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An introduction to ChatGPT: uses and what makes it a unique AI chatbot

Discover the power of ChatGPT as we look into the current status of ChatGPT, its uses, ethical implications, and what makes it unique.

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Artificial intelligence plays a key part in today’s technology, working behind the scenes to simulate human intelligence and help us with various things. As it continues to evolve and develop, we are seeing revolutionary developments in the AI space. 

ChatGPT is here to prove just how advanced artificial intelligence has become, bringing a wealth of new developments to the table. Here, we’ll explore what ChatGPT is, discuss if ChatGPT is free, explore what we can use it for and look at the ethical implications. 

What is ChatGPT? 

Before we can understand the inner workings of ChatGPT, we first need a basic understanding of what it is. Making waves in a variety of online spaces, ChatGPT is the most advanced chatbot to date, capable of answering complex questions and carrying out many advanced tasks. This revolutionary chatbot goes above and beyond what we may expect when it comes to generative AI.

The mastermind behind ChatGPT is OpenAI, an American artificial intelligence research company. Even if you haven’t heard of OpenAI, you will have likely been exposed to some of its AI tools online. As well as ChatGPT being a hot topic, their text-to-image generator DALL.E 2 has also been a huge discussion point on many platforms recently.

ChatGPT is built using an enhanced version of GPT-3, an advanced language processing AI model also made by OpenAI. GPT-3 is built with a jaw-dropping 175 billion parameters in place, making it the largest and most complex natural language system to date.  

If you’d like to learn how natural language processing is a crucial component in AI, check out our Natural Language Processing course or read our article on NLP.

Is ChatGPT released yet? 

You’re probably wondering how exactly you can get your hands on this advanced tool to try it out for yourself. So, it’s worth noting that this chatbot isn’t entirely complete and fully released yet. The good news is that you can, however, try ChatGPT right now. It is currently in research preview and is free to try out and use. 

Will ChatGPT always be free? 

In its current state, ChatGPT is limitless and entirely free to use. This likely won’t always be the case, as running a GPT-3 language model can be extremely costly, and OpenAI will have to recoup these costs somehow. One article even suggests that it may cost a whopping $3 million per month to run ChatGPT. CEO Sam Altman has also responded to queries saying they “will have to monetise it somehow at some point”. 

How will ChatGPT become monetised? That, we can’t say for sure. Some potential ways we could see this platform becoming monetised could be the introduction of advertisements or a “cost per query” fee. Seeing a price appointed for each use of the chatbot seems likely, as their DALL.E network has a pay-for-what-you-use pricing system. 

Why is ChatGPT free? 

OpenAI is hoping to gather feedback and recommendations from users to improve their final product, which you can provide within the platform. Despite still being in the early stages of development, ChatGPT has already garnered waves of interest and excited users. 

If you do decide to give this chatbot a go, you may find that the site is actually at capacity. ChatGPT rose to prominence rapidly, with many screenshots of the chatbot going viral on various platforms. Within the first five days of release, OpenAI already saw over a million users!

What makes ChatGPT different from other chatbots? 

There’s no denying that ChatGPT has made a huge impact during its first few months. But ChatGPT certainly isn’t the first of its kind, with ELIZA taking the title for the first-ever chatbot back in the 1960s. With incredible advancements in technology, we’ve come a long way since then and developed a wide variety of advanced AI tools such as LaMDA and Replika.

But what makes ChatGPT special, and how does it differ from other chatbots before its time? Let’s find out. 

Why is ChatGPT special? 

There are several reasons why ChatGPT is more advanced than its various predecessors, so let’s look at some of the features that separate ChatGPT from other chatbots.

Conversational skills 

ChatGPT has an impressive in-depth understanding of both spoken and written words, and even understands humour. Due to its unique structure, the tool is able to learn more about language and nuances than any other of its kind.

Memory

One of the most special things about ChatGPT is its ability to remember the context of your conversation. If you tell it that something is true, it will recall this and utilise that knowledge throughout the rest of your conversation. 

Because of this skill, ChatGPT is no stranger to confirmation bias – the tool will feed you information based on what it knows to be true from previous exchanges between you. 

Language

Seeing as the chatbot was built on such a large dataset, ChatGPT supports over 90 languages. This means that we can interact with the chatbot in a wide variety of languages and even get the chatbot to translate text for us. 

Minimised harmful outputs

Another impressive aspect of ChatGPT is that it is well-trained to decline any inappropriate or harmful requests. While the chatbot is still capable of saying potentially harmful things, the risk is very much minimised in comparison to other AI tools. If you try to instigate an inappropriate reaction, you’ll likely just receive an error message.

What can ChatGPT do? 

We can’t begin to delve into all of ChatGPTs uses, but let’s take a look at just a few of the ways you can use ChatGPT.

Write cover letters and CVs

Outline your qualifications and experience to ChatGPT, and you’ll be met with a fully customised CV. While some tweaks may have to be made to personalise the CV further, this could still take away from the bulk of your work when applying for roles.

Similarly, ChatGPT can prepare a cover letter for you if you provide it with details about the position you’re applying for. The more information you provide, the more personalised and accurate your cover letter will be. 

Summarise and simplify concepts within text

If you have a long document that you don’t understand or don’t have time to read in full, ChatGPT can offer you a summary of the given text. This could be useful for things like legislation documents, with the chatbot able to pull apart key points and summarise them for you. 

ChatGPT can even tell us what the sentiment of any given text is, letting us know details about the tone or purpose of the text. Since you can specify the word count or desired number of points in a list, you can even customise the summaries you receive. 

Correct grammar

When asked to do so, ChatGPT can identify and correct any spelling and grammatical errors in the text that you provide it with. While other grammar tools can suggest tone changes, intent, text length and reading levels, you can ask ChatGPT to rewrite your text and factor these things in. 

The chatbot can also explain these changes and the reasoning behind them so you can better understand the errors in your writing. What ChatGPT cannot do, however, is check your content for plagiarism. 

Write and debug code 

One of the most impressive uses of ChatGPT is its ability to not only write code but also debug code too. This can be an incredibly helpful tool for software developers trying to proof-check their work. 

ChatGPT can offer you full code snippets along with a breakdown of what each part of the code is doing. You can even ask ChatGPT to build on this code and expand it for what you need, but you’ll have to be descriptive with your requests to get the most effective code. 

Write books and songs

ChatGPT can be used to write more than just documents – it can be used to write songs, poems, and even stories. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, it can even replicate the writing style of specific authors! Similarly, you can specify the genre of song you’re requesting when it comes to songwriting

Through the power of both ChatGPT and text-to-image AI tools, a product design manager recently published a children’s book titled Alice and Sparkle. Amazingly, Alice and Sparkle was made entirely using AI tools, meaning he has been selling copies of a book he had no artistic involvement with. 

With such an expansive list of capabilities and potential uses, the real question should be what can’t ChatGPT do. 

Chat to ChatGPT

While ChatGPT is packed with advanced functionality, it is, after all, still a chatbot. You can use the tool as a companion or someone to talk to, and even ask for useful life advice when you need it. Being such a conversational chatbot with a grasp on language nuances and humour, this could be the closest alternative to human companionship yet. 

Ethical implications of ChatGPT 

It’s safe to say that this tool has the potential to make a huge impact in many areas. But it’s important to also consider the ethical implications of ChatGPT and discuss some of the concerns people may have with this chatbot.

Is ChatGPT accurate? 

We can’t discuss the negative implications of ChatGPT without addressing such a key question. While ChatGPT hosts a wealth of accurate information, it isn’t always correct, even if it sounds confident while relaying incorrect information. In fact, ChatGPT uses offline data and only has access to information up until 2021, so it is unable to offer insight into recent developments. 

This could potentially be misleading if you use the tool without prior awareness. The natural way of speech and confidence could certainly convey that the outputs are factual when they could actually be very far off. 

Misuse of ChatGPT for schoolwork 

It’s no surprise that some individuals have harnessed the power of ChatGPT to not just assist with essays, but write them entirely. Not only can the chatbot write entire essays for you, but it can do so in a matter of seconds.

These outputs can be so convincingly well-written that they’re almost indistinguishable from an authentic essay or assignment. We can imagine the ramifications of students getting AI to complete their work – minimised learning and teachers being unable to provide effective feedback for one. 

Solutions are already being worked on to counter this, an example being GPTzero. This tool was created specifically for educators to detect the use of AI within text and identify when essays aren’t organic. 

Are jobs at risk due to ChatGPT?

At the forefront of many of our minds when discussing AI tools are questions regarding the impact of AI on certain jobs and industries. Technology is as close to automation in terms of skills like writing and programming as we’ve ever been, so it’s understandable that some of us are concerned. 

Although AI is a long way from taking over and leaving humans entirely redundant, there are some real concerns about AI minimising opportunities for some of us. For example, Shutterstock is now connected to DALL.E 2, leaving photographers competing against AI on the platform. 

Many people are of the mindset that while AI can complete many tasks, it could never truly replace human involvement in art. For example, there is a lot of discourse surrounding the abilities and ethics of AI art apps such as Lensa. Also, singer-songwriter Nick Cave recently expressed his disappointment toward ChatGPT replicating his style of songwriting. 

Final thoughts 

With this dive into the current status of ChatGPT and what ChatGPT can be used for, we’ve highlighted just how powerful this technology is. We hope that we’ve managed to help build your understanding of ChatGPT, and potentially even inspired you to delve even further into the world of AI. 

If you’re looking for more artificial intelligence knowledge, here are a few courses you may be interested in: 

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