23 days ago • 2 mins
What’s going on here?
OpenAI’s December revenue put it on course to bring in $2 billion a year, a major milestone that puts the ChatGPT creator in the history books – and not for destroying humanity (yet).
What does this mean?
OpenAI is, ironically, not the most forthcoming with information. But on Friday, two loose-lipped sources pushed back the veil of ignorance, as head honcho Sam Altman would say. They revealed that OpenAI’s “run rate” – the amount a firm would make if every month was the same – was $2 billion based on December’s figures, making it one of only a few tech firms to hit the $1 billion-plus mark in their first five years. That adds up: plenty of the biggest US firms already rely on OpenAI’s ChatGPT service to save time, make more money, and plan vacation itineraries. A cozy relationship with Microsoft, the biggest company in the world, won’t have hurt either.
Why should I care?
For markets: The chips are up.
Big Tech’s recent results were essentially marketing campaigns for AI’s money-making abilities. Microsoft, Amazon, and Google all made more from their cloud businesses than the year before, with their customers pouring money into super-smart solutions. Nvidia hasn’t announced its results yet, but with semiconductor companies like ASML and Arm already benefiting from the AI sector, last year’s market standout will be expected to stick to the tone. Mind you, with OpenAI floating ambitions of producing next-level chips itself, competition might be heating up.
The bigger picture: Chuck the Versace glasses.
When they’re not checking out the price of underground bunkers, AI skeptics are warning that the furor looks eerily similar to the tech bubble of 1999. There’s one key difference, though. Back then, investors snapped up anything with “dot-com” in its name, regardless of sales or profit. Today’s runaway companies, in comparison, are practically bleeding profit. So while 1999’s vintage was chronically unstable, today’s tech firms really have legs.
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