Have we hit peak AI?
For the first time since its release, OpenAI's uber-popular ChatGPT has lost users month-over-month, The Washington Post reports, a possible sign that the AI chatbot's popularity may have already peaked.
According to internet data firm Similarweb, mobile and desktop traffic to the AI chatbot's website fell almost ten percent in June compared to the previous month, a worrying sign for OpenAI, as the company is spending a fortune keeping its AI chatbot running.
It's also a notable trend, considering ChatGPT was hailed as the fastest-growing app ever earlier this year, reaching an estimated 100 million active monthly users in just two months. (Meta's Threads has since taken the crown for amassing 100 million users in just five days.)
Is this a sign of what's still to come, or just a bump in the road? Has the public's obsession with AI already hit its highest point? Or are the tech's glaring and persistent issues finally starting to come to the surface?
We likely will never know what exactly caused this monthly drop in traffic. WaPo suggests it may have something to do with the end of the school year, with students going on holiday and making much less use of the tool, which many have been using to cheat on essays.
But there's no guarantee we'll see an upswing, either.
"You had this moment where it was like 'oh my God it’s awesome,'" Sachin Dev Duggal, CEO of AI startup Builder.ai, told WaPo, adding that people eventually realized it wasn't nearly as useful as initially promised.
CEOs have been singing the praises of generative AI, heralding it as a revolutionary new tech that will fix a seemingly endless list of societal problems while making entrepreneurs buckets of money.
But nagging flaws have cast a shadow on these lofty claims, including AI chatbots' continued tendency to hallucinate facts. Worse yet, they can make up facts in very convincing ways, potentially paving the way for even more disinformation on the internet.
And it's not just waning interest from the public. While generative AI has made a huge splash and become an incredible tool in the arsenal of some professionals, regulators have started to ring alarm bells.
Earlier this year, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman voiced his concerns with impending European Union-wide rules that could make it a lot more difficult for tools like ChatGPT to prosper.
This likely won't be the last we hear from OpenAI and ChatGPT. After all, given its explosive rise to fame, there are still untold numbers of people making use of the tool.
But the cracks are starting to show, and this could be an early warning sign that despite plenty of optimism, the tech isn't quite at a level that's actually useful to the average person.
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