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OpenAI presented a paid version of ChatGPT. Though the popular tool has been free until now, OpenAI confirmed it’s “starting to think about how to monetize ChatGPT” in a post on Discord.

ChatGPT has the world’s attention. OpenAI made the tool available for free in late 2022. Users visit the website, ask a question and receive credible texts or code. The AI model behind ChatGPT has a wealth of knowledge on a range of topics.

The operational costs of the technology are high. Tom Goldstein, associate professor at the University of Maryland, recently estimated that OpenAI invests nearly €100,000 a day in hosting alone. That amounts to €3 million a month.

OpenAI recently took to its Discord server to announce that ChatGPT needs to generate income to “ensure long-term viability”. Members of the server received a link with a waiting list for a paid version of ChatGPT. Users that sign up are met with questions, including the monthly figure they’re willing to pay for the tool.

ChatGPT Professional

It’s a clear form of market research. The waiting list includes a description of the paid version. OpenAI states that ‘ChatGPT Professional’ is always available, responds faster and allows more daily queries per user, as opposed to the current limit.

The organization adds that respondents are eligible for an exclusive testing phase. OpenAI stresses that ChatGPT Professional is in its early stages. The organization did not indicate a release date or timeline.


The market has high expectations of OpenAI. According to insiders, the organization recently told investors that it’s counting on $1 billion in revenue (about €930 million) by 2024.

OpenAI was founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman in 2015. The organization started out as a nonprofit. Musk said he wanted to demonstrate that AI could improve the world without the dangers often associated with the technology.

The nonprofit label was removed in 2019. Since then, OpenAI has been legally allowed to accept growth funding from corporate investors. In the same year, Microsoft backed the organization with $1 billion.

Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear that Microsoft is intensively collaborating with OpenAI. The tech giant is rumoured to be developing a Bing-like search engine based on ChatGPT. Moreover, Microsoft is reportedly working on integrations into Word and Outlook.


We’ve known that OpenAI wants to generate income by licensing technology to major partners for some time. In October 2022, Shutterstock unveiled a paid service based on DALL-E, one of OpenAI’s other models.

DALL-E lets users generate images based on textual queries. The model is already available as an API for developers. OpenAI receives a fraction of a cent for each image generated.