With the launch of ChatGPT a year ago, OpenAI introduced the world to the idea of an AI chatbot that can seemingly do anything. Now, the company is launching a platform to create custom versions of ChatGPT for specific use cases, with no coding required.
In the coming weeks, these AI agents, which is OpenAI calling GPT, will be accessible through the GPT Store. Details on what the store will look and function are scarce for now, although OpenAI promises to eventually pay creators an unspecified amount based on how much their GPTs are used. GPTs will be available to paying ChatGPT Plus subscribers and OpenAI enterprise customers, who can create internal-only GPTs for their employees.
The custom GPTs were announced Monday at DevDay, OpenAI’s first developer conference in San Francisco, where the company also announced a cheaper, turbocharged GPT-4, lower prices for developers who use its models in their applications, and the news that ChatGPT has reached a staggering 100 million weekly users.
“Since the launch of ChatGPT, people have been asking for ways to customize ChatGPT to fit the specific ways they use it,” OpenAI said in a statement shared with The edge. “We launched custom instructions in July that allowed you to set some preferences, but requests for more control kept coming. Many advanced users maintain a carefully crafted list of messages and sets of instructions and manually copy them into ChatGPT. GPTs now do all that for you.”
During a recent demo I received of OpenAI’s GPT platform, a bot called “Creative Writing Coach” critiqued an uploaded PDF of a writing sample. Over a period of about two minutes, I watched another GPT go live to help attendees navigate DevDay. The platform automatically named the bot “Event Navigator,” generated a profile image using DALL-E, and ingested a PDF attachment with the event schedule to report its responses.
OpenAI’s interface allows you to guide how you want a GPT to interact with people before publishing. The DevDay Event Navigator agent I saw during my demo was instructed to be helpful and concise and to avoid scheduling conflicts. OpenAI automatically generated several conversation starter messages, such as “What’s the first session today?”
Each GPT can be granted access to web browsing, DALL-E, and OpenAI’s Code Interpreter tool to write and run software. There is also a “Knowledge” section in the creator interface to upload custom data, such as the DevDay event calendar. With another feature called Actions, OpenAI allows GPTs to connect to external services to access data like emails, databases, and more, starting with Canva and Zapier.
The introduction of custom GPTs means that OpenAI now competes with other AI bot platforms such as Character.AI and Meta, which recently introduced a host of their own AI characters to WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. OpenAI is positioning its platform as more utility-focused than its competitors, rather than emphasizing bots that act like people, although it’s not against people building GPTs with human-like personas.
OpenAI now competes with other AI bot platforms like Character.AI and Meta
GPT creators won’t be able to see the chats people have with them, and it’s unclear what high-level usage data they’ll have access to. OpenAI says it will monitor activity to block things like fraud, hate speech, and “adult themes.” When the GPT Store launches in the future, OpenAI will only accept agents from people who have verified their identity. Initially, GPTs will be accessible through shareable web links.
Ultimately, OpenAI sees its GPT platform as bringing it one step closer to its ultimate goal: creating an AI superintelligence, or AGI. Restricting access to paid subscribers should also help boost the company’s revenue, which is already accelerating rapidly, moving forward. reportedly seeks an investor valuation of up to $90 billion.