OpenAI GPT-3 Pricing Revealed – Bad News for Hobbyists

OpenAI GPT-3 Pricing
OpenAI GPT-3 Pricing

Introduction

Ever since OpenAI unveiled the closed beta version of its GPT-3 model a few months back, the entire AI community went berserk with its surreal capabilities. In July, many twitter posts went viral by people where they made unbelievable use of GPT-3 in things such as generating website layout by just giving instruction in plain English. But OpenAI had not open-sourced the model but had just released an API of the beta version and they had confirmed the actual public version will come with a price. And now they have revealed the GPT-3 pricing model.

In a Reddit post, an independent researcher Gwern Branwen posted the GPT-3 pricing tiers which we can expect to see from 1st October 2020 onwards and it started a long comment thread due to skeptical responses from people

Let us see the different pricing tiers of GPT-3.

OpenAI GPT-3 Pricing Tiers

1. Explore: Free Tier

  • 100K Tokens or 3 months free trial, whichever comes first.

2. Create: $100/month

  • 2 Millon Tokens, plus 8 cents for every extra 1000 token.

3. Build: $400/month

  • 10 Millon Tokens, plus 6 cents for every extra 1000 token.

4. Scale: Custom Pricing

  • Contact OpenAI for pricing details

It is interesting to note that OpenAI will still operate under private beta after 1st October and will still not be available for the general public.

What is Token?

Tokens are the break down of a text into smaller units, usually words or characters.

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For those who are unable to comprehend the token-based pricing models of GPT-3, Branwen explained that a 2 million token of the 2nd tier will correspond to 3000 pages of text. And to relate it better Shakespear’s entire work consists of ~900,000 words or 1.2 million tokens.

It is to be noted that the calculation of the number of tokens will include both the prompt and completion tokens.

Reaction on GPT-3 Pricing

Although OpenAI had always made the intentions cleared that GPT-3 will come with a price tag in the future, but people were not expecting the price tag to be on the higher side. This is especially bad news for hobbyists who were playing with the GPT-3 beta version all this while or even had more future plans with it in the future.

In the Reddit thread, a similar hobbyist pointed out that that soon after 1st October, he might have to close down his GPT-3 based site philosopherai.com since his calculation showed that it will cost a minimum of $4000/month to maintain his site.

Even other users on the Reddit thread has similar sentiments, as they feel it will be challenging for people to make commercial use of GPT-3 at this pricing model.

Why GPT-3 comes with a Price Tag?

In recent years, many big companies like Google and Facebook have released their models and frameworks as open source. Then it is quite obvious that questions are being raised over the pricing model of GPT-3.

It should be noted that OpenAI also had started as a non-profit organization and it recently flipped towards becoming a revenue generating start-up.

They have stated that it is important for them to release their AI models through API under the pricing models so that they can sustain their research work. API model also enables easy access to the smaller business and the pricing will ensure that only serious people are using it, thus reducing the chances of any misuse.

It will be quite interesting to see the response of the people, at one end is the state of art powerful AI model that had fascinated everyone and on the other hand, is the high price tag making it a challenge for commercial use. It is expected that OpenAI may tweak the pricing plans in the future if they fail to get traction from people.

 

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