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ChatGPT Economics: Can Big Language Models Make a Profit?

by Editorial Staff
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On Wednesday, June 5, one thing unusual occurred within the US inventory market. Nvidia (NVDA 1.75%) turned the primary pc “{hardware}” inventory to succeed in a $3 trillion valuation, largely as a result of success of its semiconductor chips for synthetic intelligence features.

Beforehand solely pc software program producers comparable to an apple and Microsoft, which usually earn extra revenue than tools producers, have reached this mark. However due to the staggering revenue margins Nvidia has been in a position to make on its AI chips, it has additionally joined the $3 trillion membership.

However not all information is nice. ARK Funding chief Katie Wooden warned traders final week that for Nvidia to stay as much as its excessive valuation, “AI now has to play elsewhere” and show its worth to each AI firms and prospects. shopping for their companies. In any other case, the demand for AI chips will lower, and with it, Nvidia’s valuation.

So what are the possibilities that software program firms like OpenAI, Microsoft and Alphabet will generate income from AI? Will the funds from firms like Apple, which guarantees to place synthetic intelligence with OpenAI, and maybe additionally Google on its iPhones, be sufficient to make AI firms worthwhile?

Taking ChatGPT for a check drive

Fortuitously, I not too long ago had the chance to attempt to reply the query. I write quite a bit about defensive shares and put up defensive contracting summaries on Twitter (now X) for the good thing about different traders. In fact, doing it manually is time-consuming. Is it potential to make use of a program like ChatGPT for instance to automate this work?

To search out out, I recruited my daughter Annabelle to place her newly minted pc science diploma to work. I offered the information and he or she constructed an software programming interface (API) to entry ChatGPT and requested it to simplify my uncooked knowledge into shorter contract summaries.

Within the course of, we got here throughout ChatGPT’s price sheet.

And my jaw dropped.

How a lot does ChatGPT price?

Valuing its output in “tokens,” which it describes as “items of phrases,” and promoting these tokens to customers in batches of 1 million, OpenAI (the corporate that owns ChatGPT) costs between $0.02 and $15 per million tokens, relying on which it’s the massive language mannequin that the person requires. We determined {that a} mannequin referred to as GPT-3.5 Turbo could be appropriate for our functions.

Its price: $1.50 per million tokens.

That is actually not some huge cash when you think about that these 1 million tokens will generate about 750,000 phrases of textual content – and save me numerous hours of labor over the course of a yr. As a ChatGPT person, I used to be thrilled. However as an OpenAI investor, I admit I used to be a bit nervous about whether or not the corporate would have the ability to make that sort of cash, particularly with current discuss of AI dropping steam and electrical energy costs rising.

To dig a bit of deeper into this query, we requested ChatGPT a easy query: “How a lot electrical energy does it price ChatGPT to reply this query?”

ChatGPT gave a complicated reply explaining how he calculated the power price to reply the query. All the response took 390 phrases, burning about 0.052% of my tokens. So I suppose the reply price me about $0.00078.

However how a lot did it price ChatGPT proprietor OpenAI to provide the reply? In 2022, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recommended that the prices may very well be fairly excessive – up to some cents per request.

However that was two years in the past, earlier than the “optimization” began. Once I requested ChatGPT final week, “How a lot electrical energy does it price ChatGPT to reply this query?” he replied that OpenAI most likely paid about $0.000006255 in power to reply this query – simply six ten-thousandths of a cent! And if that is so, then regardless of the low price of iOpenAI was nonetheless in a position to cost me about 125 extra to generate the reply than it spent on electrical energy to provide it – assuming the reply is correct.

In fact, power is not the one price that OpenAI, Microsoft, Alphabet and others will incur in offering AI companies. In addition they should pay the price of coaching their massive language fashions, and so they nonetheless have to purchase AI chips from Nvidia. With costs beginning at $25,000 per chip, that is a major upfront price. Nevertheless, with billions of requests per day, I really imagine these firms could make a revenue, particularly with competitors from Nvidia rivals comparable to Intel and Superior Micro Gadgets helps decrease AI chip costs and decrease preliminary prices.

Briefly, it is totally potential that over time and at scale, OpenAI, Microsoft, Alphabet, and all the opposite firms working to make the AI ​​revolution a actuality will really have the ability to generate income from it. That is excellent news for them.

And to handle Wooden’s considerations, that is most likely excellent news for Nvidia as properly.

Suzanne Frey, CEO of Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Idiot’s board of administrators. Wealthy Smith has no place in any of the shares talked about. The Motley Idiot has positions in and recommends Superior Micro Gadgets, Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia. The Motley Idiot recommends Intel and recommends the next choices: lengthy January 2025 $45 calls on Intel, lengthy January 2026 $395 calls on Microsoft, brief August 2024 $35 calls on Intel and brief January calls 2026 for $405 at Microsoft. The Motley Idiot has a disclosure coverage.

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