GPT-3: Not the Best Name

A couple of years ago, I was at a tech conference where they had an executive from Slack speaking in a panel.

When asked about the keys to consumer software startup growth, his top piece of advice was to pick a really good name to increase your odds of mainstream adoption. He described that a name like Slack was just so simple that it resonated with audiences at a mass scale, and became a major part of the secret sauce for their growth.

Unfortunately, GPT-3 does not have the best name. Sure, its name is the result of the cutting edge research it's based on. At the same time, no one was expecting it to have so much demand right out of the gate. It went from research experiment to commercialized beta with very little time or consideration into its “branding". There's an argument that maybe the product is so compelling, it doesn't even need branding.

But it doesn't change the core problem - the name is still a mouthful. I run a YouTube channel mainly about GPT-3 and I still struggle to say the name. Try saying the name 20 times fast - I dare you. It's difficult. It's even hard to type on a phone keyboard too (mainly because of the dash which requires opening the punctuation menu on my Android keyboard).

It's not the best acronym. It sounds so weird because every letter in it rhymes. Gee-Pee-Tee-Three ... even typing it out like this is grossing me out.

When I first got access to it, I actually had to practice saying the name privately so that I could confidently talk about it and share it with my friends. I haven't had to do that for a tech product before and I'm not sure how common this experience is in the community.

But maybe it's part of the charm? I don't know. I'll admit, at this point, I struggle to think of an alternative name and maybe I've grown to like it a bit. However, for people outside of the tech industry, the name is not memorable and I think it's a hindrance to GPT-3's full growth and potential. I think changing the name would be a good idea for inclusivity.

Since you can communicate with it in natural language, GPT-3 is a very usable tech product. So, why do we continue to give it a very technical sounding name? The name makes it sound far more complicated than it actually is.

At the same time, eventually, OpenAI may release GPT-4, what will they do then about their flagship product's name? Change it every version? Also, GPT is a machine learning industrial term, I don't think they own the exclusive naming rights to it or the version control rights (if there is such a thing).

What do you think about the name, GPT-3? I don't think it's too late to change it, the product is still so young. I'd rather change it now to something simpler with a chance to bring in a wider base, but that's just my opinion. Looking forward to community input on this one.