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ChatGPT effect: Coursera sees signups for AI courses every minute in 2023

By Divya Chowdhury, Savio Shetty and Chavi Mehta

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - U.S. edutech platform Coursera added a new user every minute on average for its artificial intelligence courses in 2023, CEO Jeff Maggioncalda said on Thursday, in a clear sign of people upskilling to tap a potential boom in generative AI.

The technology behind OpenAI's ChatGPT has taken the world by a storm and sparked a race among companies to roll out their own versions of the viral chatbot.

"I'd say the real hotspot is generative AI because it affects so many people," he told Reuters in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Coursera is looking to offer AI courses along with companies that are the frontrunners in the AI race, including OpenAI and Google's DeepMind, Maggioncalda said.

Investors had earlier feared that apps based on generative AI might replace ed-tech firms, but on the contrary the technology has encouraged more people to upskill, benefiting companies such as Coursera.

The company has more than 800 AI courses and saw more than 7.4 million enrollments last year. Every student on the platform gets access to a ChatGPT-like AI assistant called "Coach" that provides personalized tutoring.

The bot is built using large language models from OpenAI and Google's Gemini, Maggioncalda said, adding that the company does not plan to build or train its own models.

"We'll probably be fine tuning with proprietary data just on top of these large language models."

Coursera has also used the technology to translate about 4,000 courses in different languages and plans to ramp up hiring for AI roles this year.

(Join GMF, a chatroom hosted on LSEG Messenger, for live interviews: https://lseg.group/3TN7SHH)

(Reporting by Divya Chowdhury in Davos and Savio Shetty in Mumbai; Writing by Chavi Mehta; Editing by Arun Koyyur)