ChatGPT Outage

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For several hours on June 4, 2024, a significant outage prevented millions of people from accessing ChatGPT, OpenAI’s chatbot based on large language models.

At around 2:30 am ET, people started experiencing troubles when utilizing ChatGPT on the web, mobile apps, and desktop clients. An outage website received 2,300 outage reports from just the US alone. At 5:00 am ET, OpenAI announced the issues on its status page, classifying it as a “partial outage” initially, then raising the status to a “major outage” approximately an hour later. After over five hours of downtime, OpenAI announced around 7:30am ET that “a fix has been implemented” and began restoring service. By 9:30am ET, the status page showed all systems were back to normal operations.

The outage was one of the longest for ChatGPT since its launch in late 2022. This incident left even paid ChatGPT Plus subscribers unable to access the AI tool. Users on X commented on the outage, one saying, “How am I supposed to get any work done with ChatGPT being down?!” This shows how ChatGPT has become a part of some users’ everyday lives.

As higher education institutions integrate AI into their pedagogy, it is important to understand the risk of tools becoming unavailable. Not unlike other technologies, AI tools are also at risk of becoming unavailable. Institutions must create plans to ensure their ability to educate students if the tools they use suffer outages. It is also important to realize that many “AI tools” use OpenAI’s APIs, meaning they use behind-the-scenes calls to ChatGPT in their software. Therefore, they will also be affected if ChatGPT goes down, underlining the necessity for backup plans to ensure students can continue to receive education.

OpenAI has not yet disclosed the specific cause of the outage, though the company suggested last year that a previous incident was potentially due to an online cyber attack.

Two sources: Full techradar.com Article    Full tomsguide.com Article

Written with help from Tyler King

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Computer Science major at Fordham University. Working in the Office of Information Technology as an IT Risk Analyst Assistant.

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