I’ve been following ChatGPT closely for the better part of a year because it’s the nature of my job. Generative AI is a massive tech innovation, and OpenAI has single-handedly changed the tech landscape this year. ChatGPT is all we’ve been talking about in 2023, and the biggest names in tech have had to react to it.
I’ve also been a fan of ChatGPT because it’s so helpful, and I have put the AI chatbot to good use more than once. I’ve described simple things that you can do with the chatbot that are incredibly useful, like using ChatGPT to shop for the best running shoes or training for a half-marathon. That was all possible with the free, most basic version of ChatGPT that isn’t currently connected to the internet.
I didn’t think I could like ChatGPT any more than I already do. But OpenAI’s first DevDay event on Monday did it for me.
OpenAI’s big ChatGPT announcements leaked well before the event. We knew GPT-4 Turbo with 128K context and cheaper prices was coming to ChatGPT. We also learned that ChatGPT would let you build your custom GPT versions after the DevDay event.
I saw no reason to watch the DevDay event live on Monday, thinking the press releases would be good enough. But hours after Sam Altman took the stage to guide developers through the OpenAI innovations, I watched the 45-minute keynote. I had to do it, I thought, because it’s part of my job. Generative AI will hopefully play a huge part in my future, so I have to follow it closely and understand it.
I was expecting a dry press event, the kind that I’ve seen so many times before. If you’ve been watching Google I/O and Microsoft Build events for as long as I have, you know what I mean. Even Apple’s most recent events haven’t been as entertaining as they used to be.
Instead, I found Altman’s way of delivering ChatGPT news incredibly refreshing. Sure, this was a rehearsed press event, like any keynote that opens a developer conference. And I won’t say Altman is going to be the next Steve Jobs, or anything hyperbolic like that. But there’s no denying that OpenAI’s CEO delivered an exciting keynote.
You could see Altman’s passion shining through as he delivered the big announcements. He went to work right from the start, quickly covering ChatGPT’s achievements in the past year and moving to the new features coming to the generative AI chatbot.
Within 15 minutes, Altman covered ChatGPT’s performance in its first year and delivered all the GPT-4 Turbo news. He then hosted Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage.
But rather than giving Microsoft a short moment to bore the wider audience with Azure developments for ChatGPT, which are exciting but not to your regular watcher at home, Altman and Nadella had a conversation. They were scripted, sure, but funny in parts and actually easier to follow.
Twenty minutes in, and Altman moved to the other big part of OpenAI’s announcement: The custom GPTs that anyone will be able to create.
Some will be more simple, others more complex. But they’ll further improve the ChatGPT experience, as they’ll handle highly specific tasks. OpenAI will even have a storefront for these GPTs.
Also interesting was the Assistants API segment that concluded the show, highlighting ways ChatGPT (or specific GPTs) could be integrated in future apps. On that note, I might have been wrong when I said ChatGPT desperately needs its own hardware. Yes, OpenAI should make a physical device running on ChatGPT natively. But ChatGPT has a great future ahead thanks to these GPT and Assistant innovations.
Before I knew it, the event was done. In 45 minutes, Altman & Co. captured my attention about a topic that’s not necessarily easy or intuitive. It was more fun to watch that Apple’s Scary Fast MacBook event a week earlier.
It’s one thing to watch an iPhone or MacBook launch event and quite another to sit in for Apple’s iOS announcements. Those are two of the most popular and most-watched tech events in the world. A ChatGPT event for developers seems, on paper, even more boring than that. But it absolutely wasn’t. After OpenAI’s first DevDay, I’m certain I’ll tune in live to the next ones.
More importantly, as a ChatGPT user, the DevDay opening keynote made me feel like OpenAI is at the forefront of generative AI innovation. On the contrary, Google’s AI segments in its I/O 2023 and Pixel events gave me the impression that Google is fumbling to play catchup with ChatGPT, even in those instances where it was showing off personal AI features that aren’t available from OpenAI’s chatbot.
To see what I mean, you can watch the Altman’s keynote below: