OpenAI introduces a ChatGPT API for developers

Expect to see the popular AI chatbot's capabilities integrated into more and more applications.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer
ChatGPT opened up on a phone
June Wan/ZDNET

Expect to see ChatGPT, the wildly popular AI chatbot, integrated into a growing number of your favorite apps and tools. OpenAI, the company behind the chatbot, has introduced a new API, giving developers access to ChatGPT's capabilities. 

OpenAI on Wednesday also introduced an API for Whisper, the speech-to-text model the AI research company open-sourced in September 2022.

Also: How does ChatGPT work?

A number of major companies are already using the ChatGPT API, OpenAI said, including Snapchat, Instacart, and Shopify. 

Instacart will use the conversational AI technology to help customers build shopping lists from their open-ended questions, such as, "What's a healthy lunch for my kids?" Shopify, meanwhile, will integrate ChatGPT technology into Shop, the consumer app that shoppers use to find different products and brands. The learning platform Quizlet is also using the ChatGPT API to power an AI tutor. 

ChatGPT API delivers access to GPT 3.5 Turbo, the same model used in the ChatGPT product. 

Also: What is Microsoft's new Bing with ChatGPT? Here's everything we know

"ChatGPT API users can expect continuous model improvements and the option to choose dedicated capacity for deeper control over the models," OpenAI said in a blog post. 

OpenAI also clarified that data submitted through the API will no longer be used to further train and improve OpenAI's models, unless the organization using the API opts into contributing data. That should give some reassurance to consumers out there concerned about their data being used to strengthen AI models without their consent.  

Also: ChatGPT: What The New York Times and others are getting terribly wrong about it

OpenAI is also implementing a default 30-day data retention policy for API users, with options for stricter retention depending on user needs.

Lastly, the company on Wednesday said that its current top engineering priority is improving the stability of its products. 

"For the past two months our uptime has not met our own expectations nor that of our users," the company said.

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