Custom ChatGPT store delayed to early 2024, and it’s probably for the best
The release of the highly-anticipated Custom ChatGPT store by OpenAI has been postponed yet again. Initially set to launch by the end of November, the GPT store’s release has now been pushed to early 2024. While some may be disappointed by this delay, there are several reasons why it’s actually a positive development.
The concept of custom AI experiences is gaining traction, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT is at the forefront of this evolution. Similar to how the App Store transformed the iPhone into an indispensable device, custom GPTs have the potential to revolutionize the capabilities of AI chatbots. Rather than relying on a single all-knowing chatbot, users will have access to a variety of AI programs tailored to specific tasks.
The decision to delay the launch may be influenced by recent events, including the drama surrounding former CEO Sam Altman. It’s clear that OpenAI has been preoccupied dealing with unexpected matters, such as the CEO’s firing and subsequent rehiring, as well as the formation of a new board and an internal investigation.
One possible reason for the delay is the limited availability of ChatGPT Plus, OpenAI’s premium subscription service. ChatGPT Plus has reached capacity for premium users, which means that potential GPT builders who want to create custom GPTs are unable to do so until registration reopens.
Furthermore, at present, only ChatGPT Plus users have access to custom GPTs. It is likely that once the GPT store launches, all ChatGPT users will be able to utilize custom GPTs, as this is crucial for successful monetization of the feature. However, it would not be surprising if initially, access to the GPT store is limited to ChatGPT Plus users to manage the capacity of new signups.
However, the delay is not solely related to availability or capacity issues. Recent research that uncovered a privacy concern regarding custom GPTs may have prompted OpenAI to take more time to address these issues. Unlike iPhone apps, anyone can create custom GPTs without the need for coding. But the process requires users to provide instructions and documentation for the bot to perform its task, potentially exposing sensitive information.
OpenAI seems to be aware of this problem and is actively working on improvements. In a recent email to GPT builders, the company mentioned making updates based on user feedback and addressing concerns related to uploaded files. The goal is to prevent others from accessing the source code of custom GPTs, ensuring the privacy and security of proprietary information.
The success of the future GPT Store relies heavily on preventing unauthorized access to the prompts and documents used to create custom GPTs. Without proper safeguards in place, there is the risk of creating similar, potentially harmful versions of popular bots or exposing proprietary information.
While the delay may be disappointing for those eagerly awaiting the GPT store, it is essential for OpenAI to ensure that the necessary precautions are implemented. By taking the time to address capacity issues and privacy concerns, OpenAI can deliver a more refined and secure experience for users once the GPT store finally launches in early 2024.