Just like anything else, something that can create a sound will create attention. On the web, if that thing can prove itself to be more than just a "noise," it will create a fuss, and immense virality.
ChatGPT, is the chatbot from OpenAI.
The tool that is essentially a large language model-powered AI, has taken the internet by storm. Everyone is talking about it, everywhere online, due to its ability in instantly generating human-like responses for whatever topic imaginable.
Users can use it to create essays, and even write an online article. It can help people do their homework, or provide advise, create poem, songs and even aid research.
With the vast possibilities the AI can provide, the chatbot has become the fastest growing consumer-facing application in history, according to a new analysis from Swiss investment bank, UBS.
It's reported that in just two months after the program’s public launch, ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly active users (MAUs), UBS noted, based on data gathered by Similar Web and Sensor Tower.
By the end of January, the web-based service for ChatGPT was being visited by around 13 million unique visitors a day on average.
That number is about a double of what it was a month prior, when ChatGPT had around 57 million MAU, or about six million daily views, according to UBS.
For comparison, it took TikTok about nine months from its worldwide launch to reach 100 million users.
And if compared to Instagram, the platform didn’t reach that milestone for two and a half years.
Facebook needed about four years to reach 100 million users, Twitter needed more than five years, and Google Translate took more than six years to reach that height.
"Google Trends data shows that worldwide Google search queries for the terms ‘chatgpt’ and ‘chat gpt’ are near peak volumes since the site was launched in November 2022, with search interest reaching the highest level to-date just a few days ago," the group of analysts wrote.
At first, the high traffic to ChatGPT's website was caused by the sudden influx of people who wish to use the tool, but couldn't.
At that time, people kept refreshing the page, as they waited in line.
During its first days and weeks after launch, the servers for the web-based ChatGPT couldn't keep up with the demand.
Back in December 2022, a sudden increase of one million users in just five days crashed ChatGPT.
Despite ChatGPT still has serious accuracy problems, and that the model could be used to create fake misleading content, create malware, and allow students to cheat, the hype is too big to be missed.
Some even started speculating that ChatGPT, when full-fledged, could be the "Google killer."
And analysts from UBS couldn't agree more.
Lloyd Walmsley, Karl Kierstead, and Timothy Acuri believe that the app's success can be a threat.
"This is the fastest consumer application I have seen to hit 100 million monthly active users in my career covering this space," said UBS equities analyst Lloyd Walmsley. "The ramp has been extraordinary."
"We cannot remember an app scaling at this pace,” the UBS analyst said.
"In 20 years following the Internet space, we cannot recall a faster ramp in a consumer internet app."
And that makes it "a little bit frightening."
And because there isn't another public chatbot with comparable capabilities, It was reported that Google's CEO Sundar Pichai decided to declare "code red", and summoned the company's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, for help.
The tech giant is working on a few potential ChatGPT competitors, including a chatbot for search, and is aiming to showcase at least 20 AI products this 2023 alone.
However, despite Google has the resources needed to compete, Google couldn't just create a product and derail ChatGPT.
This is because Google has lots of products and a large incumbent business to protect.
If it creates a competitor of ChatGPT, it needs to do it carefully because if not, it risks damaging the reputations of its own existing AI-powered products, which are a lot.
"The question is, how much do they expose to the public and how fast do they do it?" Walmsley said.
"Google is in a catch-22, where it either (1) fails to impress, feeding questions around competitive position or (2) it overcommits, causing concern around (i) monetization risk and (ii) margin erosion," the researchers wrote.
While students and even professionals are researchers are eagerly testing the ChatGPT's capabilities, the breakthrough technology's surging popularity is raising concerns around the types of workers it could replace as more people use generative AI to do an increasing number of tasks.
"There is an element that's a little bit frightening in the sense of the capabilities of this and what the implications might be for lower skill-level knowledge workers," Walmsley said.
Walmsley himself said he already relies on the tool to help conduct some of his own AI-related research.
"The next question is obviously what its staying power will be. There may be an element of people just coming to look," Walmsley said.