OpenAI’s Sam Altman surprised the DevDay audience a few months ago by announcing that the company will let anyone create custom ChatGPT experiences. These custom GPT versions would work like apps, following specific instructions to deliver specific information on a particular task. These custom GPTs would still be based on the same language models that ChatGPT uses. But rather than answering a wide range of prompts, they’ll deal only with specific tasks.
I thought that was a great development, so much so that I went on and got a ChatGPT Plus subscription to try them out. However, OpenAI wasn’t ready to roll out the GPT Store in November or December. The company had to deal with the whole Altman drama that followed DevDay. But the GPT Store will be available next week, so we’ll soon see these custom GPTs in action.
OpenAI sent emails to custom GPT builders on Thursday to inform them of the upcoming launch. The Information first reported on the matter.
The email then surfaced on social media, as seen below. OpenAI is informing a GPT developer that the GPT Store will launch next week. The email instructs them to review their GPT creation and ensure it’s ready to go.
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When I say developers, I don’t mean people who can code apps. With the GPT builder interface available via ChatGPT Plus, anyone can make custom GPTs. All you need is to type in instructions for how the custom ChatGPT version should behave. You don’t have to be an actual programmer to come up with great custom GPT ideas. That’s one of the perks of this type of AI product.
This is cool, just got an email from OpenAI
Looks like GPT’s are getting an App Store, coming soon
Wonder if this will be the first step towards their rumored hardware device with Microsoft? pic.twitter.com/GAH7oZfWsl
— Chris Frantz (@frantzfries) January 4, 2024
That said, it’s unclear how the GPT Store will work. I don’t mean just access, which might initially be limited to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. It would make sense to open it to all ChatGPT users, however. That’s the entire point of a marketplace.
After all, OpenAI wants to make money from its AI products, GPT Store included. Also, Altman mentioned plans to share revenue with builders at DevDay without going into specifics.
It’s unclear whether these custom GPTs will be free or access will cost. It’s reasonable to expect some GPT ideas to be worth paying for while others don’t. OpenAI will hopefully detail how the GPT Store will work.
There’s also the question of custom GPT data security. Early research into custom GPTs has shown that the AI can be fooled into providing the instruction set that turns the chatbot into a custom GPT. Hopefully, OpenAI has figured out how to prevent such abuse. Otherwise, anyone could just attempt to steal instruction data from a custom GPT and then build their own.
That said, the GPT Store is an interesting concept. It’s certainly something competitors don’t have right now and a way for ChatGPT to stand out. But we’ll have to wait and see whether custom GPTs take off or users will be happy with the regular, general ChatGPT experience they can get for free.