ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by OpenAI that answers questions in natural language. The AI program quickly gained popularity among users and developers, some of whom are now trying to take advantage of the situation.
The developers behind these suspicious apps found on both the App Store and the Play Store are trying to make money by offering premium versions of ChatGPT.
A particularly successful app called “ChatGPT Chat GPT AI With GPT-3” is currently the fifth most popular productivity app on the App Store. While the app is free, the users have to pay $7.99 a month or $49.99 a year to gain unlimited access to the chatbot.
Despite being suspicious and unrelated to OpenAI, the app has passed Apple’s App Store review multiple times since its launch three weeks ago. The developer had a similar app on the Play Store with over 100,000 downloads, but it’s no longer there.
On Sunday, the CEO of educational technology startup Bloomtech, Austen Allred, tweeted that the App Store is full of apps “that would let you believe you’re paying for ChatGPT.”
Google Play Store also overflows with numerous sketchy ChatGPT apps that were downloaded thousands of times but offer no usable functionality and are poorly rated.
What these apps have in common is ChatGPT in the app name. This is to ensure it appears favorably in search results, while some developers have released multiple similar apps hoping at least one of them will catch someone’s attention.
It’s unclear if Google and Apple are actively taking action against these apps, but this isn’t the first time their stores got flooded by clones of popular websites and other apps.
For example, the rise and fall of “Flappy Bird” resulted in a massive amount of similar games that were released to take its place.
Wordle suffered from being based on a simple website, like ChatGPT, and various clone apps surfaced on both the App Store and the Play store as soon as the word game became popular.
OpenAI hasn’t released any official mobile app for ChatGPT, and while plenty of apps are taking advantage of GPT-3, an official ChatGPT API doesn’t exist.
While some argue there are reasons why you should be worried about ChatGPT, nobody has to worry about having to pay for it at the moment, as it’s still free to use for anyone on the web.