OpenAI, the firm behind ChatGPT, announced on Wednesday that it is piloting a $20 monthly subscription plan that gives users priority access to the AI chatbot, even during peak times.
Dubbed ChatGPT Plus, the paid plan was launched two months after the tool was publicly released and became an instant hit, due to its ability to generate remarkably convincing essays in response to user prompts.
Many people who wanted to try it have been locked out or added to the waitlist. However, those who subscribe to the service will benefit from faster response times and priority access to new features and improvements.
The tool will remain free for the general public, however.
“We appreciate our free users and will continue to offer free access to ChatGPT,” the company said in a blog post. “By providing this subscription pricing, we will be able to support free access for as many people as possible.”
ChatGPT Plus will first be made available in the United States, with other countries to follow. OpenAI said it will begin inviting people from its waitlist in the coming weeks. The company is also “actively exploring options for lower-cost plans, business plans, and data packs for more accessibility.”
“The preview for ChatGPT allowed us to learn from real world use, and we’ve made important improvements and updates based on feedback,” the company said in a statement to CNN.
Since its launch in late November, ChatGPT has been used to generate original essays, stories and song lyrics in response to user prompts. It has even drafted research paper abstracts that fooled some scientists. Some CEOs have even used it to write emails or do accounting work.
While it has gained traction among users, it has also raised some concerns, such as inaccuracies, its potential to perpetuate biases and spread misinformation, and its ability to aid students in cheating.
Earlier this week, OpenAI unveiled a new feature, called an “AI text classifier,” that allows users to determine if a human or AI wrote an essay. This came in response to worries that the AI chatbot can help students and professionals generate convincing essays. The new tool, however, is “imperfect,” according to the company.