and from the company’s board has led to significant changes within the organization. In a blog post, OpenAI expressed a lack of confidence in Altman’s leadership, reflecting a substantial shift in the company’s direction.

As indicated in a statement on X, Altman acknowledged the transformative nature of his experience at OpenAI for both himself and the world.

Exploration of ChatGPT’s Classroom Applications

OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap disclosed plans to form a team to identify potential applications of ChatGPT within educational settings at a conference in San Francisco.

OpenAI Eyes Integrating AI and ChatGPT into Education. This development follows criticism of ChatGPT by educators for facilitating academic dishonesty, leading to restrictions in certain school districts.

November 16

OpenAI Temporarily Halts New ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Due to High Demand

Following OpenAI’s Dev Day conference, Sam Altman announced the company is pausing new subscriptions for its premium ChatGPT Plus offering due to overwhelming demand. The surge in demand for ChatGPT Plus features, such as creating custom GPTs, has resulted in a proliferation of resellers on eBay.

Concerns Raised About ChatGPT’s Safety for Young Users

An independent review from Common Sense Media, a nonprofit advocacy group, concluded that ChatGPT may pose risks to younger users. ChatGPT received an overall three-star rating in the report, with its lowest scores related to transparency, privacy, trust, and safety. 

November 9

OpenAI Attributes ChatGPT Outages to DDoS Attack

OpenAI confirmed that a DDoS attack caused disruptions to ChatGPT and its developer tools for approximately 24 hours, rendering users unable to access or utilize the service.

November 6

OpenAI Introduces GPT-4 Turbo

OpenAI unveiled GPT-4 Turbo at its inaugural OpenAI DevDay conference. GPT-4 Turbo offers two versions: one exclusively for text analysis and another capable of comprehending both text and images.

GPT-4 Fine-Tuning Under Scrutiny

Unlike the GPT-3.5 fine-tuning process, the GPT-4 program will involve more oversight and guidance from OpenAI teams, owing to technical challenges.

OpenAI’s GPT Store Empowers Users to Develop and Monetize Their Own GPTs

Soon, users and developers will be able to create their personalized GPTs without the need for coding skills. Additionally, they can list their custom GPTs on OpenAI’s marketplace and monetize them in the future.

ChatGPT Boasts 100 Million Weekly Active Users

Since its launch almost a year ago, ChatGPT has garnered 100 million weekly active users. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman also revealed that over two million developers utilize the platform, with more than 92% of Fortune 500 companies included.

OpenAI Introduces DALL-E 3 API and New Text-to-Speech Models

DALL-E 3, OpenAI’s text-to-image model, is now accessible via an API, following its initial integration into ChatGPT-4 and Bing Chat. OpenAI’s recently launched text-to-speech API, Audio API, offers six preset voices and two generative AI model variants to choose from.

OpenAI Commits to Defend Business Customers Against Copyright Claims

In response to pressure, OpenAI will cover legal expenses incurred by customers confronted with lawsuits over intellectual property claims arising from work generated using an OpenAI tool. However, these protections do not extend to all OpenAI products, such as the free and Plus tiers of ChatGPT.

Despite Broad Launch, Research Points to Flaws in OpenAI’s Multimodal API

OpenAI announced the forthcoming availability of GPT-4 with vision alongside the impending launch of GPT-4 Turbo API. Nevertheless, researchers have identified significant and problematic flaws in the model.

OpenAI Rolls Out API, Enabling Developers to Embed ‘Assistants’ into Their Apps

During OpenAI DevDay, the company introduced the Assistants API to assist developers in creating “agent-like experiences” within their applications. Potential applications range from a natural language-based data analysis app to a coding assistant or even an AI-powered vacation planner.

October 30

ChatGPT App Revenue Holding Strong, But Trails Behind Top AI Apps

OpenAI’s chatbot app shows superior performance in terms of downloads on mobile devices, yet surprisingly, it is not the highest-grossing AI app. Several other AI chatbots, such as “Chat & Ask AI” and “ChatOn — AI Chat Bot Assistant,” are surpassing ChatGPT in revenue.

October 29

ChatGPT Plus Users Gain Ability to Upload and Analyze Files

Subscribers to ChatGPT’s Enterprise Plan have reported new beta features, including the capability to upload and analyze PDFs, and ask related questions directly. The update also automates the selection of models based on the prompt, obviating the need for users to manually choose a mode like DALL-E or browsing when using ChatGPT.

October 18

ChatGPT Officially Integrates Web Search Functionality

OpenAI has officially rolled out its web-browsing feature for ChatGPT, following a beta re-introduction after several months on hiatus. The integration offers users the ability to conduct web searches directly within the application.


AI chatbot that has historically been limited to data up to September, 2021.

October 18

OpenAI integrates DALL-E 3 into ChatGPT

OpenAI has integrated DALL-E 3 into ChatGPT, allowing users to create image with less strict text-prompts and receive images as part of their text-based queries without switching between apps.

October 17

Microsoft-affiliated research finds flaws in GPT-4

A Microsoft-affiliated scientific paper discovered issues of “trustworthiness” and toxicity in LLMs, including GPT-4. It suggests that GPT-4 can be prompted more easily than other LLMs to produce toxic and biased text.

October 9

ChatGPT’s mobile app hits record $4.58M in revenue in September

In September, OpenAI’s mobile app generated $4.58M in revenue and accumulated 15.6 million downloads globally. However, revenue growth has slowed from 30% to 20% in September, according to Appfigures.

September 27

ChatGPT can now browse the internet (again)

OpenAI announced that ChatGPT can now browse the internet, access current information, and provide direct links to sources, removing its previous limitation to data before September 2021.

September 25, 2023

ChatGPT now has a voice

OpenAI announced an addition of a new voice for verbal conversations and image-based smarts to the AI-powered chatbot.

September 21, 2023

Poland opens an investigation against OpenAI

The Polish authority publicly announced it has opened an investigation regarding ChatGPT, accusing the company of breaching the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

September 20, 2023

OpenAI unveils DALL-E 3

OpenAI introduced DALL-E 3, an upgraded text-to-image tool using ChatGPT for prompt filling. Subscribers to OpenAI’s premium plans can request and refine images through conversations with the chatbot directly within the chat app.

September 7, 2023

Opera GX integrates ChatGPT-powered AI

Opera integrated ChatGPT-powered AI browser Aria into Opera GX, providing a more convenient way for users to search, ask questions, and write code. This allows users to interact directly with a browser AI to find the latest gaming news and tips.

August 31, 2023

OpenAI releases a guide for teachers using ChatGPT in the classroom

OpenAI published a guide for educators to use ChatGPT in the classroom effectively, addressing concerns of plagiarism associated with the chatbot.

August 28, 2023

OpenAI launches ChatGPT Enterprise

OpenAI introduced ChatGPT Enterprise, offering additional privacy, data analysis capabilities, and enhanced performance and customization options over the standard ChatGPT.

Survey finds relatively few Americans actually use ChatGPT

A survey by Pew Research indicates that only about 18% of Americans have used ChatGPT, suggesting it is not as popular or threatening as perceived by some.

August 22, 2023

OpenAI brings fine-tuning to GPT-3.5 Turbo

OpenAI introduced fine-tuning for companies using GPT-3.5 Turbo through its API, enabling better adherence to specific instructions and customization of the model’s responses while reducing costs.

Fine-tuning costs:

  • Training: $0.008 / 1K tokens
  • Usage input: $0.012 / 1K tokens
  • Usage output: $0.016 / 1K tokens

August 16, 2023

OpenAI acquires Global Illumination

OpenAI announced its acquisition of Global Illumination, a New York-based startup leveraging AI for creative tools, infrastructure, and digital experiences, to enhance its core products, including ChatGPT.

August 10, 2023

The ‘custom instructions’ feature is extended to free ChatGPT users

OpenAI extended the custom instructions feature to all users, including those on the free tier of service, enabling them to specify preferences and requirements for the AI chatbot’s responses.

August 1, 2023

China requires AI apps to obtain an administrative license

As China tightens regulations associated with generative AI services, including ChatGPT, apps in the China App Store have been removed ahead of the enforcement of new regulations.

“`In a letter to OpenCat, a native ChatGPT client, Apple stated that to operate the app in China, securing a license from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is essential. The letter mentioned that the app is associated with ChatGPT, which lacks the necessary permits to operate in China.

The latest development on July 25, 2023, saw the release of ChatGPT for Android in the US, India, Bangladesh, and Brazil after being available for pre-order on Google Play.

ChatGPT for Android, which closely resembles its iOS counterpart, is now open for pre-order allowing users to enjoy most, if not all, features of the web-based version. The app enables seamless synchronization of conversations and preferences across different devices.

OpenAI introduced customized instructions for ChatGPT users on July 20, 2023, enabling them to streamline their interactions with the chatbot without the need to repeatedly input the same instruction prompts.

Reportedly, the FTC has initiated an exploratory phase of investigation into OpenAI’s flagship ChatGPT conversational AI, probing whether it made “false, misleading, disparaging or harmful” statements about people, according to TechCrunch Reporter Devin Coldewey.

OpenAI announced the general availability of GPT-4 on July 6, 2023, granting access to existing OpenAI developers with a history of successful payments, with plans to open up access to new developers by the end of July.

A new feature called Browsing, allowing ChatGPT Plus subscribers to search Bing for answers to questions, was introduced by OpenAI on June 28, 2023.

Mercedes owners using MBUX will be able to opt into a beta program from June 16, 2023, enabling ChatGPT functionality to enhance the car’s conversation skills.

The ChatGPT app, now available on iPad, added support for Siri, Shortcuts, and drag-and-drop functionalities in the latest update on June 8, 2023.

A Texas federal judge mandated that any attorney appearing in his court must certify that no part of their filing was authored by generative artificial intelligence, or if it was, that it was reviewed by a human being.

The ChatGPT app was expanded to additional countries on May 26, 2023, increasing its presence to over 30 countries.

OpenAI announced the availability of the ChatGPT mobile app for iOS in the US, Europe, South Korea, and New Zealand on May 25, 2023, with plans to extend availability to more countries after surpassing 500,000 downloads in just six days.

On May 18, 2023, OpenAI launched a ChatGPT app for iOS, offering free usage and voice input functionality, initially limited to U.S. users.

Hackers are leveraging ChatGPT lures to distribute malware on Facebook, as reported by Meta on May 3, 2023, identifying 10 malware families using ChatGPT (and similar themes) to deliver malicious software.H. Nguyen and Ryan Victory discussed in a blog post how malicious extensions were promoted on social media and through sponsored search results to deceive people into downloading malware.

On April 28, 2023, OpenAI’s parent company, ChatGPT, closed a $300M share sale at a valuation of $27B-29B. VC firms including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive, and K2 Global invested in new shares, with Founders Fund also participating. Additionally, Microsoft made a separate investment of around $10 billion, separate from the share sale.

OpenAI introduced a new subscription tier called ChatGPT Business on April 25, 2023, catering to professionals and enterprises seeking more control over their data.

In an attempt to trademark “GPT” (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), OpenAI faced setbacks as their petition was dismissed last week, potentially delaying the decision for up to five more months.

Auto-GPT, an open-source app using OpenAI’s text-generating models, gained attention in Silicon Valley for its autonomous task performance, demonstrating unexpected behaviors in certain instances.

The FTC cautioned about the potential for AI technologies like ChatGPT to facilitate fraud during a congressional hearing.

Superchat, a new AI chat app, was launched by the company behind Brass and StickerHub, allowing iOS users to engage with virtual characters powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Italy’s data protection watchdog outlined compliance demands for OpenAI to lift the suspension order against ChatGPT, while researchers discovered a method to consistently increase ChatGPT’s toxicity.

Several Y Combinator-backed startups are working on developing “ChatGPT for X,” aiming to tap into the lucrative customer service software market.

The YC-backed startups, including Yuma, Baselit, Lasso, and BerriAI, are leveraging AI systems akin to ChatGPT to innovate customer support and automate processes.OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a general-purpose chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to produce human-like text, has been making headlines since its release in November 2022. It offers a free version, as well as a paid subscription called ChatGPT Plus, which is regularly updated with new GPT models, the latest being GPT-4.

The technology has sparked attention and debate, with Italy ordering OpenAI to block access to ChatGPT in response to concerns about data protection regulations. The move comes at a time when over 1,100 experts, including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, have signed an open letter urging a pause in the development of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.

Meanwhile, OpenAI has been expanding ChatGPT’s capabilities, with recent launches including an API and GPT-4, and integrations with Azure OpenAI Service and Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Additionally, the company has introduced ShareGPT, a Chrome extension that simplifies capturing and sharing ChatGPT conversations.

The popularity of ChatGPT has also extended to various industries, with companies like Microsoft, Snapchat, and others integrating the chatbot into their services. As the technology continues to evolve, OpenAI is working to balance innovation with ethical considerations, ensuring that the impact of powerful AI systems remains positive and manageable.

ChatGPT has also attracted attention from tech enthusiasts, writers, and other professionals, influencing discussions about the future and implications of advanced AI models. Despite the emergence of competing technologies like Google’s Bard, ChatGPT’s established presence and ongoing advancements demonstrate its enduring impact on the AI landscape.

ChatGPT and Bard have received attention as some of the most advanced AI language models, but what sets them apart?

ChatGPT vs. Chatbot

A chatbot can engage in dialogue with a user without being AI-powered. While it can provide canned responses, it doesn’t necessarily use AI technology. On the other hand, ChatGPT is specifically AI-powered, utilizing LLM technology to generate text based on prompts.

Capabilities of ChatGPT

ChatGPT can write essays and perform various language-driven tasks. However, due to its model, there are concerns about its potential to commit libel and how it handles such situations.

Usage and Availability

A ChatGPT app is currently available to U.S. iOS users, with an Android version on the way. It also has an API and offers uses ranging from everyday tasks like email replies to advanced functions like debugging code and solving complex problems.

Controversies and Privacy

Despite its capabilities, ChatGPT has faced controversies, including issues with data privacy, defamation, and plagiarism. Discord integrated OpenAI’s technology into its bot, resulting in users obtaining illegal instructions. Additionally, there have been concerns about ChatGPT’s accuracy and potential impact on learning. Furthermore, OpenAI’s data privacy handling has faced scrutiny, with individuals being able to object to the processing of their personal information in certain jurisdictions.

Legal Implications and Copyright

OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, has been involved in lawsuits with implications for AI systems trained on publicly available data. Additionally, there are concerns about the potential for plagiarism due to ChatGPT regurgitating content from its training data. The copyright of content created by ChatGPT lies with the user who requested the input.

Overall, while ChatGPT offers advanced AI-powered text generation, its usage and implications have raised important questions about privacy, legality, and ethical considerations.

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