OpenAI to Patent ‘GPT’
By Adam Pease
OpenAI to Patent ‘GPT’
OpenAI, the California startup behind the viral application ChatGPT, has recently appealed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to accelerate a patent request for ‘GPT,’ the foundation of its service and research focus. This blog discusses the news and what it reveals about OpenAI’s position in the market.
A Trademark for GPT?
GPT stands for ‘Generative Pre-Trained Transformer,’ which refers to the AI model at the core of OpenAI’s most recent innovations in natural language processing and generative AI. While the concept of a ‘Transformer’ comes originally from a 2017 paper by Google, OpenAI still has a good case for its request, with experts expecting that it will eventually receive the trademark.
The move reveals how the AI market is heating up, as many startups jump on the viral appeal of the ‘GPT’ name to market their new AI services. Furthermore, the move signifies how OpenAI itself is shifting as an organization, shifting from its original non-profit approach to pursue a more aggressive position in the market.
OpenAI Goes Closed Source
OpenAI has faced considerable criticism for its pivot away from open source, non-profit AI development to a more restrictive approach to handling its IP and a business model focused on profitability and supported by a $10B partnership with Microsoft. Nevertheless, it raises compelling reasons for the need for this shift, citing the safety concerns associated with immediately making cutting edge AI research public.
The costs of running an AI business at scale are also an important factor to consider. OpenAI has stated that it didn’t anticipate the extent to which its research would be driven by large-scale compute costs in the early years. The same principles of scale that have led to better and better language models trained on more and more compute have also necessitated a shift towards a for-profit model that can support this scale.
Ultimately, the GPT trademark is an apt symbol for OpenAI’s transition as an organization towards a more profit-driven business model. It also reveals how the AI market is growing, with many new competitors on the horizon.
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