Even if you aren’t into artificial intelligence, it’s time to pay attention to ChatGPT, because this one is a big deal.
The tool, from a large influence in artificial intelligence called OpenAI, lets you type natural-language prompts. ChatGPT then offers conversational, if somewhat stilted, responses. The bot remembers the thread of your dialogue, using previous questions and answers to inform its next responses. It derives its answers from huge volumes of information on the internet.
ChatGPT is a big deal. The tool seems pretty knowledgeable in areas where there’s good training data for it to learn from. It’s not omniscient or smart enough to replace all humans yet, but it can be creative, and its answers can sound downright authoritative. A few days after its launch, more than a million people were trying out ChatGPT.
But be careful, OpenAI warns. ChatGPT has all kinds of potential pitfalls, some easy to spot and some more subtle.
“It’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now,” OpenAI Chief Executive Sam Altman tweeted. “We have lots of work to do on robustness and truthfulness.”
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI chatbot system that OpenAI released in November to show off and test what a very large, powerful AI system can accomplish. You can ask it countless questions and often will get an answer that’s useful.
For example, you can ask it encyclopedia questions like, “Explain Newton’s laws of motion.” You can tell it, “Write me a poem,” and when it does, say, “Now make it more exciting.” You ask it to write a computer program that’ll show you all the different ways you can arrange the letters of a word. This can be extremely beneficial in the work space especially the IT field.
Here’s the catch: ChatGPT doesn’t exactly know anything. It’s an AI that’s trained to recognize patterns in vast swaths of text harvested from the internet, then further trained with human assistance to deliver more useful, better dialog. The answers you get may sound plausible and even authoritative, but they might well be entirely wrong, as OpenAI warns.
ChatGPT has rapidly become a widely used tool on the internet. UBS analyst Lloyd Walmsley estimated in February that ChatGPT had reached 100 million monthly users the previous month, accomplishing in two months what took TikTok about nine months and Instagram two and a half years. The New York Times, citing internal sources, said 30 million people use ChatGPT daily.
What kinds of questions can you ask ChatGPT?
You can ask anything, though you might not get an answer. OpenAI suggests a few categories, like explaining physics, asking for birthday party ideas and getting programming help, from personal experience ChatGPT seems to avoid political terms and questions and news about people such as Elon Musk and Jordan B Perterson along with many other known names.
You don’t have to look far to find accounts of the bot blowing people’s minds. Twitter is awash with users displaying the AI’s prowess at generating art prompts and writing code. Some have even proclaimed “Google is dead,” along with the college essay.
Is ChatGPT free?
Yes, for the moment at least, but in January OpenAI added a paid version that responds faster and keeps working even during peak usage times when others get messages saying, “ChatGPT is at capacity right now.”
You can sign up on a waiting list if you’re interested. OpenAI’s Altman warned that ChatGPT’s “compute costs are eye-watering” at a few cents per response.