ChatGPT has just received a huge upgrade that will make accessing the AI chatbot much easier.
The domain name AI.com(Opens in a new tab) now forwards to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The domain was acquired in 2021, but was not resolved to an actual site until this week.
Mashable spoke with a prominent domain broker who claimed credit for facilitating the sale, Jeffrey Gabriel of Saw.com(Opens in a new tab), to find out more. Gabriel was the broker(Opens in a new tab) involved in what was then the record sale of (Opens in a new tab)Sex.com(Opens in a new tab) domain for $13 million in 2010.
Because of the terms of the sale, Gabriel said he could not directly confirm who was the buyer of AI.com(Opens in a new tab) was, but the conversation left little room for interpretation. Alternative explanations, like someone doing OpenAI a huge multi-million dollar favor, strain plausibility.
Mashable asked OpenAI to confirm that it was the buyer of the domain, but the company has yet to respond.
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“It obviously becomes public information when you go to it,” Gabriel told Mashable.
As for the final sale price, Gabriel said a domain “likes” AI.com(Opens in a new tab) would go for over $10 million in today’s market. Gabriel also confirmed that AI.com prior to the acquisition(Opens in a new tab) was listed at a public asking price of $11 million.
According to Gabriel, AI.com(Opens in a new tab) received regular offers since he started brokering the domain.
“Every week someone was offering a hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, a million dollars,” he says.
One interested buyer, Gabriel says, was Amazon, although he believes their interest was in using the domain for the upcoming Amazon Internet product, more than for an artificial intelligence-based one. However, the e-commerce giant eventually passed on the purchase of the domain. Interestingly, says Gabriel, companies like Nvidia and Intel that are invested in AI showed no interest when approached about the domain.
“It’s interesting when you sell names like these and go to the industry leaders,” Gabriel said. “A lot of the time they don’t want them or are unwilling to pay bigger price tags. And it’s usually the smaller, less established company that doesn’t have the name or the brand yet that needs to make a splash or do something to make them more memorable to to create that perception of industry leadership.”
“Now I don’t know if (the buyer) really needed it,” he continued. “But it will pretty much solidify that product as the leader. It’s done that in a matter of weeks or months, right? This kind of buzz and usage will take some companies 10 or 20 years to get to.”
Because of their brevity and rarity, two-letter .com domain names are considered to be among the holy grail domains of the industry. Only 676 possible combinations exist, and they’ve all been registered for a long time, meaning the only way to get one is to pay a premium in the aftermarket. In accordance NameBio(Opens in a new tab) and DNJournal(Opens in a new tab), two sites that track public domain sales, even the most random two-letter .com combination hasn’t sold for less than a minimum of $100,000 in at least the past decade. Last year’s biggest two-letter domain sale, IT.com(Opens in a new tab)was purchased for $3.8 million.
Domain trading outlets such as DomainInvesting(Opens in a new tab) first reported the sale of AI.com(Opens in a new tab) in September 2021 after noticing that the domain was transferred. Future Media Architects, a domain investment company that has tens of thousands of domain names in its portfolio, had owned AI.com(Opens in a new tab) for 15 years before the sale, Gabriel said. After the acquisition of AI.com(Opens in a new tab) was complete, the domain remained unused during this time. Then, on February 15, 2023, some social media users started doing it notice(Opens in a new tab) that AI.com(Opens in a new tab) forwarded to ChatGPT.
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Not long after, Saw.com(Opens in a new tab) acknowledged(Opens in a new tab) the online chat with a tweet.
“The cat’s out of the bag! We’re proud to say we were part of Ai.com(Opens in a new tab) domain sales. Exciting to see what they do with it!” @sawsells posted, including a ChatGPT hashtag.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT first opened to the public in November 2022 and quickly became the face of the exploding artificial intelligence trend in the tech world. In just two months, ChatGPT amassed a user base of over 100 million users, and became fastest growing the app of all time.
Even with the growing popularity of AI apps, Gabriel doesn’t think the sale price would be much different if it was acquired today instead of a year and a half ago due to various financial issues. However, he believes there are probably more than a few companies now regretting the choice not to pursue the domain.
“A lot of companies had the opportunity to buy it, and now that Mashable is reporting it, it probably means that Microsoft will know that (the buyer) has it, Amazon will see that it’s sold to someone else,” Gabriel says. “I think there are people in meetings today who say, ‘Who the hell missed this?’