ChatGPT is back up and running after a major outage Thursday morning. The large language model-powered chatbot is usually accessed through OpenAI’s website, but starting before 7:23 A.M. ET and up until 8:27 A.M. ET that site was down. Prior to the total outage, related increased reports of problems seem to have started shortly after 5 A.M. ET, according to Downdetector.
OpenAI acknowledged the issue in an incident report on its status tracking page. “ChatGPT is seeing elevated error rates. The root cause has been identified and the team is working to fix it,” the artificial intelligence company wrote in its first notice of the problem. Subsequent updates indicated that OpenAI was continuing to work on the issue and had attempted a fix. The last post (at 8:27 A.M. ET) noted that the outage has been resolved, and offered a little bit of an explanation.
“Elevated database CPU usage was impacting the site over the last several hours, and the underlying issue has been addressed. We will continue to monitor the site to ensure the issue does not reoccur,” OpenAI wrote.
It’s unclear what triggered the high CPU usage, or if the ChatGPT mobile app was also impacted. Gizmodo reached out to the company, but did not immediately hear back.
This outage is far from OpenAI’s first rodeo. Since its launch the site has had more than a few hiccups, many of which are well catalogued by the research organization and company’s status blog. ChatGPT has had about one major outage per month since its launch, and several smaller incidents. In at least a few cases, the chatbot’s popularity has been the cause of its (temporary) downfall.
In December, shortly after ChatGPT’s November 30, 2022 launch, rapid growth in usership contributed to a string of outages and other problems. However the company seems to have successfully scaled up its site capacity since then. By some metrics, the AI text generator became the fastest growing app in history soon after it became available to the public—accruing more than 100 million monthly active users in just only two months.
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