Since OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022, developers have been speculating about when an API for the tool would be available. 

Today, the company announced APIs for both ChatGPT and Whisper, which is a speech recognition system that was trained on 680,000 hours of voice data. This means that developers can now integrate these solutions into their own products. 

“We believe that AI can provide incredible opportunities and economic empowerment to everyone, and the best way to achieve that is to allow everyone to build with it. We hope that the changes we announced today will lead to numerous applications that everyone can benefit from,” OpenAI wrote in a blog post

The ChatGPT API uses the same model that the web version uses, gpt-3.5-turbo. The company has made some improvements to the model recently which has resulted in it being 10x cheaper to do computations. Currently it costs $0.002 for 1000 tokens. 

The API can be used to build applications that can do things like draft an email, answer questions about a set of documents, create conversational agents, tutor in a range of subjects, and more.

The Whisper API costs $0.006 per minute and is available through the transcriptions or translations endpoints. Transcriptions transcribes in the source language and translations transcribes into English. 

The API accepts a number of different formats, including M4A, MP3, MP4, MPEG, MPGA, WAV, and WEBM. 

According to OpenAI, data collected by the API won’t be used to improve service or train models, unless you opt into that specifically. 

Data can be retained for 30 days by default, but this can be extended for companies that need longer retention. 

OpenAI also stated that one of its main goals going forward is to make ChatGPT more stable since it has had issues with downtime since it was first released. “We know that ensuring AI benefits all of humanity requires being a reliable service provider. Please hold us accountable for improved uptime over the upcoming months,” the company wrote. 

A number of companies have already started using the API within their apps. Examples include:

  • Snapchat, which now includes a feature called My AI for Snapchat+ which features the chatbot
  • Quizlet, which now includes an AI tutor that adapts questions to students based on their study materials
  • Instacart, which now enables customers to ask food-related questions and get answers that may incorporate items that can be shopped for