OpenAI introduces the ChatGPT API at very low prices

OpenAI has released APIs for ChatGPT and Whisper (which performs speech-to-text conversion) at a price the company says is 10 times cheaper than its existing models.

“ChatGPT and Whisper models are now available on our API, giving developers access to cutting-edge speech (not just chat!) and speech-to-text capabilities,” the company said in a blog post. “Through a series of system-wide optimizations, we’ve achieved a 90% cost reduction for ChatGPT since December; We’re now passing those savings on to API users. Developers can now use our open source Whisper Large v2 model in the API with much faster and cheaper results.”

Why we care. Chatbots for everyone! That’s good news for marketers, right? If OpenAI reduced the cost of their product by 90% in less than three months, they’ve done something just as revolutionary as developing their AI. It’s also possible they’ve lowered prices and are offering a decoy to ward off potential competitors. Whether or not that’s the case, it’s important to keep track of usage. Even at these prices, many users can quickly add up to a significant cost.

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The costs. The ChatGPT API costs $0.002 per 1,000 tokens, which are the message sequences with metadata that the model consumes. The Whisper Large V2 model costs $0.006 per minute. This is a huge reduction considering that Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, once estimated the computational cost to be a few cents per chat.

Already in use. Snapchat uses the ChatGPT API to power the My AI feature available to paying SnapChat+ users. Tutor Quizlet uses it for Q-Chat, a virtual tutor. Instacart will soon launch “Ask Instacart,” which will answer customer questions about recipes and grocery purchases with “shoppable” answers based on product data from the company’s retail partners.

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Also announced. OpenAI has also clarified some previous policies for their service. First, company data submitted via the API will no longer be used for model training or other service improvements unless organizations give their consent. Also, apps or services using ChatGPT must now make it clear to customers that they are interacting with a chatbot. This includes identifying all content created by ChatGPT — messages, blog posts, etc. — as being written by a bot.

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