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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

ChatGPT faces global outage

Users could type their queries, but the enter button remained unresponsive, and access to previous chats was also unavailable.

OpenAI’s popular AI chatbot, ChatGPT, experienced a global outage, affecting thousands of users. According to reports from outage tracking website Downdetector, the issue began around 1 PM India time, with a significant spike in problem reports. Users encountered difficulties accessing the chatbot, the OpenAI website, and the ChatGPT app.

Scope of the Outage

The outage affected a substantial portion of ChatGPT users. Downdetector data revealed that 81% of users reported problems accessing ChatGPT, 14% encountered issues with the OpenAI website, and 5% faced challenges using the ChatGPT app. Users could type their queries, but the enter button remained unresponsive, and access to previous chats was also unavailable.

Read More: OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4o takes center stage

OpenAI’s Response

OpenAI acknowledged the issue on their support page, stating, “ChatGPT is unavailable for some users.” At 1:32 AM PDT (around 2:00 PM India time), OpenAI identified the issue and began working on a fix. A subsequent post confirmed that efforts to resolve the issue were ongoing. The company kept users informed through regular updates on their service status site.

By 8:30 AM UK time, OpenAI had identified the problem and was actively working on a solution. The disruption was notable not only for its widespread impact but also because it came shortly after a similar issue with Microsoft’s services, including Copilot and ChatGPT.

User Reactions

The outage prompted a flurry of activity on social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram. Users expressed their frustration, humor, and concern about the unavailability of the service. One user quipped, “#ChatGPT is down. What if it never comes back and we have to use our own brains to write stuff again?” Another joked, “I’m asking ChatGPT why it’s not working but I’m not getting an answer! I might have to ask a human being.” The sentiment was echoed by another user who humorously refused to engage in any thinking until ChatGPT became available again.

Read More: Sam Altman criticizes ChatGPT at Q&A session at Stanford University

The timeline of the ChatGPT outage paints a clear picture of the disruption and response. Initial reports of the service being down in the UK surfaced at 8:00 AM UK time, with increased reports by 10:00 AM. By 1:00 PM India time, Downdetector noted a significant spike in problem reports. At 1:32 AM PDT (2:00 PM India time), OpenAI identified the issue and began mitigation efforts. By 8:30 AM UK time, OpenAI confirmed the problem identification and continued working on a fix. This incident highlights the reliance on AI services like ChatGPT for daily tasks and the widespread impact when such services are disrupted. OpenAI’s swift response and transparency in communicating the issue provided some reassurance to users, although the outage highlighted the need for robust contingency plans.