OpenAI is an AI research company that creates automation services for businesses and organizations. These may include creating images, building chat support, or even making robots! OpenAI is the company behind ChatGPT, an AI language model for conversation.
OpenAI’s origin story is unique, and not just because it has an extraordinarily brilliant language model at its disposal. While many startups struggle to find their footing, OpenAI’s founders have already made their mark in the venture world.
For example, Elon Musk is famous for running Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, and many other companies. On the other hand, Sam Altman made his mark as the president of Y Combinator where he led investments into hundreds of startups.
Musk and Altman met through mutual acquaintances and immediately hit it off over their common fear of what AI could do to humanity.
With a team of young computer scientists and mathematicians—Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, and Wojciech Zaremba—they established OpenAI as a non-profit organization to provide to develop safe AI applications.
Funding wasn’t hard to come by due to the founders’ connections in the Valley. Aside from the founders, companies like Amazon and YC Research pledged more than $1 billion to OpenAI when it first launched in 2015.
OpenAI began as a nonprofit organization, but in 2019 it transitioned to become a capped-for-profit business. This was around the time when Microsoft announced its plan to invest $1 billion in OpenAI.
Three years later, Microsoft staked another $10 billion in the company, signaling its confidence in OpenAI’s potential. Microsoft has since incorporated GPT-based technology into a variety of its products, including the Office suite and GitHub.
Meanwhile, OpenAI hit the public zeitgeist when it launched ChatGPT in November 2022, a trained language model that provides conversational responses to various prompts. In just five days, it had already reached more than one million users. Currently, it is the fastest platform to reach the said milestone.
With that being said, let’s look at 30+ OpenAI facts and statistics that highlight just how popular the company and its tools are.
OpenAI General Statistics
- OpenAI is currently valued at $29 billion, making it the US’s 6th most valuable private company. (Fortune)
- The startup has now raised around $11 billion. (Crunchbase)
- Reports say that OpenAI generated around $35 million in 2022. Revenue is estimated to grow to $1 billion by 2024. (Fortune, Reuters)
- Almost 70% of OpenAI users are male, and only 30% are female. (Similarweb)
- It took only 5 days for OpenAI’s ChatGPT to reach 1 million users and 2 months to reach 100 million. (The Guardian)
- 99.99% of OpenAI traffic is organic, meaning most people who check on it are unpaid. (Enterprise Apps Today)
- OpenAI’s image-creating automation DALL-E has 3 million users and generates around 4 million images daily. (OpenAI)
- OpenAI is accessible in 156 countries. (Uzbox)
OpenAI: A Revenue Magnet
The company started as a nonprofit organization. But it had been earning a lot even in its early days.
Seeing its potential, the founders turned it into a capped-for-profit company. Microsoft, as its biggest backer, will receive the first $100 billion of profits OpenAI generates (after which Microsoft’s equity is voided and returned to OpenAI).
Check out the revenue OpenAI has generated over the years:
The company’s transition from non-profit to capped-for-profit definitely affected its revenue in 2020. Around that time, OpenAI started selling commercial products, incurring high expenses. Nonetheless, OpenAI quickly recovered in the following year after the release of GPT-3 and DALL-E.
With the AI industry’s trajectory, the company expects its revenue to grow to $200 million by the end of 2023 and $1 billion in 2024.
ChatGPT: OpenAI’s Fastest-growing Platform
ChatGPT had been the talk of the town before 2022 ended. The platform holds the record for the fastest-growing user base in digital product history.
ChatGPT was released on November 30, 2022, and had garnered 1 million users by December 4, 2022. In January 2023, the platform had over 13 million unique visitors daily.
In comparison, here’s how long other tech giants took to reach 1 million users:
|Platform||Duration to reach 1 million users|
While all of the above-listed companies are 10+ years old, it’s nonetheless an impressive feat that highlights just how revolutionary OpenAI’s transformer technology, which powers ChatGPT, truly is.
Source: The Indian Express
Most of OpenAI’s Traffic Comes From Direct Sources
OpenAI has been buzzing due to its intriguing and revolutionary releases, such as ChatGPT, DALL-E, Whisper, and GPT4. Most of the platform’s traffic is from direct and organic searches, indicating that visitors intentionally look for the site.
The following is a breakdown of the sources of traffic to OpenAI, according to SimilarWeb data:
OpenAI’s Referral Traffic
OpenAI has developed AI tools for gaming, including a GPT-3-powered dungeon game and reinforcement algorithms that play and learn from video games.
It brought a lot of gamers and game creators to OpenAI’s website, which increased referral traffic from game consoles.
|Video Games, Consoles, and Accessories||32.94%|
|Computers, Electronics, and Technology||20.84%|
|Programming and Developer Software||11.90%|
|Social Media Networks||6.15%|
OpenAI Social Media Traffic Source
OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other AI technologies interest developers, corporations, and researchers.
YouTube is a popular venue for educational content, tutorials, and demos, so people may search for how-to videos on these technologies.
Check out the top social media sites that lead visitors to OpenAI, per SimilarWeb data:
Most OpenAI Users are Millennials
Although OpenAI is designed for all ages, artificial intelligence can confuse older generations.
SimilarWeb data shows millennials (25-34) comprise roughly 35% of OpenAI users, followed by Gen Z (28%).
The fact that OpenAI’s user base heavily skews towards the younger generation isn’t particularly surprising given that teenagers and young adults are often the most open (no pun intended) to test out new tech.
And some have even used it to get ahead of their school exams…
OpenAI: The Business Choice in 9 US States
With a fair share of markets in the US, OpenAI comes out as the AI choice of many businesses in the country. California has the most OpenAI business users—and for obvious reasons.
California is a global commercial center, home to 600+ business headquarters, including Open AI. Silicon Valley, where OpenAI is based, is known for its ideal business climate and clients.
|State||No. of Businesses that Use OpenAI|
Source: Enterprise Apps Today
OpenAI’s ‘Multi-Industry’ Industry
Artificial intelligence is a multi-million-dollar industry expected to hit a trillion-dollar revenue by the next decade. AI’s efficiency in several businesses explains this.
For instance, it can provide on-point, effective time management to manufacturing companies—something that has been a problem in manual labor for decades.
OpenAI is currently used in 902 industries, with technology on top. According to Statista, these sectors use OpenAI most:
|Industry||No. of Companies|
|Media & Internet||17|
Interesting Facts About OpenAI
OpenAI’s impact goes beyond mere figures. Want proof? Here are 15 fun facts about OpenAI.
1. OpenAI’s ChatGPT system consumed a whopping 300 billion words.
ChatGPT was trained on a dataset of over 45 terabytes of text. Its system consists of around 300 million words, which ChatGPT uses to answer queries and perform tasks.
It also contains about 8 million wiki articles. With its training, the AI works on predicting a series of next-word arrangements to generate a smartly written text.
2. They run the 5th most powerful computer.
Microsoft-OpenAI partnership is the moment. In 2020, they announced the creation of the 5th most powerful supercomputer in the world. It has 285,000 processor cores and 10,000 GPUs—enough to perform what would normally take 10,000 machines.
3. GPT-3 can write like humans.
OpenAI created GPT-3, which can generate human-like writing. Unlike voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, GPT-3 stitches Internet data together to form a single result. ChatGPT is based on the modified GPT-3 architecture, referred to as GPT3.5.
4. OpenAI lets you train robots.
Aside from GPT-3, OpenAI also created a Gym Platform, RoboSumo, and Retro Contest. These are tools where researchers and programmers can train AI agents (basically robots) to test and improve prototypes.
This indicates accelerated development for robotics and AI now that programmers can integrate reinforcement learning into AI agents.
5. OpenAI built a human-like hand.
Dactyl is a project that the company launched in 2018. It’s basically a robot hand that can do most things that human hands do. It can manipulate objects—slide, rotate, etc.—and recognize images without the help of a human.
6. OpenAI can defeat you in DOTA 2.
OpenAI also trained its agent to play complex video games like DOTA 2. In 2019, Open AI Five defeated the world champions in the game, becoming the first artificial intelligence to do so.
OpenAI Five is designed to be a teammate or competitor. It had beaten the world-renowned gamer, OG, in a match.
7. The company was said to underpay content moderators in Kenya.
OpenAI employs human moderators to ensure the language generated by ChatGPT is appropriate and safe for users to interact with.
While it is advanced enough to give human-like responses, it is not perfect and can sometimes generate inappropriate or harmful texts.
In January 2023, reports said that OpenAI outsources content moderators to developing countries only to pay less than $2 an hour. However, the company hasn’t released a formal statement about the allegations yet.
8. OpenAI is questioned for copyright infringement.
The rise of AI comes with consequences. After all, the images and text they create come from fragments of human-generated work. Several small artists are dismayed on social media by the questionable practice of AI arts ‘stealing’ other people’s work.
In 2022, anonymous copyright owners filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft for the same reason. Until now, this has been a touchy issue with the rise of AI.
9. The company may have created a “fake news machine.”
Spam and fake news are the worst unforeseen results of the rise of technology and AI. In 2019, an OpenAI lab claimed to have programmed a risky code that can create more chaos when released to the public.
According to them, it was a highly fluent software that could quickly generate human-like, convincing texts. In turn, this can amplify the problems of fake news.
10. Experts have been alarmed by ChatGPT.
While Microsoft competitors like Google have been sweating it out to create a bot, the scientific community has raised concerns about this information warfare.
Many adverse effects of such highly advanced AI include plagiarism, social deception, and more.
11. Elon Musk, one of its original investors, is now on its way to rival OpenAI.
As mentioned, Elon Musk is one of the founders of OpenAI and backed the company in its early days. However, in 2018, the multi-billionaire left the company, citing leadership disagreements as the reason.
Since then, Elon Musk has been criticizing the company. In 2020, he expressed disapproval of Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI, which defeats the original aim of creating an open-source AI.
He also condemned the platform for being “too woke” amidst political biases that OpenAI allegedly generates.
Moreover, in February 2023, he also started working with AI research labs to develop a rival to ChapGPT. Among the people he tapped is Igor Babuschkin, an executive at one of Google’s sister companies, Deepmind.
12. OpenAI recently released GPT-4, an even smarter AI.
The company launched an improved version of GPT-3 in March 2023. GPT-4 has been created to enhance model “alignment.” It can understand user intentions accurately while producing more accurate and less harmful output.
Illustrating how much it improved from GPT-3, GPT-4 scored in the top 10% of the bar exam takers, while the former was in the bottom 10%.
However, GPT-4 is only available to paid users, with pricing based on prompt tokens, where 1000 tokens are 750 words.
13. OpenAI also has a speech recognition service.
Whisper is OpenAI’s own automatic speech recognition system, which converts spoken language into text.
It is a multilingual platform that can understand diverse accents and ignore background noise.
The platform was trained for 680,000 hours and can translate data into English.
14. The company also has a coding product.
OpenAI Codex is an AI system that can translate natural language into code. The software is proficient in several programming languages, including Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, Go, and Perl.
Codex is the model behind GitHub Copilot, a programming software that offers auto-complete suggestions to users.
15. OpenAI launches an AI that can detect whether a text is AI-written or not.
In January 2023, OpenAI released a platform that distinguishes AI-generated to human-written texts. However, the company claims it is not yet fully reliable.
The classifier has 26% accuracy in identifying AI-written texts and can mistakenly label 9% of human-written texts as AI-written texts.
The Bottom Line
OpenAI has made headlines for many reasons: extravagant funding, mind-blowing milestones, and controversial projects.
While there are worries about the negative consequences of its technology, we cannot ignore the benefits of AI. OpenAI and its innovations will likely continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.