A year of ChatGPT

Today marks the one-year anniversary of an event that changed the world forever: The UN bestowing the baguette with protected heritage status… just kidding. 

Driving the news: It’s (somehow only) been one year since OpenAI unlatched Pandora’s Box of generative AI and publicly released ChatGPT. The chatbot was an overnight sensation, gaining 1 million users in five days, peaking with 1.8 billion monthly users in May. 

  • Those ludicrously high user numbers have slipped slightly, but the bot remains popular. Per Similarweb data, openai.com is currently the 21st most-visited website.  

Big picture: ChatGPT spurred a year of AI fever, with tech giants like Google and Microsoft throwing caution to the wind — and putting a scare in some experts — to spawn a legion of imitators, including Bard, Ernie, Claude, and JimmyJohn (okay, we made that last one up). 

Why it matters: For most users, ChatGPT was likely the first time they had ever used that level of AI technology. The fact its existence has become normalized — and that the OG version even seems kinda quaint now — shows just how rapid AI development has been. 

What’s next: OpenAI will look to move on from the failed coup d'état against CEO Sam Altman as it tries to reach its goal of US$1 billion in revenue for 2024. Meanwhile, ChatGPT will sire many offspring as OpenAI lets developers build and sell custom GPT bots.—QH