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ChatGPT Outages Highlight Urgent Need for Monitoring AI Dependencies

Proactively monitoring AI dependencies can help businesses minimize costly downtime, writes Mehdi Daoudi, co-founder and CEO of Catchpoint.

3 Min Read
ChatGPT Outages Highlight Urgent Need for Monitoring AI Dependencies

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming pervasive, with investments in the space projected to reach nearly $200 billion by 2025.

As organizations worldwide leverage AI to streamline operations, improve customer experiences, and fuel innovation, the technology’s benefits are becoming clear. However, its vulnerabilities are also becoming increasingly evident, as illustrated by recent events.

This year’s Valentine’s Day ChatGPT outage underscored the importance of ensuring uninterrupted service amid the increasing number of AI dependencies. The outage, which was ChatGPT’s second disruption in as many days (and was followed by another one week later), illuminates the many operational challenges the use of AI can introduce. This is an issue that organizations must quickly learn to navigate to maintain business continuity.

The February 14 outage impacted both the ChatGPT service and its customers who use an API to run GPT-based chatbots of their own, thereby revealing a costly truth: service interruptions, especially those involving downstream dependencies, are expensive.

Studies show that downtime can cost companies up to $1 million per hour, highlighting the urgent necessity for rapid repair and, preferably, proactive outage prevention. According to Dun & Bradstreet, 59% of Fortune 500 companies experience an average of 1.6 hours of downtime per week, equaling a weekly labor cost of $896,000.

Related:A History of AWS Cloud and Data Center Outages

With outages costing tens of thousands of dollars per minute, fixing them is important – but fixing them fast is critical. And being able to proactively prevent them is not just the Holy Grail to IT, but also important to the organization’s bottom line.

The internet is fragile, complex, and interconnected. Our systems, networks, applications, and internet connections must nonetheless be resilient to quickly rebound following an outage. Importantly, although outages can be lessened, they cannot be eliminated. And how IT teams deal with them can mean the difference between a minimal loss and one that runs to millions of dollars.

Strategies to Safeguard Against Downtime

Incidents like the ChatGPT outage can have far-reaching consequences, including damaged brand reputation and even legal liabilities. For businesses operating in highly competitive markets, even a brief period of downtime can result in significant revenue losses and erode customer trust.

To mitigate the financial and reputational risks associated with AI-driven outages, organizations must adopt a proactive approach to performance monitoring. By gaining real-time visibility into the performance of their AI-driven applications, businesses can detect anomalies, optimize performance, and ensure seamless user experiences.

Related:Bitcoin Miners Pivot to Data Center Operations Amid AI Boom

Early proactive detection of issues and the ability to rapidly pinpoint root causes lets IT teams see and troubleshoot interruptions as they occur.  

But early detection isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Many organizations rely on basic uptime monitoring – often limited to monitoring solely their home page – to detect slowdowns and outages, which can mean that a company experiencing intermittent or partial site failures misses their detection.

So, what are the key components of robust, proactive detection?

To prevent downtime caused by AI-related issues, organizations should implement:

  1. Comprehensive monitoring strategies such as Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) that encompass every aspect of their AI-driven applications, all the way from the front-end user interfaces to the backend data processing pipelines.

  2. Predictive analytics and AI-driven anomaly detection to help identify potential issues before they impact end users.

As our reliance on AI-driven technologies grows, ensuring uninterrupted service has soared beyond a mere operational requirement to a business imperative.

By proactively monitoring AI dependencies and implementing robust performance management strategies, businesses can minimize the risk of costly downtime and maintain business continuity in an increasingly AI-driven world.  

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