Price of GPT API Simplified: Real Examples and Case Studies

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ChatGPT API Cost

GPT and its models follow a pricing model that might be challenging to understand. OpenAI prices its models based on tokens, which are then converted into words. In this article, I aim to simplify the ChatGPT API Cost, making it easier for you to estimate expenses for your project. Through quick, practical case studies, I’ll guide you in accurately calculating costs to ensure your project stays within budget.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI that can understand and generate human-like text, making it useful for answering questions, providing information, and engaging in conversation on various topics. Consequently, it’s designed to assist and interact with people in a natural and helpful manner.

Why use ChatGPT API?

Use ChatGPT API to easily add natural conversation abilities to your apps, chatbots, and services. It saves time, enhances user experiences, and offers customizable, scalable AI interactions.

What models are available for API?

OpenAI offers several versions of the ChatGPT model through its API, including GPT-3.5, Codex, and the latest GPT-4. Additionally, each model has its own unique capabilities, with GPT-4 being the most advanced in terms of language understanding and generation.

ChatGPT API Cost

GPT APIs Pricing Model

The cost to use ChatGPT’s API is based on how much you write or read. Think of it like buying text in bulk. For every 1,000 ‘pieces’ of text (called tokens), which is about 750 words, you pay a small fee, like $0.002. Therefore, the more you write, the more tokens you use, and the more you pay.

ChatGPT API Cost

ChatGPT API cost

The cost to use the ChatGPT API is 0.2 cents for every 1000 tokens used. Since 750 words of text usually equal 1000 tokens, it will cost you 0.2 cents to generate about 750 words. Additionally, there are some methods you can apply to lower this expense.

Real Examples of ChatGPT API Cost

ChatGPT API Cost for a Blog:

Suppose you’re running a blog and use ChatGPT to draft your articles. Each article is around 750 words, which costs $0.002 to generate using the ChatGPT API. If you write one article every day, the monthly cost would be $0.06 (since $0.002 per article multiplied by 30 days equals $0.06).

ChatGPT API cost for a customer service AI Chatbot with 100 customers:

Let’s picture a customer service chatbot that you’re using for your business. Your business has 100 active customers. Subsequently, each of your 100 customers engages in a 10-minute conversation with your chatbot daily.

Meanwhile, let’s assume that a 10-minute conversation is roughly equivalent to 500 tokens (this can vary based on the complexity and length of replies).

Here’s how the math works out:

  • Each 10-minute conversation uses about 500 tokens.
  • With 100 customers, that’s 100 x 500 = 50,000 tokens used daily.
  • The cost for ChatGPT API is $0.002 per 1000 tokens.

To calculate the daily cost:

  • First, figure out how many sets of 1000 tokens are used: 50,000 tokens / 1,000 = 50 sets.
  • Then, multiply the number of sets by the cost per set: 50 x $0.002 = $0.10.

So, if each of your 100 customers has a 10-minute conversation with your chatbot every day, it would cost you around 10 cents per day.

ChatGPT API cost for a Restaurant AI Chatbot with 500 customers:

For this case study with your restaurant, let’s assume each customer has a 5-minute conversation to place an order, followed by a few minutes of additional interaction. Subsequently, we’ll estimate this entire interaction averages out to 300 tokens per customer.

Here’s how we calculate the monthly cost:

  1. Daily Token Usage:
    • Each customer uses about 300 tokens.
    • With 500 customers, that’s 500 x 300 = 150,000 tokens daily.
  2. Daily Cost:
    • ChatGPT API costs $0.002 per 1000 tokens.
    • To find the daily cost: \frac{150,000 \text{ tokens}}{1,000} \times $0.002.
  3. Monthly Cost:
    • Assuming 30 days in a month, multiply the daily cost by 30.

Let’s calculate the daily and then the monthly cost.

The daily cost for using the ChatGPT API with your restaurant’s 500 customers would be $0.30. Therefore, the monthly cost, assuming 30 days in a month, would be around $9.00.

​ChatGPT API cost for a Grocery Store AI chatbot with 500 customers:

Assumptions:

  1. Each customer interacts with the chatbot for a total of 10 minutes twice a day.
  2. We’ll estimate each 10-minute interaction to use about 500 tokens (this can vary based on conversation complexity).

Here’s how we break it down:

  1. Daily Token Usage:
    • Each interaction uses about 500 tokens.
    • Since each customer interacts twice a day, that’s 500 tokens x 2 = 1000 tokens per customer per day.
    • With 500 customers, that’s 500 x 1000 = 500,000 tokens daily.
  2. Daily Cost:
    • ChatGPT API costs $0.002 per 1000 tokens.
    • The daily cost is \frac{500,000 \text{ tokens}}{1,000} \times $0.002.
  3. Monthly Cost:
    • Assuming 30 days in a month, multiply the daily cost by 30.

Let’s calculate the daily and then the monthly cost for your grocery store scenario.

For your grocery store, where each of the 500 customers interacts with the chatbot for 10 minutes twice a day, the daily cost of using the ChatGPT API would be $1.00. Therefore, the monthly cost, assuming 30 days in a month, would be around $30. ​


Conclusion: ChatGPT API Cost

In conclusion, the cost of using the ChatGPT API can vary significantly based on the volume and length of interactions it handles. In scenarios like a customer service chatbot for a business or a conversational interface for a grocery store, the costs are directly tied to the number of tokens used in each interaction. As seen in the examples:

  1. For a business with a moderate number of customer interactions, such as a restaurant with 500 customers each engaging in a brief conversation daily, the cost is relatively low, at around $9.00 per month.
  2. For higher-frequency interactions, like a grocery store where each customer interacts with the chatbot twice a day for longer periods, the cost increases, in this case to about $30.00 per month.

These examples show that although the ChatGPT API effectively manages small to moderate amounts of text-based interactions at a low cost, the costs rise with more usage. Businesses need to weigh the efficiency and value these AI tools provide against their operational costs. They should plan to use the ChatGPT API in a way that is both economically sensible and effective in meeting their customers’ needs.

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