OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, announced on Wednesday that it is testing a $20 monthly subscription plan that offers users priority access to the AI chatbot even during peak hours.
The paid plan, called ChatGPT Plus, comes two months after the tool was launched publicly and quickly went viral, thanks to its ability to generate surprisingly convincing essays in response to user prompts.
Many people who wanted to try the tool were blocked or joined the waiting list. Now anyone who signs up for a subscription will benefit from faster response times and priority access to new features and enhancements.
However, the tool will remain free to the general public.
“We love our free users and will continue to offer free access to ChatGPT,” the company said in a blog post. “By offering this subscription price, we will be able to help support the availability of free access to as many people as possible.”
ChatGPT Plus will be available first in the United States and in other countries soon after, according to the company. OpenAI said it will start inviting people from its waiting list in the coming weeks. The company also said that it is “actively exploring options for lower-cost plans, business plans, and data packages for higher availability.”
“The ChatGPT preview allowed us to learn from real-world usage, and we’ve made important improvements and updates based on feedback,” the company said in a statement to CNN.
Since it became available in late November, ChatGPT has been used to generate original essays, stories, and song lyrics in response to user input. He has written summaries of research papers that misled some scientists. Some CEOs have even used it to write emails or do accounting tasks.
While it has gained traction with users, it has also raised some concerns, including inaccuracies, its potential to perpetuate bias and spread misinformation, and the ability to help students cheat.
Earlier this week, OpenAI announced a new feature, called the “AI text classifier,” that allows users to check whether an essay was written by a human or an AI. The launch came amid concerns that the AI chatbot could help students and professionals generate compelling essays. The new tool, however, is “imperfect,” according to the company.