ChatGPT was hit by a major outage leaving users unable to access the app or website. Image Credit: Arnav Pratap Singh / Adobe Stock

ChatGPT was hit by a major outage this morning (June 4), leaving users unable to access it.

According to DownDetectora website that monitors outages – hundreds of people globally have been affected since 8am BST. 

Many have reported on social media that ChatGPT is not processing their queries. But why is ChatGPT being down causing such a fuss? Here’s everything you need to know. 

What is ChatGPT?

The AI chatbot with natural language processing (NPL) allows the user to have human-like conversations to complete tasks, such as answering questions and assisting with composing written content.  

Launched by OpenAI, the platform has reached the mark of 180.5m users worldwide in 2024. 

How can you access ChatGPT?

In April 2024, OpenAI stopped requiring users to login to access ChatGPT. Now, you can access it by simply visiting chat.openai.com or downloading the app on your iPhone or Android device. 

Is ChatGPT Free?

ChatGPT is available for free through its website. However, there is also an option to upgrade to ChatGPT Plus for access to its latest version – GPT-4o, by a subscription plan.    

How are people using it? 

People have been using it for solving maths problems, coding computer programs, and generating art as well as a vast range of other tasks.

Highlighting the different uses of AI, the Tribeca Festival and OpenAI announced a programme to debut five original short films made using AI. For Jane Rosenthal, co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, the festival is rooted in the foundational belief that storytelling inspires change. 

“Sometimes these stories come to us as a feature film, an immersive experience, a piece of art, or even an AI-generated short film,” said Rosenthal. 

What are the ethical concerns? 

While ChatGPT can be helpful, there are some ethical concerns about it. Most of them depend on how it is used, including plagiarism, lack of privacy and security, and deceitful use.

In May 2024, the actress Scarlett Johansson claimed that a ChatGPT update used an imitation of her voice. In response, OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman explained that the voice of Sky – ChatGPT’s voice assistant – is an actor and it was never the intention to resemble Johansson’s.  

Is ChatGPT replacing jobs?

As the technology advances, ChatGPT might automate certain tasks that are typically completed by humans, leading people to believe that it could replace their jobs. 

However, rather than replacing, it can be used as support for job functions. For Paula Merlo, editor-in-chief of Vogue Brazil, the bot won’t be substituting journalists work.

She said: “It still lacks emotional engagement and feeling. A great interview is about connecting to someone else, understanding the moment, and capturing feelings.”