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OpenAI’s custom ‘GPTs’ take generative AI to another level

ChatGPT Plus subscribers can now utilise OpenAI’s flagship generative AI to create custom programs. Mere days into launch, the results are incredibly impressive.

Having gone from strength to strength since its inception, ChatGPT has taken arguably its greatest step forward this week by leveraging the boundless creativity of its users.

OpenAI’s first developer conference in San Francisco revealed that ChatGPT already boasts 100 million weekly users, while over 2 million developers – including most of the Fortune 500 companies – are currently building on the company’s API.

Simultaneously, new uses for ChatGPT are springing up by the hour courtesy of what OpenAI is calling ‘GPTs’ and the ingenuity of roughly 200,000 paying subscribers.

While generative AI to this point has largely been controlled by the tech’s proprietors, a new hands-off approach, not unlike Apple’s 2009 pivot to the App Store, will allow people to develop completely original programs on the fly, distribute them, and potentially make a buck in the process.

‘Since launching ChatGPT, people have been asking for ways to customize ChatGPT to fit specific ways that they use it,’ OpenAI said in a statement shared with The Verge. After holding all the cards for a year, GPTs is OpenAI finally showing its hand in that regard.

During the conference, CEO Sam Altman demoed the technology by creating a personalised ‘start-up mentor’ using the GPT builder in around four minutes.

A handful of conversational prompts and an uploaded lecture transcript were all that was required for the AI to start offering tailored, concise advice based on a user’s specific queries. Neat, eh?

Though Altman’s demeanour appeared casual and his prompts off-the-cuff, he shrewdly (and deliberately) highlighted how simple it could be for businesses to create an interactive company handbook on GPT and cut through potentially years of admin.

To someone who regularly sifts through company files, past emails, and cheat sheets scouring for different usernames and passwords, the possibility of an on-hand assistant capable of compartmentalising lengthy records and providing quick answers sounds like a dream.

In terms of the technology’s immense possibilities, this is basic too. It’s been a matter of days and yet people are already developing unique programs that may have once taken years and eye-watering financial outlays to achieve. The novel uses are endless.

Twitter (X, if you insist) user @geepytee uploaded a video replay of Lionel Messi scoring a goal frame by frame into GPT and it quickly created an original commentary to reflect the on-screen events. With further parameters to improve tone and style, it could become eerily good.

Another user called @skalskip92 created a ‘Chat with the Webcam’ application, in which the AI actually recognised household objects being held up to camera when quizzed.

App creator Nick Dobos made a convertor that instantly turns DALLE images into gifs, and @brettunhandled used the AI to create a ‘Coachella 2023 highlights’ playlist for Spotify, based on the lineup and online sentiments about the festival.

In terms of safeguards and limitations, OpenAI has loosely assured that anything in the realm of fraud, hate speech, or adult themes will be blocked – so those planning to mass produce malware code or deepfakes can, in the nicest way, jog on.

Provided the technology’s lack of regulation doesn’t throw up severe red flags in the months ahead, GPTs are sure to propel OpenAI and the wider landscape for generative AI to a whole new level in the public domain.

Nothing says confidence quite like a $90 billion call to investors in week one.