OpenAI, the creators of the ChatGPT large language model chatbot, is no longer accepting new sign-ups to the premium ChatGPT Plus service. This is a temporary solution to an unexpected surge in usage following OpenAI's recent developer conference.
At the moment, users can sign up and be notified when the restriction will be lifted. However, OpenAI isn't accepting any new ChatGPT Plus sign-ups, confirmed CEO Sam Altman on X (formerly Twitter).
ChatGPT Plus is the premium version of the large language model chatbot. It has a $20 monthly fee and boasts new features.
One of those ChatGPT Plus-exclusive features was added to the platform earlier this month. It's called GPTs, and OpenAI describes it as a “custom version of ChatGPT that you can create for a specific purpose.” It appears to have created an unexpected high demand for the paid service.
OpenAI has huge expenses
CEO Sam Altman said that the surge in ChatGPT Plus users “has exceeded our capacity, and we want to make sure everyone has a great experience.” Before sign-ups were paused, many ChatGPT users reported server issues.
OpenAI appears to have found itself in a bit of a situation wherein it needs more funds but can't support the server load for more paying subscribers.
The CEO admitted in an interview with the Financial Times (via Forbes) that operating and training ChatGPT has punishingly high costs. “There's a long way to go, and a lot of compute to build out between here and AGI (Artificial General Intelligence)… Training expenses are just huge.”
The OpenAI CEO said the company needs new investment and hoped Microsoft, which has been a long-term partner of OpenAI, would continue to invest. So far, Microsoft invested $10 billion in the ChatGPT development firm.