ChatGPT's 100 Millionth User Means the Age of AI Is Here

ChatGPT signed up its 100 millionth user recently, a milestone reached just 64 days after its Nov. 30 launch. 

It took Facebook 4½ years to reach 100 million users. Instagram took 2½ years after its 2010 launch, and Twitter took five years to hit the 100 million milestone. 

Even the global video-sharing sensation TikTok took nine months to reach 100 million users. And now that ChatGPT has smashed that record, the battle for market share in the emerging $1.34 trillion artificial intelligence (AI) industry is in full swing.

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Microsoft Corp. MSFT announced a $10 billion investment in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, barely a week after the technology’s debut. Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, still commonly known as Google, rolled out Bard, its answer to ChatGPT, Feb. 8 to some embarrassment as the chatbot gave the wrong answer about discoveries by the James Webb Space Telescope. 

The bot answered incorrectly that the space telescope had “taken the very first pictures of a planet outside our own solar system.”

It’s possible that Alphabet rushed its rollout of Bard out of desperation to snag market share before hundreds of millions of people became loyal users of ChatGPT. But the stumble was expensive: Alphabet shares tumbled 8% on the failed demo. 

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Alphabet may yet catch up, especially with its ramped-up $39.5 billion budget for research and development. Apple Inc.AAPL and Meta Platforms Inc. META have also announced plans to aggressively compete in the sector. 

Apple's plans to spend $430 billion on AI and other projects in a five-year window, which is currently ongoing. In fact, it might even end up spending more as the company originally set out to spend only $350 billion in 2018. The investment will be going into funding the next-generation of silicon development, AI, 5G innovations across the United States and building research communities across the country. 

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Meta’s investments into the space are a bit more straightforward. From content suggestions to constantly improving their ad recommendations, Meta has essentially been a top AI play for years now. Recently, the social media giant announced it’s plans to leap into the generative AI space as well, following trends related to ChatGPT. But much of Meta’s underlying business resolves around machine learning and recommendations already.

It’s anyone’s guess which of the tech titans will dominate the AI age — or how much a prize like the $1.34 trillion AI market will move share prices of companies already valued at over $1 trillion. But it’s clear the technology is moving markets, and some believe it could even make the worlds first trillionaire. 

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