Feb 1 (Reuters) – ChatGPT, the popular chatbot from OpenAI, is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after launch, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history, according to a UBS study on Wednesday.
The report, citing data from analytics firm Similarweb, said an average of about 13 million unique visitors had used ChatGPT per day in January, more than double the levels of December.
"In 20 years following the internet space, we cannot recall a faster ramp in a consumer internet app," UBS analysts wrote in the note.
It took TikTok about nine months after its global launch to reach 100 million users and Instagram 2-1/2 years, according to data from Sensor Tower.
ChatGPT can generate articles, essays, jokes and even poetry in response to prompts. OpenAI, a private company backed by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), made it available to the public for free in late November.
[1/2]An illustration projected on a screen shows a robot hand and a human one moving towards each others during the "AI for Good" Global Summit at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva, Switzerland, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse Acquire Licensing Rights
On Thursday, OpenAI announced a $20 monthly subscription, initially for users in the United States only. It would provide a more stable and faster service as well as the opportunity to try new features first, the company said.
Analysts believe the viral launch of ChatGPT will give OpenAI a first-mover advantage against other AI companies. The growing usage, while imposing substantial computing cost on OpenAI, has also provided valuable feedback to help train the chatbot's responses.
The company said the subscription revenue would help cover the computing cost.
Availability of the tool has raised questions about facilitation of academic dishonesty and misinformation.
Last month, Microsoft announced another multi-billion-dollar investment in OpenAI in the form of cash and provision of cloud computing.
Reporting by Krystal Hu in Toronto; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Bradley Perrett
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Krystal reports on venture capital and startups for Reuters. She covers Silicon Valley and beyond through the lens of money and characters, with a focus on growth-stage startups, tech investments and AI. She has previously covered M&A for Reuters, breaking stories on Trump's SPAC and Elon Musk's Twitter financing. Previously, she reported on Amazon for Yahoo Finance, and her investigation of the company's retail practice was cited by lawmakers in Congress. Krystal started a career in journalism by writing about tech and politics in China. She has a master's degree from New York University, and enjoys a scoop of Matcha ice cream as much as getting a scoop at work.
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