ChatGPT is experiencing a drop in traffic for the third month in a row. However, the decline in August was relatively minor: usage dropped by 3.2 percent worldwide compared to July, and even a slight increase in the US. Similarweb attributes this trend to the fact that the new school year has started again in the U.S., so chatbot usage may have bottomed out for now.
Speaking to Reuters, Similarweb’s David Carr notes that the percentage of younger users is on the rise again. The research firm doesn’t measure the online behaviour of minors, but the percentage of 18-24-year-olds who used ChatGPT counts as a good proxy. The share of this age cohort was 27 percent in August versus 30 percent the month before, which marks a leveling off among this group.
Interestingly, Similarweb cites ChatGPT competitor Character AI as a promising alternative. This chatbot is particularly popular among young people: three in five users are between the ages of 18 and 24. It appears it’s also suitable as a “playful companion” in addition to being able to help with homework. The research firm notes that Character AI’s mobile app is much more in demand than ChatGPT’s relative to its web-based userbase. Still, OpenAI’s chatbot is by far the most popular with consumers, although Similarweb notes that a young user base typically provides additional opportunity for rapid growth.
By now, though, it is clear that the conventional ChatGPT is not suitable for professional use. With up to 175 billion parameters, even the somewhat older GPT-3.5 is considered one of the larger LLMs, but for specific purposes the chatbot hallucinates far too much to be reliable. It has also been shown to whip up nonsensical and unsafe programming code. Still, the main problem for commercial use remains that corporate data normally doesn’t stay private within ChatGPT’s free variant. The drop in traffic will also have partly to do with the fact that organizations have caught on to this by now. Currently, parties like Google and VMware offer options that make secure AI use easy for businesses, with up to 100 LLMs to choose between.
For that reason, it is rather interesting to know what ChatGPT Enterprise will bring about. Recently, OpenAI introduced this tool for corporations, with a selection of multiple GPT models of different sizes. In doing so, the company would ensure that sensitive information is processed in an isolated manner and will not be used for further refinement of OpenAI’s AI models.