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OpenAI launches GPT Store

Creating its own GPTs effectively democratizes the creation of generative AI applications – at least for products that use the OpenAI family of models.

OpenAI plans to launch a store for custom apps based on its AI models (like GPT-4) this week.

In an email obtained by TechCrunch, OpenAI said that developers building their GPT-based apps will have to review updated terms of use and brand guidelines to make sure their GPTs are compliant before they’re eligible for listing on the store, which is aptly named the GPT Store. They will also have to check their user profile and make sure their GPTs are published as “public”.

The GPT Store was announced last year during OpenAI’s first annual developer conference, but its launch was later delayed – almost certainly due to a management reshuffle that took place in November.

Third-party GPTs don’t require programming experience and can be as simple or complex as the developer wishes. For example, a GPT can be trained on a collection of cookbooks so it can answer questions about ingredients for a particular recipe. Or the GPT can be given the company’s own codebases so developers can check their style or generate code according to best practices.

Developers can simply type in plain language the features they want to offer in their GPT, and OpenAI’s GPT creation tool, GPT Builder, will attempt to create an AI-based chatbot to execute them. Shortly after DevDay, developers were given the ability to create GPTs and share them with others via the ChatGPT website, but not to publish them publicly.

It’s not yet clear whether the GPT Store will operate under any revenue-sharing scheme. In November, Altman and CTO Mira Murati said they had no firm plan to monetize GPT, and an email about the upcoming launch of the GPT Store made no mention of what developers can expect in terms of payments – if anything. An OpenAI spokesperson said details will be available at a later date.

OpenAI’s move from AI model provider to platform was certainly interesting, but not entirely unexpected. The startup announced its ambitions in March by launching plugins for ChatGPT, its AI-powered chatbot, which for the first time let third-party developers use OpenAI’s models.

Creating its own GPTs effectively democratizes the creation of generative AI applications – at least for products that use the OpenAI family of models. In fact, GPTs could destroy companies whose business models are based on creating, in effect, GPTs for customers. Is that a good thing? It’s hard to say. We’ll have to wait to see how this plays out.

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