27th February 2024 6:08 pm
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OpenAI struck by major delay thanks to leadership chaos

  • OpenAI has had to delay one of its major upcoming products in the GPT Store, at least by a few months.
  • The ousting of CEO Sam Altman, and the appointing of other CEOs before his return no doubt cost the company at least a week of development time.
  • The GPT Store will like an app store where people can sell their fine-tailored GPTs to others, with OpenAI looking to earn a percentage per sale.

A three-day leadership debacle at OpenAI, the world’s generative AI leader, which saw three different CEOs appointed in the same number of days, and led to a near-mutiny of employees, will unsurprisingly result in the pushing back of some of the company’s latest products.

The launch of the OpenAI app store, called the GPT Store in which users could peruse and purchase different AI models for ChatGPT for different use cases, will now be delayed to a date early in 2024.

It was originally slated to launch this year in November or early December.

“We are now planning to launch the GPT Store early next year. While we had expected to release it this month, a few unexpected things have been keeping us busy!” reads a memo sent to users from OpenAI, first seen by Axios.

“In the meantime, we will have some other great updates to ChatGPT soon,” the company said.

According to TechCrunch, there is already a working version of the OpenAI store and it was shown off at a company developer day event in November.

It is essentially a marketplace where users can share fine-tuned and specially-tailored AI GPTs – the coded algorithms or models behind a generative AI – for OpenAI’s popular chatbot.

For example, you could find a version of OpenAI that works best to write a certain type of code for a specific genre of apps, like games. Or you could find a model that gives answers in a sarcastic, or humorous manner similar to the writing found in A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (we’re looking at you, Grok).

At that point the launch plan for the store was still in progress, and it is likely that the weeklong delay that the ousting of CEO Sam Altman, and his return later that week cost the company a few days worth of dev time, at least.

Instead of working on the product, OpenAI’s developers were more concerned with writing open letter calling for the company’s board of directors to quit and organising cohesive posts on social media.

Employees of OpenAI posted the same thing “OpenAI is nothing without its people” during the week in which Altman was fired.

Other delays may have been felt as most of the former board departed the company, and new board members were installed. As TechCrunch points out, likely, the idea of shipping a major product in the GPT store while dealing with all of these issues would have led to the decision to delay the launch date.

Subscribers to OpenAI and ChatGPT can still make and share their own GPTs. They just need to share them directly to one another. However, they will not be publically listed, and they will not be able to earn any revenue.

“Once in the store, GPTs become searchable and may climb the leaderboards. We will also spotlight the most useful and delightful GPTs we come across in categories like productivity, education, and ‘just for fun’. In the coming months, you’ll also be able to earn money based on how many people are using your GPT,” the company shares in a blog post.

One of the aspects of the GPT Store is that OpenAI will earn a percentage of revenue from the sales of customised GPTs, while the creators of these GPTs, essentially adapting OpenAI’s own models, will also earn a piece. There is no clear date for the launch of the store now, but as it seems that Altman and his team are back to working without distractions, it may be as early as January.

[Image – Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash]

Luis Monzon

Luis Monzon

Journalist. Covering education, AAA gaming and consumer tech. Reach me at Luis@htxt.co.za.

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