OpenAI to Create App Store-like Marketplace for AI

With OpenAI planning to create a marketplace for AI models, is the company headed toward further dominance in the AI space?
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After triggering the AI revolution and dominating the chatbot space, OpenAI is now out to take another market and set precedence for others in the process by creating a marketplace for AI models. Akin to an app store, the company is planning to create a platform for developers to sell their models built on the AI technology. Believed to bring the global market on to a single platform, this could well be the next AI revolution in the making. 

AI advisor Vin Vashishta considers OpenAI’s marketplace idea as the next step in the Generative AI gold rush and even anticipates it to be as big as Apple’s App Store. 

Why A Marketplace Model ? 

While ChatGPT continues to grow in adoption across the globe with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman working on democratising AI regulations, and cybersecurity programs, the move to contemplating a marketplace is probably another way to stay ahead in the game. By having a first mover advantage in the AI space, the company might be looking to open the playing field to all kinds of AI developers, thereby reducing any form of monopoly. 

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In an exclusive interview with AIM, Shahar Chen, CEO and co-founder of Aquant, a service-oriented AI powered software company — one of the first AI companies to have openly expressed their interest to be a part of the OpenAI marketplace — spoke about the immense promise that this marketplace will bring for AI developers and technology buyers. He believes AI will transform to become a commodity presenting two categories: horizontal and vertical applications.

“Horizontal models, such as ChatGPT or Google Bard, offer versatile and generic solutions applicable across various domains. On the other hand, vertical models are designed to cater to specific industries, providing specialised and tailored AI capabilities. An app store dedicated to AI software would serve as an ideal platform for vertical AI vendors to reach a global audience effortlessly.” The app store format will connect vendors to millions of potential users. “The AI vendors can effectively monetise their offerings, generate substantial revenue, and expand their customer base,” said Chen. 

A Revolution in the Making? 

Pulling analogies to the iPhone and App Store moment that revolutionised the mobile industry, the AI app store concept is believed to reshape how AI is accessed. “An AI app store has the potential to reshape how AI is accessed, applied, and monetized, fostering innovation and empowering users to harness the capabilities of AI technology.”   

Chen believes that the proposed marketplace model will likely disrupt the AI landscape and bring about competition by creating opportunities for new entrants and push existing players to innovate and differentiate themselves. The app store format might offer a wide variety of fine-tuned AI software, spanning across various domains, and it would give access to an ‘extensive library of cutting-edge AI tools’. 

While OpenAI may be the first ones to plan out an app store format for all kinds of AI models, Amazon entered the field of foundational models marketplace two months ago with Bedrock. AWS has announced an API platform that helps customers host generative AI models such as those built by AI21 Labs, Anthropic AI, and Stability AI. 

People are already calling OpenAI’s marketplace plan a great idea which is said to promote trust, quality, and help in centralising AI tools in one place. However the scepticism lies in the monetary structure. OpenAI has not disclosed any information on how they would charge the app developers or what kind of cuts the company will implement.  

In continuation with OpenAI’s democratisation plans, there were previous reports of OpenAI planning to release an open source model which will not compete with their flagship GPT.

Vandana Nair
As a rare blend of engineering, MBA, and journalism degree, Vandana Nair brings a unique combination of technical know-how, business acumen, and storytelling skills to the table. Her insatiable curiosity for all things startups, businesses, and AI technologies ensures that there's always a fresh and insightful perspective to her reporting.

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