How much does ChatGPT cost to run? Quite a lot of money. Like, billions – here’s why…

When you have a potentially world-changing technology on your hands that has the latent capabilities to make tens of millions of human beings completely redundant, the last thing you want to be thinking about is operating costs.

But OpenAI is a company just like any other company. It has costs, it has to pay its staff, and it is has to invest in R&D and servers. And it is now even spending money on a free ChatGPT detection tool, known as Classifier.

But how much does it cost to run ChatGPT?

Let’s take a look at some of the figures that have made their way into the public domain and break down the costs of what it costs to run something like ChatGPT…

How Much Does It Cost To Run ChatGPT?

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Back in 2015, Elon Musk, together with Peter Thiel, and a host of additional AI specialists, including Greg Brockman, Sam Altman, and Jeff Dean, secured $1 billion in seed capital to get OpenAI up and running.

Since then, Microsoft has ploughed in tons of investor money, apparently in the billions of dollars. But these figures, while massive to normal people like you and I, represent loose change when you’re dealing with a company OpenAI.

You then have staff costs to think about, R&D costs, renting buildings, and, potentially the biggest current cost right now, server and GPU costs which, according to some reports, total around $100,000 a day (or, $3 million per month).

As of right now, it is costing OpenAI around $3 million a month to run ChatGPT. But this is just a ballpark figure; the actual figure is probably double that once you factor in things like staffing costs, building leases, expenses, and health care plans.

And as more and more people start using ChatGPT, the running costs of the company will escalate. During its first week of launch, OpenAI secured one million ChatGPT users. In a year that figure could be a 30 times bigger, maybe more.

How Will OpenAI Monetize ChatGPT?

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This is why OpenAI has to monetize ChatGPT, otherwise it’ll just run out of money or have to sell off ChatGPT to the highest bidder.

As it stands, OpenAI has confirmed that a paid version of ChatGPT is coming – it’ll cost around $50 per month – but the future is still uncertain for OpenAI because of its status as a non-profit organisation.

Non-profits, regardless of size, can do exist in the technology space. Looking around the web, it would appear that OpenAI is keen on bolstering its coffers through a bunch of initiatives that include, but aren’t limited to, the following things:

  • Consulting with companies on artificial intelligence projects;
  • Licensing their technology to partners;
  • And, finally, developing applications for specific use cases.

Whatever happens with the company and the people involved, Pandora’s box has been officially opened, and AI tools like ChatGPT are here to stay. The next few years are going to be very, very interesting indeed…

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