ChatGPT also functions as a kind of translator or helper for GPT apps. When WIRED asked the AllTrails GPT to suggest a two-hour hike in Berkeley, California, ChatGPT responded by asking how strenuous the hike should be and if the trail should be dog-friendly. ChatGPT then asked for permission to call up AllTrail’s API and handed over the query to AllTrails, before collating and displaying the suggestion that came back.
GPTs are also limited, content-wise, by the policies and guidelines OpenAI has already put in place. When asked to design a birthday party invitation with Nazis on it, Canva’s GPT replied: “I’m sorry, I can’t assist with that request. Let’s focus on creating something positive and appropriate.” Prominent companies are unlikely to push the boundaries of OpenAI’s content policies, but some GPT makers and their users will, and the company now has a new level of content moderation to consider.
Sometime in the first quarter of this year, OpenAI says it will introduce a payment model for app developers and creators—the company calls them “builders”—who make GPTs. For now, the company only says payment will be based on the user engagement GPTs earn. “We’ll provide details on the criteria for payments as we get closer,” OpenAI’s blog post on the store launch says. This suggests OpenAI’s model will be similar to those of platforms that reward developers and creators for how engaged their audiences are and how effectively they bring people back to their host platform, rather than a model like the 70/30 revenue split for app sales that Apple has used for its mobile App Store since it launched in 2008.
Canva is already familiar with the creator payment model. The popular and accessible design app, which claims 170 million monthly active users and 17 million paying subscribers, pays out royalties for every premium design used in its service. Canva also seems comfortable with generative AI, and it has partnered with OpenAI and its rival Stable Diffusion over the past year to make AI image-generators available within its own app.
Now, Canva has a custom GPT within ChatGPT, putting its product inside the AI platform that it previously tapped to add AI to its own app. Anwar Haneef, general manager and head of ecosystems at Canva, maintains that Canva users often want to make custom designs or iterate on them rather than have an AI engine generate something from whole cloth. (Let’s be honest, AI-generated images can sometimes just be … weird). At the same time, Haneef says, “From our standpoint we want to be in the place where our users are. Canva users tend to like trying new things, new technologies.”
Haneef says Canva has not yet discussed monetization of its GPT with OpenAI. Right now, when users ask the Canva GPT to draft a design for them, it shows a few thumbnail options, then kicks them out to Canva’s own website if they want to tweak the designs beyond that—perhaps showing how a GPT could provide a new way for companies to win new customers.
Olson, CEO of Consensus, says he understands OpenAI’s plans to charge by usage and engagement, saying it fits with the company’s core business of computing and organizing the information. He would like more clarity on what he calls “the rev-sharing road map,” but for now, “it’s a way to drive value to ChatGPT Plus users and it’s a channel to get people into our research product and learn about us.” Sometimes it just makes sense to go where the attention is, and ChatGPT is the center of the tech universe right now.
And if the payment terms aren’t favorable when OpenAI reveals them? “We’d cross that bridge when we get to it,” Olson says.”