The professional edition of ChatGPT, which is said to be faster and confer additional benefits to users, is set to cost $42 a month. OpenAI is rolling out the ‘Professional Plan’ of ChatGPT to some users with a number of benefits. Professional plan members will receive faster response times, and priority access to new features.
Earlier this month, MetaNews reported that OpenAI has plans to move to a subscription model to “continue improving and maintaining the service.” The service is now being rolled out as some users have already received an invitation to upgrade.
ChatGPT is rolling out a Pro subscription for $42/mo. Rolling out gradually, not everyone has it yet. A little bit of console magic, and I was able to enable it for myself, so it's not a fake 🙂 pic.twitter.com/ViPTmNWbYH
— Nick Maidanov (@NikoGenn) January 21, 2023
The professional service should also be more reliable than the standard service which throttles at peak times and frequently exceeds its available capacity. Screen captures taken by users who were offered the service show that the professional plan will be “available even when demand is high.”
In an unusual step, OpenAI has refrained from making an official announcement regarding the launch. The last official reference of ChatGPT Professional appears to have come from company President Greg Brockman earlier this month.
“Working on a professional version of ChatGPT; will offer higher limits & faster performance,” said Brockman on January 11.
Since then there has been no additional word from either Brockman, company CEO Sam Altman, the company website, or its social media channels.
The lack of an official announcement might leave room for skepticism about whether the rollout has actually occurred, but this would seem unwarranted given the volume and quality of evidence from user accounts.
One user named Zahid Khawaja went as far as to post a video screen-capture of his experience on ChatGPT Professional.
Here's how ChatGPT Pro works! A lot of users were asking me for proof, so I decided to make a video. pic.twitter.com/QYNn3pRnxI
— Zahid Khawaja (@chillzaza_) January 21, 2023
Given the hype wave that ChatGPT now seems to be surfing, not making an official announcement and inviting further speculation from an excited public, may be the wiser marketing strategy.
The rollout of a subscription model for ChatGPT comes hotly on the heels of further investment from Microsoft.
On Monday Microsoft announced the ‘third phase’ of its long-term partnership with OpenAI in a ‘multibillion dollar’ deal. Microsoft failed to put a specific cost figure on the terms of their third phase contract but it has widely been reported to be in the region of $10 billion.
As MetaNews reported last week, the terms of that deal will include an aggressive cost recovery program. With such a huge investment in the company, the need for recouping that money swiftly becomes self-evident. That program will see 75% of company profits funneled back to Microsoft until their capital injection is recovered.
According to OpenAI Sam Altman, the cost of maintaining ChatGPT on an ongoing basis is said to be “eye-watering.”
Microsoft plans to fold AI solutions into its long-running services. The software firm is planning to incorporate ChatGTP functionality into the Bing search engine as the firm seeks to steal market share from Google.
Free rivals are still available
A free version of ChatGPT is still available to users, but for those who wish to look further afield, alternatives are available.
You.com is one of the major competitors in the market, combining the features of Google and ChatGPT in one platform. You.com and YouChat got a jump on the market by being one of the first chatbots to launch in the wake of ChatGPT.
One of the main differentiators to ChatGPT is that YouChat offers links to supporting evidence and research papers. On the negative side, YouChat occasionally cites ghost papers that do not actually exist.
Another competitor AI in the field is Claude. Its parent company Anthropic was founded by former members of the OpenAI team, and it claims to offer better answers and analysis thanks to its Constitutional AI model.