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ChatGPT celebrates one year: A year of breakthroughs in conversational AI

On November 30, we celebrated the first anniversary of ChatGPT, marking a year filled with remarkable progress since its initial introduction in the research preview phase. 

Originating from humble beginnings, ChatGPT has consistently pushed the boundaries of generative AI across various tasks. Approximately a year ago, the team was likely putting the finishing touches on ChatGPT, unaware of the extraordinary journey ahead. Just two months after its launch, ChatGPT gained unprecedented recognition as the fastest-growing consumer application in recorded history. This rapid and monumental success not only brought generative AI into mainstream consciousness but also triggered a significant shift in the mindset of enterprise decision-makers regarding software acquisitions. Generative AI has evolved into a compelling tool for shaping workplace strategies and operations, with its potential to either transform work processes or become a transient trend in the contemporary workplace.

Following ChatGPT’s debut, discussions within enterprise technology firms and government circles revolved around the safety challenges and security risks associated with generative AI. Instances of ChatGPT being banned at certain companies due to internal data exposure highlighted the delicate balance between innovation and safeguarding sensitive information. Conversely, other organizations eagerly embraced ChatGPT-powered applications.

This retrospective article delves into the past year, examining ChatGPT’s profound impact on enterprise software—from altering software purchasing decisions to influencing workplace strategies and sparking discussions on safety concerns. ChatGPT stands as a transformative force at the intersection of generative AI and the enterprise landscape.

Jamie Moles, Head of Technical Marketing at ExtraHop said: “In the year since OpenAI’s ChatGPT was publicly released, generative AI has taken the world by storm, proving its ability to enhance many different aspects of business operations. As such, new customer data from ExtraHop found that the majority of enterprises have quickly adopted these technologies. ChatGPT has overwhelmingly taken the lead, showing clear dominance over other services like GitHub Copilot, Google Bard, and Azure OpenAI. 

“Interestingly, while only 12% of customer devices are connecting to GitHub Copilot, our data indicates that it accounts for 30% of total outbound traffic to generative AI services. As reference, nearly 80% of customers are connecting to OpenAI, but ChatGPT is only accounting for two-thirds of the outbound traffic. The smaller base of Copilot users are clearly uploading far more data than their OpenAI counterparts and this may indicate that Copilot usage is on the up – especially among a far smaller user base.

In this piece, we take a retrospective journey through the past year, highlighting notable milestones and updates that have transformed ChatGPT into the adaptable and potent tool it is today.

The narrative commenced almost a year ago, precisely on November 30, when OpenAI unveiled the research preview of ChatGPT. In response to invaluable user feedback, enhancements swiftly followed suit, culminating in general performance improvements and the introduction of novel features for managing conversation history by December 15, 2022.

As the new year unfolded on January 9, 2023, ChatGPT underwent significant upgrades, enhancing factuality and introducing a notable feature enabling users to pause response generation midway through a conversation. Subsequent to this, on January 30, additional upgrades were implemented, amplifying factuality and mathematical capabilities.

February 2023 emerged as a landmark month with the launch of ChatGPT Plus on February 9, offering novel features and a swifter ‘Turbo’ version exclusively for Plus users. On February 13, global users witnessed updates to the free plan’s performance, further solidifying ChatGPT’s global presence.

GPT-4 Revelation

March 14, 2023, marked a pivotal juncture with the unveiling of GPT-4 to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. This revelation showcased advanced reasoning, intricate instruction handling, and heightened creativity. Concurrently, experimental AI plugins, including browsing and Code Interpreter capabilities, were introduced to selected users on March 23.

May witnessed pivotal developments, including the option for users to disable chat history and export data. Plus users gained early access to experimental web browsing and third-party plugins on May 12, with the iOS app’s expansion to additional countries on May 24 introducing features such as shared links, Bing web browsing, and the ability to disable chat history.

June and July of 2023 saw a flurry of updates, enhancing mobile app experiences and introducing fresh features. The temporary removal of the browsing feature on July 3 for improvements coincided with the beta rollout of the Code Interpreter feature to Plus users on July 6.

Enterprise Launch

August witnessed multiple minor updates on August 3, enriching the overall user experience. The extension of custom instructions to free users by August 21 was complemented by the pinnacle of the month—the launch of ChatGPT Enterprise on August 28. This introduction offered advanced features and heightened security for enterprise users, underscoring ChatGPT’s commitment to diverse user needs.

As September unfolded, language support was introduced in the web interface on September 11, followed by the beta release of voice and image input capabilities on September 25. An updated iteration of web browsing was presented to Plus users on September 27.

The fourth quarter of 2023 commenced with the integration of DALL·E 3 in beta on October 16, enabling image generation from text prompts. The exit from beta for the browsing feature on October 17 for Plus and Enterprise users further solidified its status.

On November 6, OpenAI unveiled customized versions of ChatGPT, branded as GPTs, designed for specific tasks during OpenAI’s DevDay. The voice feature in ChatGPT became universally accessible to all users on November 21, marking the culmination of a year marked by substantial advancements and the expansion of AI interaction potentialities.

The Future of ChatGPT

As we peer into the future, the past year stands as a testament to unwavering innovation, paving the way for a future rich with potential. The forthcoming year promises incremental improvements and groundbreaking leaps in AI capabilities, user experience, and integrative technologies, challenging the limitations of today’s AI landscape. With a flourishing community of users and developers, ChatGPT’s evolution seems destined to exceed expectations, reshaping our interactions with digital assistants.

“The increasing usage of this new technology offers exciting opportunities for businesses to grow and flourish; however, it is important that organizations incorporate safeguards to ensure these tools are being utilised properly. If you or your employees are implementing generative AI at work, consider offering trainings on safe usage, or incorporating technology that monitors the use of generative AI across your network. The loss of IP and data privacy risks continue to be a concern for businesses, and decision-makers should keep these challenges in mind as they further reap the benefits of these services in the future,” Mr Moles added.

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