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OpenAI launches a ChatGPT plan for enterprise customers

Seeking to capitalize on ChatGPT's viral success, OpenAI today announced the launch of ChatGPT Enterprise, a business-focused edition of the company's AI-powered chatbot app.

ChatGPT Enterprise, which OpenAI first teased in a blog post earlier this year, can perform the same tasks as ChatGPT, such as writing emails, drafting essays and debugging computer code. But the new offering also adds "enterprise-grade" privacy and data analysis capabilities on top of the vanilla ChatGPT, as well as enhanced performance and customization options.

That puts ChatGPT Enterprise on par, feature-wise, with Bing Chat Enterprise, Microsoft's recently launched take on an enterprise-oriented chatbot service.

"Today marks another step towards an AI assistant for work that helps with any task, protects your company data and is customized for your organization," OpenAI writes in a blog post shared with TechCrunch. "Businesses interested in ChatGPT Enterprise should get in contact with us. While we aren’t disclosing pricing, it'll be dependent on each company’s usage and use cases."

ChatGPT Enterprise provides a new admin console with tools to manage how employees within an organization use ChatGPT, including integrations for single sign-on, domain verification and a dashboard with usage statistics. Shareable conversation templates allow employees to build internal workflows leveraging ChatGPT, while credits to OpenAI's API platform let companies create fully custom ChatGPT-powered solutions if they choose.

ChatGPT Enterprise, in addition, comes with unlimited access to Advanced Data Analysis, the ChatGPT feature formerly known as Code Interpreter, which allows ChatGPT to analyze data, create charts, solve math problems and more, including from uploaded files. For example, given a prompt like "Tell me what's interesting about this data," ChatGPT's Advanced Data Analysis capability can look through the data -- financial, health or location information, for example -- to generate insights.

Advanced Data Analysis was previously available only to subscribers to ChatGPT Plus, the $20-per-month premium tier of the consumer ChatGPT web and mobile apps. To be clear, ChatGPT Plus is sticking around -- OpenAI sees ChatGPT Enterprise as complementary to it, the company says.

ChatGPT Enterprise is powered by GPT-4, OpenAI's flagship AI model, as is ChatGPT Plus. But ChatGPT Enterprise customers get priority access to GPT-4, delivering performance that's twice as fast as the standard GPT-4 and with an expanded 32,000-token (~25,000-word) context window.

Context window refers to the text the model considers before generating additional text, while tokens represent raw text (e.g. the word "fantastic" would be split into the tokens "fan," "tas" and "tic"). Generally speaking, models with large context windows are less likely to "forget" the content of recent conversations.

OpenAI -- no doubt attempting to allay the fears of businesses that have restricted their employees from using the consumer version of ChatGPT -- emphasizes that it won't train models on business data sent to ChatGPT Enterprise or any usage data and that all conversations with ChatGPT Enterprise are encrypted in transit and at rest.

"We believe AI can assist and elevate every aspect of our working lives and make teams more creative and productive," writes OpenAI in the blog post.

OpenAI claims that there's acute interest from businesses in an enterprise-focused ChatGPT, claiming that ChatGPT, one of the fastest-growing consumer apps in history, has been adopted by teams in more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies.

But it's not clear that ChatGPT has staying power.

According to analytics company Similarweb, ChatGPT traffic dropped 9.7% globally from May to June, while average time spent on the web app went down by 8.5%. The dip could be due to the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT app for iOS and Android -- and summer vacation (i.e. fewer kids turning to ChatGPT for homework help). But it wouldn't be surprising if increased competition was playing a part.

OpenAI's under pressure to monetize the tool regardless.

The company reportedly spent upward of $540 million last year to develop ChatGPT, including funds it used to poach talent from the likes of Google, according to The Information. And according to some estimates, ChatGPT is costing OpenAI $700,000 a day to run.

Yet OpenAI made only $30 million in revenue in fiscal year 2022.

CEO Sam Altman has reportedly told investors that the company intends to boost that figure to $200 million this year and $1 billion next year, and he's presumably figuring ChatGPT Enterprise into those plans.

OpenAI says that its future plans for ChatGPT Enterprise include a ChatGPT Business offering for smaller teams, allowing companies to connect apps to ChatGPT Enterprise, "more powerful" and "enterprise-grade" versions of Advanced Data Analysis and web browsing, and tools designed for data analysts, marketers and customer support.

"We look forward to sharing an even more detailed roadmap with prospective customers and continuing to evolve ChatGPT Enterprise based on your feedback," OpenAI writes.