Yesterday OpenAI held its first developer conference in San Francisco (USA), called DevDay. The event was unique, because in it the company’s leaders announced two great news. The first, the new GPT-4 Turbo. The second, even more promisingan app store called GPT Store.
It is a new and important step in a strategy that reminds us a lot of the most important technology company – at least, in market valuation – in the world: Apple.
Long live the app stores
When Apple launched its App Store in 2008, it revolutionized the market, and that centralized software distribution model has made that platform in overwhelming success for the Cupertino company.
Others have tried to copy that same model, but none have been able to emulate Apple’s milestone. Microsoft has not done it—which continues to let us install software downloaded from anywhere—and neither has Google with its Play Store, which is the closest thing to what has been achieved by the company led by Tim Cook.
Although no one has achieved what Apple has, there are a few more examples of successes in this area. The video game distribution stores They are a good reference, and there Steam and – to a lesser extent – Epic Games Store are undoubtedly successful, but so are much more specific stores such as those created by Shopify or the Salesforce AppExchange for business tools.
The concept has therefore been demonstrating its validity for years, and now OpenAI wants to take advantage of it to increase its dominance in a segment that promises to revolutionize our world.
In March 2023 they presented their plugins, but with the GPT Store they go further and propose a scenario in which Anyone can create a custom GPT. Among the examples they showed was that of a creative writing assistant—send him a text and he will correct you and suggest improvements—one who teaches you how to negotiate, another who helps you cook, or a virtual math teacher who prevents you from (perhaps) hiring a private teacher for your children.
The revolution is in creating apps (also toxic apps) without knowing code
But this GPT Store is different from the others because to create these “apps” or GPTs one does not need to know how to program or dominate the field of artificial intelligence.
Practically all the work is done by ChatGPT, and Casey Newton demonstrated it when he told us in Platformer about his experience when creating his “Copy Editor”, an assistant that allows him to act as a reviewer and proofreader of the columns that he himself writes for this newsletter. .
As he noted, “to create it, I didn’t write a single line of code. Instead, OpenAI’s chat interface asked me what I wanted to create, and then created it for me in seconds.”
To create the bot, a prompt identical to the one we use to normally interact with ChatGPT or DALL-E 3 is used, and then it is possible to add additional prompts that further polish and perfect its functions. For example, “identify potential grammatical and syntactic errors,” “find flaws in my argument,” or “criticize my arguments as someone who works in technology and believes the press is very closed-minded and cynical.”
All of them end up being part of that assistant that becomes a useful help to improve the texts. Newton admitted that these prompts work relatively well, but they are not perfect.
But there is also a clear underlying threat, this analyst explained. With these tools it is also possible to create an assistant that generates texts that, for example, undermine support for Ukraine in its war with Russia and does not stop publishing them everywhere in a fully automated way. Or one that generates phishing attacks, or any other toxic purpose. Here it is evident that control and censorship The force OpenAI must exert on these custom GPTs must be as strong (or stronger) than that which Apple exerts on its App Store.
Is this the true revolution for OpenAI, like the App Store was for the iPhone? It is too early to know, but we are certainly facing a promising step forward for a company that has a clear roadmap. Maybe ChatGPT has snitched on it. Who knows.