5 years from now, will ChatGPT be seen as an "iPhone moment?"

Resolves YES, if 5 years from now, in hindsight, the consensus seems to be that the release of ChatGPT was as significant an event in signalling a coming sea change in technology and society as the release of the original iPhone.

This will be greatly aided in resolution if there's a bunch of press articles saying as much, otherwise it will be based on my own subjective opinion, aided by whatever polls I can look at and whatever evidence is provided in the comments.

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bought Ṁ50 YES

This is already true, no? The iPhone was talked about but ChatGPT convinced some people the singularity was nigh. Talk about AI has just exploded in the last year and a half, I don’t remember people being so obsessed with smartphones in 2007-2008. In terms of cultural impact it has already greatly exceeded the iPhone (when it was released).

@WilliamDewey But will it be the thing that is remembered? The iPod or the Blackberry phones might have looked like the archetypal devices at the time, before they were eclipsed.

I think the main risk is that OpenAI doesn't end up being the major supplier of Chat LLM services to the public.

bought Ṁ100 NO

Why the sudden spike? Did this get linked to from somewhere?

You know, the recent OpenAI fallout and parallels of Sam Altman being fired being similar to Steve Jobs being fired from Apple after the success of iPhone had it happened - this just reinforces the iPhone moment perception.

By general public, or by AI enthusiasts/scientists? Those people had seen other language models already better than the original GPT-3 and new this was coming, but ChatGPT was the first time the general public knew about it. For the iPhone even other people in the industry didn't realize how big of a revelation it was until a while after its release.

bought Ṁ200 of NO

Kinda absurd to see this market so high. iPhone was prohibitively expensive and everyone in the world wanted one (now has one)

chatGPT is accessible for free and half of the world have no application for it or no desire to use it. Of the small group who do actually use it, use is inconsistent (not daily and life changing like the iPhone)

iPhones literally made people cyborgs. ChatGPT would need an exceptional overhaul (likely not possible in 5 years) and mass adoption (likely not possible in 5 years) to be even a fraction as useful.

It’s like when everyone thought the home devices would be the next big thing - people don’t want it. They’re practically giving them away and still people would rather write in their notes or google something, it’s faster, more direct, more reliable, and requires no new learning.

I expect in 5 years ChatGPT is still just an unreliable work-aid which is primarily used by programmers and marketers. Especially if they continue to throttle responses in areas of professional expertise (legal responses, accounting responses, etc. will still require professional input) and unless chatGPT can enable a consumer to replace one of those professional aids, it won’t be useful enough to an everyday person to encourage the “iPhone moment” level of adoption

bought Ṁ50 of NO

Current version is too slow an buggy to be considered "iPhone". It's Windows CE, or Palm OS in the best case. "iPhone" is yet to come.


"Five hundred dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said that is the most expensive phone in the world... And it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard. Which makes it not a very good email machine."

Steve Ballmer on the iPhone 1.0

@LarsDoucet He probably wanted a way to hype up his own product so he found any way to attack the iPhone he could. the Motorola Razr V3 was $450 and it sold, really well.

bought Ṁ5 of NO

It's a good analogy. IPhone was developed basically overnight from stolen LG technology. Gpt took a decade to achieve a million dollars in revenue. IPhone was making hundreds of millions dollars after a year.

bought Ṁ40 of YES

@MarkIngraham The question is about chatGPT, released late 2022.

predicts NO

@firstuserhere yes. Gpt has the same growth rate as iphone starting from a 100x smaller base.

bought Ṁ10 of YES

@MarkIngraham I was replying to "Gpt took a decade to achieve a million dollars in revenue" which i don't understand and wanted to clarify the question is about ChatGPT, which has been released only a few months, not a decade.

predicts NO

@firstuserhere in quantitative terms, gpt is doing about 100x worse than iPhone on growth metrics.

bought Ṁ10 of YES

@MarkIngraham This question is not about revenue but adoption. iPhone was a platform, a device, bundled with its own software. It is obviously not comparable to chatGPT directly.

The question states "ChatGPT was as significant an event in signalling a coming sea change in technology and society as the release of the original iPhone?" which is relevant because iPhone fundamentally drove the way mobile phone business worked before it to the smartphone model. Similarly, the profit or how much money chatGPT makes is not relevant. The widespread growth, and the adoption, and the spread to a huge number of people which fundamentally drives the direction of the industry in a significant way is what matters.

predicts NO

@Dreamingpast the adoption and profit are actually comparable. Even a purely ad supported site values a few dollars per user. Iphones are worth about ten times more per user than a completely free product, it's not a big difference.

On every growth measure you can find gpt is mediocre.

@MarkIngraham No they are not. An iphone costs a lot more than a chatGPT. Iphone worked on a purchase model, chatGPT operates on a subscription model with a free variant which is what most people use. Apple was never handing out free iphones.

@Dreamingpast It's not surprising that a popular item people pay for earns more than a popular item people dont pay for.

predicts NO

They actually did for a long time but whatever. If your point is the philosophical implications of a stupid chatbot run by Indians pretending to be robots, leads to ai alignment questions like why do libs exist at all and why don't robots kill everyone, then yes its a iPhone moment.

predicts NO

@MarkIngraham "stupid chatbot run by Indians"... What...

predicts NO

@Dreamingpast I have triggered gpt with my extensive knowledge of South Asian ethnic slurs

@MarkIngraham yeah, chatGPT is used by more people in 3 months than an iPhone was, in its first 3 years of existence, combined.

@MarkIngraham that's not gpt but the safety layer.

predicts NO

@Dreamingpast does gpt post any user numbers? It's an academic app used by nerds.

@MarkIngraham Lmao that couldn't be further from the truth. ChatGPT has more than 100 million users within the first two months of its launch and has more than 13 million daily visitors as of 2023.

In January 2023, ChatGPT crossed 100 million users, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in a short period of time. Additionally, within the first month of its launch, ChatGPT crossed 57 million users.

@Dreamingpast There are NOT that many nerds.

predicts NO

@Dreamingpast daily visitor is really generous. That's maybe 1 million actual users which are all the cs majors in the world. Also it has stagnated.

@MarkIngraham Daily Visitors: 25 million

predicts NO

@Dreamingpast guess what? I worked for Walmart labs and we had more daily visitors than any other website. 2 million TPS. Yet 99% were bots.

@Dreamingpast ChatGPT requires an account so it's not visits but users.

predicts NO

@Dreamingpast it has about 20% the search activity as reddit, which has 50 million users, and most those searches are news

@MarkIngraham Google search would matter if that is how people accessed chatGPT. Using it does not require you to google it. And if you do not google it, it doesn't count in trends.

@Dreamingpast Also, if you looked at how google trends works, they specifically have filteration on news, just to avoid the type of contamination you just brought up

@Dreamingpast I should know... i freaking work for google.

predicts NO

@Dreamingpast I think your argument is pretty weak but whatever.

More importantly it isn't growing, and furthermore anything that stops growing always dies within a few months.