In brief: The recent rise in popularity of ChatGPT has been meteoric, to say the least. According to new analysis, the AI platform in January reached 100 million users following its launch on November 30, which makes it the fastest-growing consumer app in history, though the chatbot itself doesn't believe it should be classed as an app.

According to analysis by Swiss bank UBS, the speed at which ChatGPT has added 100 million users makes it the fastest-growing consumer app in history— more than one million people were using the site within five days of its launch. Reuters notes that this puts it ahead of TikTok, which took nine months to reach 100 million users. Instagram, meanwhile, took two and half years to hit the same figure.

However, when ZDNet asked ChatGPT if it really was the fastest-growing app in history, it replied: "No, OpenAI's GPT-3 language model, which powers ChatGPT, is not an app, it's a machine learning model designed to generate human-like text based on the input provided to it. GPT-3 has been widely recognized as one of the largest and most advanced language models to date, but it's not an app and hasn't been measured in terms of user growth."

ChatGPT's popularity means accessing the platform isn't easy; it's usually at maximum capacity and offers to notify people when there's space. That could change following the launch of a $20-per-month subscription option, called ChatGPT Plus, which offers priority access at peak periods, faster response times, more stability, and priority access to new features and improvements. The tier is now available in the US, though there is a waitlist for those who want to sign up.

ChatGPT is making plenty of headlines right now. Yesterday brought news that Microsoft, which has integrated several AI services into its Azure cloud platform and is investing an additional $10 billion into creator OpenAI, will be integrating the company's GPT-4 language model, a faster version of the machine learning model currently used by ChatGPT, into search engine Bing.

The sudden popularity of generative AIs has give rise to concerns that students could use them to cheat. It's led to OpenAI creating an AI classifier designed to identify whether text was written by a human or created by an artificial intelligence "from a variety of providers," including ChatGPT. Unfortunately, the classifier in its current beta version isn't very good at its job.

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