"I feel like a child who lost a parent in a shopping mall; please give me back my precious ChatGPT," said one user.
ChatGPT, a viral chatbot from OpenAI, stopped working Monday (20 March), with user complaints pouring in around 4:09 AM EDT (8:09 AM GMT), according to Downdetector, a website that tracks outages.
"Literally two minutes after paid subscription. Not cool," one user complained.
About an hour after the crash was first reported, some users said the service was back online, but many noted it was not working properly for them.
"Can't load previous chats, and my plus subscription disappeared all of a sudden," a user has said.
Some users complained about interrupted workflow and lost content progress, while others speculated what might have caused the crash.
"India got plus [subscription-based upgraded service], and it's working hours there," one said, in an apparent reference to the local time in the South Asian country at the time of the outage.
The ChatGPT subscription service, based on a more advanced GPT-4 language model released last week, was launched in India on Friday (17 March).
When contacted for comment, OpenAI referred to a tweet by its CEO Sam Altman, in which he explained the outage was "due to a bug in an open source library."
The flaw also allowed users to see parts of conversations other users had with the chatbot. "We feel awful about this," Altman said.
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