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ChatGPT Turns 1: A Timeline of Events From a Monumental First Year

To commemorate ChatGPT’s birthday, Boardroom highlights 10 milestones that the viral AI chatbot hit in its first year on the market.

One year ago today, OpenAI publicly launched ChatGPT.

If you didn’t know, ChatGPT stands for Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, and this is the company’s flagship AI-powered and text-generated chatbot, created to engage in a range of general topics with users. It feels like the AI chatbot and its parent company have taken over headlines for much longer than a year, yet at the same time it feels like yesterday that OpenAI shocked the world when the conversational AI platform went viral almost instantly.

Happy first birthday, ChatGPT.

Though much could be said about OpenAI at this time, Boardroom will celebrate ChatGPT’s birthday by highlighting 10 milestones that it hit in its first year on the market. And remember, all of this happened in a year. Where do you think the chatbot will be next year or in the next decade?

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ChatGPT Year 1 Milestones

Nov. 30, 2022: Launch

OpenAI announces the public launch of ChatGPT in a blog post on Nov. 30, 2022. This free version is powered by GPT-3.5 and is only accessible through its website. To start, it is only trained on data up until September 2021. The AI chatbot becomes an overnight success, attracting 1 million users in its first five days on the market. By December 2022, it surpasses 100 million monthly active users, becoming the fastest-growing consumer internet application ever.

Like many other new tech services, ChatGPT launched with a waiting list that granted people access over time.

Feb. 1, 2023: OpenAI Launches ChatGPT Plus

OpenAI launches a subscription service called ChatGPT Plus to monetize a higher tier of its AI chatbot. The subscription plan pilots at $20 per month and includes access to experimental versions of ChatGPT.

Most notably, at this time, subscribers could access to ChatGPT during peak times when the AI chatbot is otherwise not available to users accessing it for free.

March 1: An API Arrives

OpenAI releases an API for ChatGPT that allows any business, organization, or developer to integrate its tech into their already-developed apps and products. One of the first API adopters includes Snap, which used ChatGPT’s API to create its own AI chatbot offering within Snapchat called My AI.

March 14: GPT-4 Launches

OpenAI launches GPT-4, its newest AI model, which the company continues to fine-tune throughout the year. This AI model can analyze text, images, and voice commands. GPT-4 is available at a limited capacity to ChatGPT Plus users and via the API. GPT-4 does come with a message limit, though. At launch, ChatGPT Plus subscribers were limited to 100 messages every four hours, but that has been changed to 50 messages every three hours as of November 2023.

GPT-4’s biggest distinction from GPT-3.5 is that it’s trained on data up until April 2023.

May 18: iOS Launch

OpenAI launches its ChatGPT mobile app in the US for iPhone users. The app later expands to iPad users as well. The app version of the AI chatbot is free to use, doesn’t have any advertisements, and includes voice-to-text capabilities. The app has now expanded to allow users to carry out voice conversations with the product using a speech recognition system called Whisper, which responds in a handful of voices. The app can also sync users’ history across devices.

By the end of May, ChatGPT’s app expands to nearly 50 more countries. In September, ChatGPT’s mobile app hits $4.6 million in revenue and 15.6 million downloads.

July 25: App Access Rolls out on Android

OpenAI expands its mobile ChatGPT app to the Google Play store and Android users. The Android-based app first launches in the US, India, Bangladesh and Brazil before expanding to more regions.

August 28: ChatGPT Enterprise arrives

OpenAI launches ChatGPT Enterprise, a new offering that grants enterprises unlimited access to GPT-4 with extra layers of security and privacy. This is a more business-focused version of ChatGPT, and it comes with data analysis capabilities. ChatGPT Enterprise also comes with more customization options.

October 18: Internet Browsing Returns

Earlier this year, OpenAI released a plugin that connects ChatGPT to the internet to extend its capabilities to third-party knowledge. API developers and ChatGPT Plus users were the first to gain access before the AI company took the feature offline to address some glitches. OpenAI regranted ChatGPT’s browser access, this time for everyone.

With this new feature, OpenAI says ChatGPT’s data no longer caps at September 2021, as it can access real-time data via the web. OpenAI beta tested its internet-browsing feature with select users in September before expanding it.

Oct. 19: AI Image Generator Dall-E 3 is integrated into ChatGPT

OpenAI announces that it’s integrating its AI image generator Dall-E 3 into ChatGPT, allowing users to have simple conversations with ChatGPT to guide it to create images. Users can describe their vision using text or audio, and the chatbot can create it using Dall-E’s capabilities. It can even handle edits.

The feature is only available to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise users.

Nov. 6: OpenAI Introduces Custom GPTs

OpenAI hosts its first developer’s conference in San Francisco, where it announces a slew of new offerings, including the ability to create custom versions of ChatGPT. OpenAI dubs these custom versions of its AI chatbot “GPTs,” and they can be designed with instructions, custom knowledge and other skills. GPTs can be used for various offerings like website creation, automating tasks, data analysis, and more.

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About The Author
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.