OpenAI removes GPT-3 API waitlist and opens applications for all developers

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OpenAI has removed the waitlist to access its GPT-3 API which means any developer can apply to get started.

The AI giant unveiled GPT-3 in May last year to a mixed reception. Few doubted GPT-3’s impressive ability to generate text similar to a human writer, but many expressed concerns about the societal impact.

Fake news and propaganda are already difficult to counter even when it’s being generated in relatively limited amounts by human writers. The ability for anyone to use an AI to generate misinformation at scale could have serious implications.

A paper (PDF) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism found that GPT-3 is able to generate “influential” text that has the potential to radicalise people into far-right extremist ideologies.

OpenAI itself shared those concerns and decided against releasing GPT-3 to the public at the time. Instead, only select trusted researchers and developers were given access.

The company gradually provided access to GPT-3 to more developers through a waitlist. OpenAI says “tens of thousands” of developers are already taking advantage of powerful AI models through its platform.

However, OpenAI has also been building a number of “safeguards” that have made the company feel comfortable removing the waitlist.

“Instruct” models are designed to adhere better to human instructions, provide specialised endpoints for more truthful question-answering, and deliver a free content filter to help developers mitigate abuse.

“To ensure API-backed applications are built responsibly, we provide tools and help developers use best practices so they can bring their applications to production quickly and safely,” wrote OpenAI in a blog post.

“As our systems evolve and we work to improve the capabilities of our safeguards, we expect to continue streamlining the process for developers, refining our usage guidelines, and allowing even more use cases over time.”

OpenAI has improved ‘Playground’ to make it even simpler for researchers to prototype with its models.

The company has also added an example library with dozens of prompts to get developers started. Codex, OpenAI’s new model for translating natural language into code, also makes an appearance.

Developers in supported countries can sign up and get started experimenting with OpenAI’s API right now.

19/11 update: An earlier version of the headline said that API was “generally” available. This has now been updated to clarify that an application process is still in place and that usage will still be reviewed by OpenAI.

(Photo by Dima Pechurin on Unsplash)

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