If you’ve spent any time on social media lately, you’ve probably seen countless videos showing the types of things ChatGPT can do.
Launched in late 2022, OpenAI has provided ChatGPT for free in research preview format.
However, while the company only offers it as an online tool, experts are now warning of the many scammers who package ChatGPT into a useful app with a mobile-friendly interface – but many of these unofficial apps are fraught with problems.
Fake ChatGPT apps
In our case, a quick search for “GPT” in the iOS app store brought up one app at the top of all results: Ads. It states it’s powered by free OpenAI GTP-3 technology, however offers a monthly subscription costing £7.99 a month to unlock “one month full access” to an essentially free service.
Another app lower in the search results has an average of 4.7 stars in over 900 reviews. It too is powered by GPT-3 and offers paid subscriptions ranging from Lite to Pro and Advanced; the most expensive is £12.99 per month. We found the same app on the Google Play Store offering paid subscriptions and boasting a similarly high rating of 4.5 stars (in nearly 300 reviews).
Apart from applications that explicitly claim to be based on GPT technology, MacRumors (opens in a new tab) reportedly found one app that he claimed: “[gave] impression that this is an official app for the ChatGPT bot, but there seems to be no connection to Open AI, the developers of ChatGPT, or the bot itself.”
It charged $7.99 a week for ad-free access, ranked second in the App Store productivity charts, and had over 12,000 reviews.
The app has since been removed; TechRadar Pro contacted Apple for further comments on how it vets apps that make it to its App Store and then to its charts. OpenAI did not immediately respond to our request for more information on its thoughts on such applications.