What is ChatGPT?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can feel mysterious and out of reach. Even chatbots—user-friendly AI applications—seem to be evolving right before us. In December 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a powerful new chatbot tool that is gaining widespread attention. With so much chatter around this new platform, many are left wondering—what is ChatGPT?
Let’s take a closer look. What is ChatGPT and how might you use it to help your business in the future?
Back to the Basics — What are Chatbots?
Chatbots are software applications, designed to mimic the conversation of humans. Using voice or text, they interact with customers, provide service, answer questions, and/or drive leads. They are designed to support or replace human agents, streamlining questions and leads to the right locations.
While end-users are often reluctant to interact with voice chatbots, they are more willing to engage with text-based chatbots, especially if they believe they will save time or money.
Chatbots offer flexibility in tone and personality as well as structure. Depending on your business needs, they can help to streamline operations while anticipating user needs.
While chatbots have been around in different forms (including linguistic, menu-based, keyword-based, etc.) since 1966, they have recently exploded in popularity and capability. Today, chatbots are widely used in an effort to improve service and reduce costs.
When ChatGPT was opened to the public in December 2022, conversations around chatbots immediately changed. Suddenly, the power and flexibility of this new tool felt like a glimpse into the future.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an integrative language model chatbot, developed by AI research lab Open AI. Built on large language models, ChatGPT is trained on massive amounts of data, allowing it to generate natural-sounding text in just seconds. It is unique in its ability to understand and generate text.
The tool is designed to generate human-like text and responses; it is capable of generating stories based on criteria, translating large passages and generating conversation. ChatGPT was created with human trainers, with supervised learning, to help improve the model’s performance.
For example, while previous chatbots were easily tricked with false information, ChatGPT responds like a wise mentor. When fake or misleading questions are asked, it returns hypothetical questions or indicates that offensive thoughts or language won’t be tolerated.
As ChatGPT is only in its early stages, it will increase its data learning and its inherent power in the months and years to come.
Why All the Fuss?
In early December, when the new tool launched, you likely heard familiar questions online or in your own office—Have you tried ChatGPT? What is ChatGPT?
Since the tool launched in late 2022, it has collected millions of users. In its first five days alone, ChatGPT acquired over one million users. From the simply curious to the tech-savvy, all wanted a better look at the future of AI. From all accounts, ChatGPT did not disappoint.
The sheer speed and power of the chatbot are exceptional, but when users read the human-like output created by the tool, they are often surprised.
Similarly, for industries that require systemic, rule-based work—including software development—ChatGPT will be a game-changing technical advance.
But what about other users? Many report that ChatGPT is already helping their businesses to write proposals, write code, generate sales scenarios and so much more.
What are the Risks?
As we imagine what life with advanced AI might provide, it raises ethical debates and questions about how far technology should be allowed to integrate into our lives. Early feedback from ChatGPT users shows that while the tool is powerful and promising, there are also risks we need to consider.
Perhaps the greatest risk is that ChatGPT could generate biased, incorrect or harmful information. This risk is magnified over time, if the system is trained on false data.
A secondary risk comes as humans interact with misinformation. If ChatGPT learns and widely propagates incorrect information, it will ultimately encourage humans to accept it as correct. It is easy to see how users around the world could act on misinformation, as they begin to trust the tool.
Finally, ChatGPT has ethical issues to consider, as well. As research, reports, essays and articles can be created automatically, within seconds, it may be a challenge for educators to determine original work from ChatGPT output.
In essence, while ChatGPT is both efficient and powerful, it is not a replacement for human creativity and judgment. While creativity and intuitive solutions will improve over time, the tool remains at risk for learning and spreading false information.
Make the Most of ChatGPT
Once you have an answer to your question—what is ChatGPT?—you will quickly want to know how to make the most of it. One of the best ways to understand the depth and speed of the tool is to give it a try on your own.
To get started:
- Go to chat.openai.com
- Sign up for an account
- Ask questions or input text in the input box on the main screen
From here, you can explore your areas of interest. One of the most obvious benefits of ChatGPT is the way that it presents information. Not only is the tool speedy in delivery, but it is also geared towards educating its audience.
As concepts are delivered, ChatGPT offers clear steps and instructions. This is particularly useful when explaining answers to explicit questions, such as those you might ask for coding problems. While ChatGPT will deliver final lines of code, for example, it will also break them down, line by line, to explain how the commands work.
ChapGPT is also adept at providing ideas for higher-level business questions. For example, you may ask how to reach more customers for your product or service, or maybe you’ll ask for ideas to name your new marketing campaign.
The power of this tool is best understood once you give it a try. Once you’ve answered, ‘What is ChatGPT?’ for your office, you may turn to it for business planning, accounting issues, marketing ideas or other areas of interest. Many early users claim that once you give the tool a try, it’s easy to fine-tune or expand your search ideas.
Find Your Community
No matter how you plan to use ChatGPT for business, you’ll likely find a community of users who are using the tool for a similar purpose.
For example, perhaps you have your own bakery and want to find ChatGPT users who own a similar business. With a bit of effort, you’ll almost certainly find your community.
Start by looking on Reddit for subreddit communities that fit your business. Alternatively, you could look on Discord or other chat tools that allow you to interact with users.
By exploring like-minded communities, you may accelerate your learning curve and get right to the ways ChatGPT might help you best.
Keep an Open Mind
Of course, things change quickly online. ChatGPT is likely the first of many iterations of chatbots to come. As we move from a culture still asking, ‘What is ChatGPT?’ to a community of users that know how to maximize the tool, there may be unseen challenges ahead.
If you approach ChatGPT with an open mind and treat it as a business opportunity, rather than integrating it fully into your operations, you will be able to experiment with its strengths without overcommitting to a new system.