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OpenAI’s Plan to Give Everyone Custom Chatbots Drops Next Week

The GPT Store, a marketplace of customizable versions of ChatGPT, is launching next week according to an email OpenAI sent to developers on Thursday, first reported by The Information. The GPT Store is part of CEO Sam Altman’s plan to give everyone AI agents that are useful and is OpenAI’s vision for the future.

“We know that people want AI that is smarter, more personal, more customizable, and can do more on your behalf,” Altman said on DevDay before introducing the GPT Store. “Eventually, you’ll just ask the computer for what you need and it’ll do all of these tasks for you.”

The GPT Store was first unveiled on Nov. 7 at OpenAI’s developer conference. Since then, developers have built thousands of GPTs with a wide range of uses from website building to tax advice. A key aspect of GPTs is that you can build them in plain English – no coding is required. Much like the flood of websites at the onset of the internet, some early adoptions of GPTs are very useful while some maybe shouldn’t exist.

The chaos at OpenAI in November starting with Altman’s sudden termination from the company caused the GPT Store’s opening delay. Altman describes the GPTs as the future of OpenAI and aims to address the major concern that ChatGPT is impressive but not useful. However, several question marks will have to be ironed out when the GPT Store goes public.

A big one is how the GPT Store plans to make money – kind of a key feature of a “store” after all. Currently, GPTs have only been available to ChatGPT Premium subscribers, who pay $20 a month for the service. But The GPT Store’s launch will open it up to free users, and it’s unclear how OpenAI plans to monetize it, especially because Altman promised to pay the best GPT developers.

“Revenue sharing is important to us,” Altman said on DevDay. “We’re gonna pay people who build the most useful and the most used GPTs a portion of our revenue.”

The GPT Store could end up looking a lot like Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. However, these models have come under fire for monopolistic practices in the last year, as developers were tired of paying significant fees to the larger companies. Fostering a competitive, flourishing environment is key for the GPT Store since OpenAI has come under fire for taking out small AI startups with product updates.

Another wrinkle in the GPT Store is that, like ChatGPT, it seems GPTs have some vulnerabilities. Hackers were able to get GPTs to spit out the instructions for how they were made, and any source documents used to build them. If these things have loose security, no one will want to build on them. OpenAI already patched the largest of these vulnerabilities, but they could be enough to scare off businesses from building GPTs.

Lastly, the main question underlying all of this is: will GPTs be useful? We’ve tested out some fun ones that work well but is their capability that much better than ChatGPT? That remains to be seen.

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