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One Week In: The Bright Spots and Growing Pains of the GPT Store

Dahlia Arnold

Jan 18, 2024

In the bustling digital marketplace of AI, the GPT Store marks its one-week anniversary. This innovative platform, reminiscent of the early days of app stores, promises a new age in AI tool accessibility. However, beneath the sheen of novelty and potential, there lies a mixed bag of triumphs and tribulations.

Launched by OpenAI, the GPT Store stands as a unique marketplace for user-created chatbots, offering a diverse range of applications from educational aids to lifestyle assistants. Within its first week, the platform has seen significant user engagement, highlighting both its widespread appeal and the creative potential of its user base. Yet, as with any pioneering venture, the GPT Store has not been without its challenges, ranging from user experience issues to concerns over intellectual property and platform stability​​​​​​.

The GPT Store, in its inaugural week, showcased a plethora of AI-powered chatbots, each designed to cater to specific needs. From 'AllTrails', providing tailored travel and hiking recommendations, to 'Consensus', aiding in scientific research, the store reflects a microcosm of AI's versatility. Amidst this, 'Code Tutor' and 'Books' emerged as user favorites, underscoring the store's role in both educational and recreational realms. The store's layout, divided into categories like 'Trending', 'By ChatGPT', and thematic classifications, mirrors the familiar design of established app stores, easing users into this new AI ecosystem​​.

The digital landscape of the GPT Store is akin to a bustling market, with each chatbot vying for attention amidst a sea of innovation. The store's interface, designed to be user-friendly, offers a glimpse into the future of AI interactions, where simplicity meets sophistication. Despite its promising start, the GPT Store faced hurdles. Developers expressed concerns about the ease of copying chatbots, fearing for the protection of their intellectual property. This issue, reminiscent of early challenges in mobile app stores, highlights the delicate balance between innovation and regulation in a rapidly evolving digital marketplace​​.

Rebecca Nagel, VP of AI for B2B publisher 1105 Media, voiced a common concern among developers: "How can OpenAI expect people to invest time in GPTs if they can just be lifted?" This sentiment captures the apprehension surrounding the store's current safeguards against intellectual property infringement​​.

User Experiences:

In its first week, the GPT Store showcased a vast array of user-generated chatbots, each offering unique functionalities. Users without coding experience found the platform accessible, highlighting its easy-to-use interface for building personalized GPTs. From recipe recommenders to coding companions, the store allowed users to create and share AI tools tailored to their specific needs. A standout feature was the collaboration and innovation fostered within the community, as users could build upon each other's creations. OpenAI's commitment to ethical guidelines was evident, as all GPTs underwent a stringent review process before entering the store​​.

Variety of Applications:

The GPT Store's diversity is exemplified by its array of chatbots. For instance, sales-specific GPTs like the Sales Leadership Mentor provided targeted advice for sales strategies, while tools like the Sales Researcher offered insights into prospects' information. Each bot, such as the Competitor Scout and Revenue Catalyst, was designed to cater to specific sales-related needs, demonstrating the store's potential to revolutionize various industry sectors​​.

Real-World User Interaction:

Users' interactions with the chatbots were varied and often insightful. For example, a chatbot specialized in literature provided detailed information about author Octavia Butler, engaging the user in meaningful conversation about her works. Another bot, designed by AllTrails, offered outdoor activity suggestions, showcasing the practical application of these AI tools in daily life. However, some users found limitations in the chatbots' abilities to engage in more nuanced or off-script conversations, highlighting areas for future improvement​​.

Case Study 1: Empowering Sales through AI

One of the notable successes of the GPT Store is its application in sales. A particular GPT, known as the Sales Leadership Mentor, has been instrumental for a telecommunications company specializing in VoIP and UC. This GPT provided valuable insights into sales strategies and team management, directly contributing to a noticeable improvement in sales performance. Through its analytical problem-solving and guidance on sales strategies, this GPT exemplified the practical, impactful use of AI in enhancing business operations​​.

Case Study 2: Enhancing Outdoor Experiences

Another innovative application came from the AllTrails company. Their specialized bot offered tailored outdoor activity suggestions, from bird watching to photography. While initially designed for hiking enthusiasts, it demonstrated versatility by accommodating a wider range of outdoor interests. This case highlights how AI can personalize experiences and provide valuable recommendations in leisure and lifestyle domains​​.

Challenges Putting GPT Store to Commercial Use

1. Training On Your Data:

The GPT Store poses a significant risk for businesses regarding their confidential intellectual property (IP). Any data uploaded to a custom GPT could potentially be assimilated into ChatGPT's knowledge base, making sensitive information publicly accessible. This integration of proprietary knowledge into a public database is a substantial deterrent for businesses with confidential IP.

2. Data Privacy Concerns:

A major vulnerability in the GPT Store is the ease of data extraction. Competitors can potentially access and download raw files uploaded by businesses, posing a serious threat to data confidentiality. This issue is exacerbated by the platform's functionality, which allows for simple commands to retrieve and zip file contents.

3. Leaking Custom Instructions:

Businesses investing time in developing unique custom instructions for GPTs face the risk of these instructions being leaked. This leakage not only undermines the uniqueness of a business's GPT but also opens doors for competitors to replicate or enhance similar GPTs.

4. Limitations in Website Integration:

A significant drawback for businesses is the inability to embed custom GPTs into their websites and lack of an API for custom GPTs. This limitation forces businesses to redirect users to external platforms, potentially worsening user experience and increasing bounce rates.

5. The Issue of Hallucination:

The GPTs in the store, designed for creativity, lack built-in anti-hallucination features. This shortfall means that the GPTs might generate fabricated information about businesses or competitors, leading to potential brand or legal liabilities.

6. Absence of Chat Logs:

Businesses using GPTs have no access to chat logs, which is critical for auditing and understanding customer interactions. This lack of transparency hinders the ability to manage risks and improve the GPT's effectiveness over time.

7. Limited Knowledge Capacity:

The current limitation of uploading only 20 files or 1.5 million words to a GPT's knowledge base is restrictive for most businesses. This constraint is particularly challenging for businesses with extensive knowledge resources and advanced documentation needs.

8. Challenges in Data Ingestion:

The GPT Store's GPTs face difficulties in ingesting website data, limiting their ability to become comprehensive sources of information for businesses. This limitation severely restricts the utility of these GPTs in representing a business's complete knowledge base.

9. Restricted Access:

Currently, only paid ChatGPT Plus subscribers can access the custom GPTs, significantly limiting the reach and utility of these tools for businesses. This restriction impacts the potential deployment of GPTs for customer service, employee productivity, and other business applications.

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