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Well, it’s certainly been a wilder week than usual from the folks at OpenAI.
The leading generative AI company by number of users kicked things off with a bevy of new features at its first developer conference, DevDay, at its headquarters in San Francisco on Monday. Then, CEO Sam Altman said one marquee new service — custom GPTs that users could build themselves atop ChatGPT — was delayed to heavier usage than expected of the new features.
This turned out to be a DDoS attack. Yet OpenAI managed to turn things around and not only get GPTs released earlier today to all ChatGPT Plus subscribers (see screenshots of the author’s personal ChatGPT Plus account below of what the new interface and recommended GPT list looks like), but CEO and co-founder Sam Altman also took the opportunity to troll his former business partner turned AI rival Elon Musk.
Using Musk’s X social network, Altman tweeted from his personal account “GPTs can save a lot of effort,” along with screenshots showing someone — presumably him — building a new GPT through OpenAI’s GPT Builder tool, seemingly with the express purpose of shading Musk. The two co-founded OpenAI along with others in 2015, but reportedly had a falling out when Musk sought to take control of the company over its move away from open source and toward closed source models, and as a result, disassociated himself from it.
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Altman asked GPT Builder to make a “chatbot that answers questions with cringey boomer humor in a sort of awkward shock-to-get-laughs sort of way.” Notably, Altman is 38, a Millennial, and Musk is 52, not exactly a Boomer by how most define the generational split, more like Gen-X, but still, “ok, Boomer” has become an insult of our day and age indicating someone out-of-touch and passé.
GPT Builder responded saying “Great, the chatbot is set up! Its name is Grok,” a direct callout and insult of Musk’s own large language model (LLM), unveiled by his other company xAI just two days before OpenAI’s DevDay.
Grok, itself a closed source model, was designed to offer “humorous” responses, but has been recently criticized by X users for valorizing Musk as “the best meme creator” when prompted by users, with some calling it “pathetic” and “narcissistic” on the part of Musk.
Meanwhile, OpenAI is already making available a number of custom GPTs its built. See screenshots of some of the earliest official ones below. A number of third-party users have also built and begun sharing theirs, too.
Personal feud aside, OpenAI is clearly still pushing the state-of-the-art when it comes to consumer-facing generative AI. Now it’s up to Musk’s xAI and all the other challengers to respond with their own releases to what OpenAI has enabled this week.
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