Thanks to how popular it’s become, the AI text generator ChatGPT has often been “at capacity” recently, meaning frustratingly long waits.

To solve the problem, ChatGPT is testing a subscription model for those who need faster speeds, reliable access, priority to new features. It’s currently in the early access phase and not open to the public just yet, but here’s what we know so far.

Close up of ChatGPT and OpenAI logo.

What is ChatGPT Pro?

Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer (ChatGPT) has become an AI (and investment) darling as a complex and highly accurate machine learning assistant that’s able to carry out natural language “chats.” The latest iteration from its creator OpenAI (co-founded by Elon Musk) was trained on massive amounts of data gleaned from the internet prior to 2022.

Using text prompts, you can use ChatGPT to do things from writing fiction/non-fiction content and perform calculations, to generating Python code and summarizing data from spreadsheets into text. Its model is constantly being fine-tuned and monitored by humans.

Details are emerging from various insiders, like Linas Beliūnas, and a select group of users that OpenAI is possibly close to rolling out the Pro version of ChatGPT. For the privilege, OpenAI will offer users faster response speeds, more reliable access, and priority access to new features.

In fact, when I asked ChatGPT about it, this is its response, “ChatGPT-Pro is an advanced version of the original ChatGPT model, with increased capacity and capabilities. It is trained on a much larger dataset and fine-tuned to perform specific tasks such as dialogue generation, summarization, and language translation. It is also able to generate more human-like responses, making it useful for applications such as customer service, personal assistants, and chatbots.”

Why does OpenAI want you to pay up?

ChatGPT has high running costs — from hosting, upkeep, upgrading hardware, updates, satisfying its investor, etc — while its own popularity has led to an immediate need to improve its accessibility and speed to a greater user base. Some estimates peg daily running costs at $100,000, or up to $3 million a month! The premium subscription should help to cover GPU upgrades.

It’s safe to assume that a premium tier will let OpenAI control bandwidth issues, especially during peak times of the day of use.

The ChatGPT Pro Pricing Model as of Jan 2023.

How much will it cost?

It’s claimed to be $42 a month at the moment for Pro access, although it’s unknown if other subscription options will be available after its official release. As ChatGPT Pro is not yet public, this cost could change before officially launching.

A screen with text describing ChatGPT.

Is ChatGPT still going to be free?

For the foreseeable future, yes. You can continue to query the chatbot for free, although that comes with possible blackout times when the service is busy, throttling, query quotas (more than half the limit of Pro), and slower responses, among others.

Can I subscribe to ChatGPT Pro now?

Currently ChatGPT Pro is in early access phase, which means it’s by invitation only to a select group of users from its waitlist. Moreover, OpenAI hasn’t officially confirmed or denied whether these leaks are legit or whether the pricing is for testing purposes only, so stay tuned to this space for the latest updates.

OpenAI also hasn’t given any firm information on when ChatGPT Pro will be available, but it’s certainly clear that demand couldn’t be higher right now.

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