ChatGPT continues to generate interest world over with China topping the list in search volumes for the chatbot in the last 90 days. Ironically, ChatGPT is not allowed in China although the market still access it through VPN.
Latest data shows searches for ChatGPT on Google have risen sharply over the last three months as China, Taiwan and Japan are leading the way with the largest search volume.
According to Google Trends, ChatGPT surpassed both crypto and metaverse for the popular search terms for most of the previous 90 days. The global Google searches for the word ‘ChatGPT’ peaked at a popularity score of 100 for China as of Apr. 19, followed by Singapore at 23, then Nepal, Hong Kong and Taiwan with a score of 20, 19, and 17 respectively.
As of Apr. 12, ChatGPT had an overall score of 95. That compares to a score of 8 for crypto, 1 for metaverse and 1 for web3.
This is significant. At the beginning of November, when ChatGPT launched, the tool had a score of under 1. At the time, Bitcoin’s popularity score was 94. Search terms such as “crypto” and “Bitcoin” have declined in recent months, mainly due to the current bear market and overtaken by ChatGPT.
This comes as chatbots are becoming increasingly popular as a way to provide customer service, automate mundane tasks, and even provide entertainment.
“If you search for ChatGPT interest in the past 90 days, China obliterates interest compared to any other country,” writes AI enthusiast Rowan Cheung in a Twitter post.
According to the Google search data, crypto search volumes dominated in Canada, the US, Russia, parts of South America, Australia and a few countries in Africa.
While ChatGPT search volumes have been dominating in Japan, the region has also seen marginal interest in Web 3 and the metaverse.
“When people try to compare AI to crypto, I’ll just show them this chart. Crypto benefits from cycles, while generative AI will only continue to improve.
“And we’re just getting started. The impact of AI is incomparable to anything we’ve ever seen,” added Cheung.
The irony of China and its ChatGPT stance
Despite topping searches on the chatbot, Chinese authorities reportedly clamped down on access to ChatGPT, with tech firms and universities in that country now pushing forward with developing domestic AI bots.
However, that has not stopped interest in the country with many accessing it via VPNs, and some third party developers had produced programs that gave some access to the service.
“This is wild considering you can’t even access ChatGPT in China without a VPN (and VPN access is regulated),” said John Wires responding to Cheung’s tweet.
Others have speculated: “This is why it’s so weird. I wonder if CCP has to do with it, I bet they want to get their hands on it.”
Major tech firms including WeChat’s parent company, Tencent and Ant Group have been ordered to cut access to the programs. State media in China has also previously explained on the dangers of ChatGPT as a tool with potential to enable the US to “spread false information.”
Although the Microsoft-backed OpenAI does not allow users in China to create accounts to access the chatbot, the open AI models behind the program are relatively accessible and are increasingly being incorporated into Chinese consumer tech applications.
Other firms are coming up with their home-grown alternatives. Last month, search engine giant Baidu availed its much awaited AI powered chatbot known as Ernie Bot, which could be China’s strongest rival to ChatGPT.
Tencent Holdings was also reported to have established a team to work on a ChatGPT-like chatbot.
The future of ChatGPT
On the 30th of November, OpenAI launched its ChatGPT to immediate success creating a blizzard on the internet world over. The chatbot broke records reaching a million users within a week of its launch.
In a blogpost, Alexandra Baruffati expounds how the technology, which has taken the global market by storm is likely to stay, with new updates coming out, as it maintains its dominance.
As of March, ChatGPT was attracting an estimated 96 million visitors per month showing it’s a popular platform for users seeking answers to queries that Google does not provide. By the end of the year 2024, OpenAI’s revenue is expected to increase to $1 billion from the projected $200 million in 2023 and experts say reaching this mark will signal a major milestone for the company and could lead to increased investment and further innovation in the field of AI.
With an estimated accuracy rate of 85%, the chatbot can write flawless code snippets, making it a valuable tool for software engineering.
Overall, chatbot retail sales are projected to increase by 98% annually, reaching $112 billion in FY23.
“This speaks to the immense growth of the AI market and the increasing demand for AI-powered solutions,” writes Alexandra.
“It is a clear indication that conversational AI is here to stay and will continue to be a major player in the tech industry for years to come.”