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ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that has been causing waves in recent weeks, and now its developer OpenAI is reportedly preparing to monetize the model. This means the group will essentially start to charge money the natural language chatbot.

“Our goal is to continue improving and maintaining the service, and monetization is one way we’re considering to ensure its long-term viability,” the company confirmed on its Discord.

OpenAI will maintain the free version of ChatGPT, which is currently in preview and available to the public. Alongside that open version, the company will have a premium version known as ChatGPT Professional.

In a waitlist OpenAI published, the company says it will have several pro-level benefits including faster responses, unlimited messages, and constant availability (ChatGPT currently has “blackouts”). The company will now create a pilot program and select users who have indicated they will pay for the additional benefits.

ChatGPT is an OpenAI project that is built on top of the GPT-3 autocomplete text generator. A demo of the chatbot was released in late November and is available from OpenAI here (log in required). However, concerns over the accuracy of its responses led to Stack Overflow temporarily banning the chatbot last month, while the New York City education department has also banned the bot.

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In recent weeks, Microsoft has been working closely with OpenAI, including an integration with ChatGPT into Bing. As I reported this week, Microsoft is also working on bringing elements of GPT AI into Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Microsoft is a major partner with OpenAI. The company a $1 billion investor in the AI research group in 2019, allowing Azure to power all cloud services from the open-source organization. Microsoft also has an exclusive license of the GPT-3 API from OpenAI.

Microsoft is also reported to be seeking to invest $10 billion into OpenAI. However, in return the company wants 49% of all profits from services such as ChatGPT.

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