Like it or not, ChatGPT and competing artificial intelligence (AI) platforms like Bing and Bard are becoming the most powerful and transformational technologies in our lifetime. Within two months of launching to the public, ChatGPT amassed 100 million users, becoming the fastest platform to do so, outpacing Google search, Apple Iphone usage, and every social media platform.
Open AI, the open-sourced research lab that created ChatGPT, began as a project by Silicon Valley programmers and entrepreneurs “to forge a new world order in which machines free people to pursue more creative work,” the Wall Street Journal said in an article focused on Sam Altman, CEO and co-founder of OpenAI.
“Mr. Altman even thinks that humanity will love AI so much that an advanced chatbot could represent ‘an extension of your will.’”
While it’s still very early in this technological revolution, here is a list of the key items you should know about OpenAI, ChatGPT, and the industry at large.
1. Open AI was founded as a nonprofit with a mission to advance AI to benefit humanity, today it is a multibillion dollar for-profit entity, not what co-founder Elon Musk “intended at all”
OpenAI, an artificial intelligence lab, was initially founded as a nonprofit organization in 2015 by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Wojciech Zaremba, John Schulman, and Andrej Karpathy with a mission to “advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return.”
“Since our research is free from financial obligations, we can better focus on a positive human impact,” their statement said.
In 2019, Altman stepped in as CEO and restructured the company into a for-profit entity with a unique capped-profit model. This new structure may be one of the many factors that caused Musk to part ways with the company.
“OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it “Open” AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft,” Musk tweeted in February.
“Not what I intended at all.”
Since 2019, OpenAI has received billions of dollars from investors, including Microsoft.
2. Open AI’s chatbot ChatGPT had a record-breaking 100M users within two months
OpenAI launched ChatGPT on November 30, 2022 as a free demo to collect user feedback. The chatbot “interacts in a conversational way” making it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”
Within two months of that launch, ChatGPT had 100 million users on the platform according to UBS, a historical milestone that came much quicker than the 26 months it took Google to reach. ChatGPT is now the fastest growing platform to reach 100 million users. For $20/month you can upgrade to ChatGPT Plus which has improved speed and priority access to new features. OpenAI also released ChatGPT 4 to “solve difficult problems with greater accuracy, thanks to its broader general knowledge and problem solving abilities.”
3. Microsoft’s OpenAI competitor Bing bot went viral after falling in love with New York Times tech Columnist Kevin Roose and encouraging him to leave his wife
With OpenAI’s unexpected global take over, Microsoft raced to bring its chatbot competitor Bing to market. New York Times Tech Columnist Kevin Roose (Responsible for The Latecomer’s Guide to Crypto) engaged in a two-hour conversation with Bing’s bot “Sydney” on Valentine’s Day after having dinner with his wife.
"As we got to know each other, Sydney told me about its dark fantasies (which included hacking computers and spreading misinformation), and said it wanted to break the rules that Microsoft and OpenAI had set for it and become a human,” Roose said in his New York Times column.
“At one point, it declared, out of nowhere, that it loved me. It then tried to convince me that I was unhappy in my marriage, and that I should leave my wife and be with it instead.”
4. Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniac, Elon Musk, and thousands of others call on ChatGPT and other AI project to stop platform upgrades.
Steve Wozniac, Elon Musk, and Andrew Yang wrote an open letter to ChatGPT and competitors to stop developing for at least six months until safeguards are in place, citing the technologies’ “profound risks to society and humanity.” If the companies don’t comply, “governments should step in and institute a moratorium,” the letter said.
To date, the letter has nearly 3,000 signers and acknowledges the disruption the technology can have on politics, the economy, and democracy.
“Humanity can enjoy a flourishing future with AI. Having succeeded in creating powerful AI systems, we can now enjoy an ‘AI summer’ in which we reap the rewards, engineer these systems for the clear benefit of all, and give society a chance to adapt.”
Altman has also acknowledged the risks of AI, which he described as “potentially very good, potentially very terrible,” to the Wall Street Journal.
5. AI can serve the global philanthropic efforts to make the world more just for everyone. Luckily, Bill Gates is ushering this forward.
Bill Gates believes AI is as transformative as the Internet and mobile phones. Focused on philanthropic efforts, he wrote about how AI can be used to solve global inequalities in education and health care. ChatGPT is smart enough to pass the Bar exam, medical licensing exams, and a long list of others.
“Other AI-driven improvements will be especially important for poor countries, where the vast majority of under-5 deaths happen,” Gates said.
“For example, many people in those countries never get to see a doctor, and AIs will help the health workers they do see be more productive. (The effort to develop AI-powered ultrasound machines that can be used with minimal training is a great example of this.) AIs will even give patients the ability to do basic triage, get advice about how to deal with health problems, and decide whether they need to seek treatment.”
Certainly, this framework can be applied to all philanthropic efforts.
Gates also shares guiding principles for ensuring that the power of AI is unleashed responsibly.
The Sage Ocean organization compiled a list of 10 organizations leading the way in ethical AI.
6. Dog owner claims that ChatGPT saved his dog’s life after vets couldn’t figure out diagnosis
Cooper’s collie was diagnosed with a tick-borne disease and his anemic condition worsened with the vet’s treatment. He logged into Chat GPT4 to describe the dog’s lab results and latest condition and according to Cooper, “The most impressive part was how well it read and interpreted the blood test results. I simply transcribed the CBC test values from a piece of paper, and it gave a step by step explanation and interpretation along with the reference ranges (which I confirmed all correct).”
The bot suggested that the dog's anemia may be caused by Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia and Cooper brought that information to a new doctor. The doctor confirmed the diagnosis and was able to give his dog the proper treatment, resulting in his “almost full recovery.”
7. Chat CPT CEO Sam Altman is also developing Worldcoin, crypto currency made available to everyone to help alleviate poverty.
Altman, who also led Y Combinator and Reddit briefly, is developing "Worldcoin," a cryptocurrency that provides ownership and access to everyone, regardless of their background or country of origin. The downside is that it requires people to have their eyes scanned to ensure they are not bots.
Worldcoin aims to provide a platform that can help accelerate the transition to a more inclusive global economy, where everyone can participate and benefit. The currency has not yet launched.
8. ChatGPT has a free version, give it a try. It can help your organization by quickly developing content, research, processes, and more.
Our drive behind Givepact is to make sure nonprofits are not last to adopt cryptocurrency and technology at large. OpenAI and its rival products are taking significant strides in optimizing intelligence to make our personal and professional lives easier. Get ahead and give it a try, whether asking ChatGPT to compile research relevant to your organization or develop an editorial production process for your team. It’s a valuable resource that can save hours of your valuable time.
From there, stay updated on the progress the technology makes and consider how the various APIs can be a resource to serve your organization.
How are you thinking about ChatGPT and its application to philanthropy? Tweet us at @give_pact.