The recent flood of fake ChatGPT apps on the Google Play and App Store has highlighted the failures in the stores’ moderation processes. ChatGPT, a natural language processing tool created by OpenAI, is a valuable tool that enhances conversational AI for search and everyday work tasks. However, a number of developers have taken advantage of its popularity by posting apps with ChatGPT in their names, including chatbots that show ads or offer subscriptions. These apps are either fraudulent or violate OpenAI’s trademark.
According to app market intelligence firm Appstorespy, by mid-January, fake ChatGPT apps had attracted a total of 67,000 installs per day on Google Play. The company reached out to both Google and Apple to find out if they had done anything about these fraudulent apps. While Google removed two dozen of such apps, including an unofficial ChatGPT app that had already had 138,000 installs, some developers have been quick to rename their apps such as Open Chat which has 170,000 installs. However, many of these fake apps can still be found on the stores.
On the other hand, Apple has blocked just 4 of the 49 apps with ChatGPT in the title. This highlights the need for stricter moderation processes and better enforcement of guidelines by both Google and Apple to prevent such fraudulent apps from entering their stores. Consumers should also be vigilant when downloading apps, especially chat apps, and look for apps that have been developed by reputable companies and have positive reviews. It’s important for legitimate app developers to protect their brands and for consumers to be protected from malicious apps that can steal personal information or spread malware.
Paul Swaddle, Co-Founder of Pocket App said “The use of AI and the likes of ChatGTP will change the way apps are delivered in the future, for example a change to conversational designed app. The technology will also lead to a change in the types of apps that can be delivered, something we are already working with clients on. But watch out for those fake apps in the interim.”