As ChatGPT marks one year of availability, Indians rank among its top users

05th December 2023
As ChatGPT marks one year of availability,  Indians rank among its top users
Photo credit: Franz Bachinger from Pixabay

By Anand Parthasarathy
December 5, 2023: The recent drama surrounding the sudden sacking of   OpenAI CEO Sam Altman; his swift hiring by Microsoft; the firestorm of protest by almost all of OpenAI’s employees – and his consequent reinstatement  just two weeks later, have tended to distract from observance of a major milestone as we moved into December: ChatGPT, the  hugely disruptive flagship product of Open AI  is one year old.
As eager users the world over discovered after they rushed to download the free chatbot, ChatGPT -- the GPT stands for generative pretrained transformer – could generate an answer to almost any question it’s asked.
Released for testing to the general public on the last day of  November 2022, it has become  the most popular and arguably  the best Artificial Intelligence driven  chatbot ever launched.. Six months after it  went live on the web, its  mobile version arrived for iOS, followed by  Google Play two months later.   One week after its launch on Google play, the app  saw 18 million installs.   The cumulative downloads on both iOS and Android combined have been above 4 million in the past five weeks. The mobile version has achieved  now 110 million downloads. ChatGPT now  - ranks first among generative AI apps in terms of total downloads.  
According to a study by to mark the one year landmark,  India has contributed the single largest portion of global ChatGPT app installations (18%) , just ahead of the United States at (17.5%)
McKinsey explains that  Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI)  algorithms, such as ChatGPT, can be used to create new content, including music and art,  audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos,  to entire virtual worlds.  This is a form of machine learning and it’s not just for fun—GenAI has plenty of practical uses -- like creating new product designs and optimizing business processes.
But the first release of ChatGPT had its  limitations, not  being able to draw on live data, being just one. This sometimes skewed the results.
Sam Altman was the first to recognize this He  wrote ,  in an  X  (formerly Twitter) post: "It does know a lot, but the danger is that it is confident and wrong a significant fraction of the time."
However the  launch of GPT-4  in March 2023,  was a major upgrade that made it much more reliable. And it  received another significant update  in September this year that  enabled users to  have  voice conversations and interact with the  chatbot, using images. This put ChatGPT in competition with AI services like Siri, Google Voice Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. The new feature  was available to  subscribers of  ChatGPT’s Plus and Enterprise plans.
All this has stirred major players to compete: Google launched  its own AI assistant ,Bard. On the sound premise that ‘If you can’t fight ‘em, join ‘em’,  Microsoft powered its search engine Bing with ChatGPT.   However, ChatGPT's GPT-4 is still considered to be the best of the AI  assistant options today
Corporates embrace  ChatGPT
Today ChatGPT  is increasingly  harnessed by corporations and industry  to perform basic office documentation and content creation  tasks  --and even writing code.Generative AI tools like ChatGPT can potentially  transform how many  jobs are performed. But  we do not as  yet know the full scope of  their impact. Clearly there are some risks
Even while the rise of generative artificial intelligence has triggered a  debate on its risks and benefits a wave of adoption by companies  was reported by Global Data
Says Misa Singh, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData:  “Companies are embedding Gen AI technologies into their platform. Meanwhile, they also seem to be considering ChatGPT to be useful in a variety of applications such as chatbots, virtual assistants, customer service, and content creation.”  Global Data reports recent developments:

  • Samsung has announced its own  Generative AI model “Samsung Gauss” which it will soon launch.
  • Thomson Reuters Corp is implementing GenAI into legal research to create a single AI capacity for legal research. 
  • Google’s parent company Alphabet  has  launched ‘Product Studio’ which uses GenAI to create eye-catching imagery for free. This product can be beneficial for advertisers  to create high-quality images.
  • Accenture Plc  has announced a $3 billion investment in AI and nd is collaborating with Telefonica Brazil, popularly known as Vivo, to provide GenAI solutions.
  • NVIDIA is spending and investing billions in R&D to optimize generative AI for training and inference scale.
  • Microsoft is investing in AI across the entire company and integrating GenAI capabilities into its consumer and commercial offerings.
  • Meta ( Facebook)   has introduced AI Sandbox, which is a testing playground for GenAI-powered tools like automatic text variation, background generation, and image outcropping.

Indian businesses are not to be left behind. MoneyControl has compiled a list of 9 Indian entities which are ‘doubling down’ on GenAI.  They range from Swiggy which is creating a neural search engine to aid customers with suggestions  to Amazon that is deploying Large Language Models (LLMs) to help its sellers create better listings of their products, to TechMahindra  which has launched a tool called AmplifAIer to manage its emailers  for better customer relations management (CRM).
Generative AI  is not going away, some dire warnings about AI notwithstanding and  as it moves into  its second year ChatGPT  is still for many – lay users and businesses alike – the preferred choice.
This article has appeared in Swarajya