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From corny jokes to job applications, ChatGPT’s new store is selling


Prominent artificial intelligence company OpenAI has launched a new way for developers to sell and distribute their own, custom versions of AI software through an online store, with industry participants and watchdogs saying it could change how businesses and consumers use the technology.

The GPT Store will include personalized artificial intelligence applications, and will let users discover and build versions tailored to specific topics or needs. 

The store will offer custom versions of ChatGPT, created by developers who pay a subscription fee to OpenAI.

A screengrab of a website offering
The GPT Store features custom implementations of artificial intelligence. (James Dunne/CBC)

Think of an AI bot that only exists to help with dinner recipes, or with math homework.

Or a program that uses artificial intelligence exclusively to generate “yo mama” jokes.

Jokes aside, those involved say making custom AI apps available in an app store could be revolutionary for the sector, similar to how Apple and Google changed how people interacted with mobile apps when they launched their respective app stores for phones. 

“Being able to engage with an AI tool in natural language is a transformational moment in technology, and this will bring two sides of the marketplace together,” said Sonia Sennik, executive director at the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab. “I think we’re going to see … ever more innovative tools that are built by folks like you and me, who can now speak to and engage with these models.” 

A person in a burnt orange tie and plaid jacket is pictured outdoors
Prof. Sonia Sennik calls the app store for custom AI programs ‘transformational.’ (Scarlet O’Neill/Submitted by Sonia Sennik)

Sennik called the new store an “avenue for accessibility,” and said having custom artificial intelligence chat bots available in a mass marketplace will help create a snowball effect, with more activity coming as users and developers are both attracted to this app store. 

Opens accessibility but who is responsible? 

“It’s going to give people who are not coders the capacity to start producing in the digital world without going out and hiring a software engineer,” said Gillian Hadfield, a professor of law at the University of Toronto who focuses on the safety and governance of artificial intelligence. “Wow.”

However, Hadfield said trouble looms for mass-market artificial intelligence, as laws and regulations are unclear on who is to blame when things go wrong.

For example, what if an artificial intelligence app was designed to book travel for a user — and got it wrong?

 A hand holds up a smartphone with a black screen with the words OpenAI in white.
At least one Canadian legal expert is questioning who is responsible for the possible errors of a custom GPT app. (Michael Dwyer/The Associated Press)

“So who’s responsible? Is the contract valid? Can you get the money back if it bought the wrong airline ticket? I just think there’s a lot of questions around what happens to the way our whole market economy works when you have these kinds of agents out there doing stuff in the world, and when you’ve made it very open access to…



Read More: From corny jokes to job applications, ChatGPT’s new store is selling

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