A timeline of generative AI chatbots

In late 2022, OpenAI introduced ChatGPT to the world.

Since its inception, ChatGPT has shown no significant signs of slowing down in developing new features or maintaining global user interest.

Chatgpt traffic surpasses competition in May 2023Screenshot by Similarweb Pro, June 2023

Continue reading the story of ChatGPT with a timeline of developments, from the first releases of OpenAI, to generative models, to gaining 100 million users and 200 plugins.

History of ChatGPT: A timeline of developments

June 16, 2016 – OpenAI published research on generative models, which are trained by collecting a large amount of data in a specific area, such as images, sentences, or sounds, and then teaching the model to generate similar data. (OpenAI)

September 19, 2019 – OpenAI published research on fine-tuning the GPT-2 language model, taking into account human preferences and feedback. (OpenAI)

January 27, 2022 – OpenAI released research on InstructGPT models, siblings of ChatGPT, demonstrating improved command following ability, reduced fact falsification, and reduced toxic output. (OpenAI)

November 30, 2022 – OpenAI introduced ChatGPT with GPT-3.5 as part of a free research preview.

Chatgpt free research previewScreenshot of ChatGPT, December 2022

February 1, 2023 – OpenAI announced ChatGPT Plus, a premium subscription option for ChatGPT users that offers less downtime and access to new features.

chat gpt plusScreenshot of ChatGPT, February 2023

ChatGPT reached 100 million users faster than TikTok, which reached that milestone in nine months, and Instagram, which did it in two and a half years. (Reuters)

February 7, 2023 – Microsoft announced the launch of ChatGPT-based features for Bing.

February 22, 2023 – Microsoft released AI-powered Bing Chat for mobile preview.

March 1, 2023 – OpenAI introduced the ChatGPT API for developers to integrate ChatGPT functionality into their applications. Early adopters included SnapChat’s My AI, Quizlet Q-Chat, Instacart, and Shop by Shopify.

March 14, 2023 – OpenAI releases GPT-4 in ChatGPT and Bing, promising better reliability, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.

chatgpt gpt-4Screenshot of ChatGPT, March 2023

March 14, 2023 – Anthropic has launched Claude, its ChatGPT alternative.

March 20, 2023 – A major ChatGPT outage affects all users for several hours.

March 21, 2023 – Google has launched Bard, its ChatGPT alternative.

March 23, 2023 – OpenAI has started rolling out ChatGPT plugin support, including browsing and code interpreter.

March 31, 2023 – Italy has banned ChatGPT for collecting personal information and failing to verify age when registering for a system that can produce harmful content.

April 23, 2023 – OpenAI released ChatGPT plugins, GPT-3.5 with browsing and GPT-4 with browsing in ALPHA.

History of ChatGPT: A timeline of the meteoric rise of generative AI chatbotsScreenshot of ChatGPT, April 2023

April 25, 2023 – OpenAI added new ChatGPT data controls that allow users to choose which conversations OpenAI includes in training data for future GPT models.

April 28, 2023 – The Italian Garante released a statement that OpenAI had complied with its requests and that the ChatGPT service could resume in Italy.

May 15th – 2023 – OpenAI has launched the ChatGPT iOS app, giving users access to GPT-3.5 for free. ChatGPT Plus users can switch between GPT-3.5 and GPT-4.

Chatgpt iOS app Screenshot of ChatGPT, May 2023

May 16, 2023 – OpenAI CEO Sam Altman appears at a Senate Subcommittee on AI Oversight hearing, where he discusses the need for AI regulation that doesn’t slow innovation.

May 23, 2023 – Microsoft announced that Bing will support web browsing with ChatGPT.

search chatgpt with bingScreenshot of ChatGPT, May 2023

May 24, 2023 – The Pew Research Center has released data from a survey of ChatGPT usage showing that only 59% of American adults are aware of ChatGPT, while only 14% have tried it.

May 25, 2023 – OpenAI, Inc. has launched a program to award ten $100,000 grants to researchers to develop a democratic system for setting AI rules. (OpenAI)

May 31, 2023 – ChatGPT Plus users can now access over 200 ChatGPT plugins.

Chatgpt pluginsScreenshot of ChatGPT, May 2023

June 1, 2023 – ChatGPT traffic outperforms competing generative AI chatbots in May. (Similar to Web Pro)

The future of ChatGPT and alternative generative AI chatbots

What does the future of ChatGPT hold? This depends on many factors, including the following.

  • Will the government decide to regulate AI? If so, who will take care of it, how will they create laws to accommodate the rapid AI developments, and will regulation affect the innovation of future GPT models?
  • Will OpenAI win lawsuits against generative AI tools, or will the outcome of these cases slow the development of future training models?
  • Will competitors develop ChatGPT alternatives, or will government regulation, fears of litigation, and increased API costs stifle innovation?

Featured image: Tada Images/Shutterstock