OpenAI’s ChatGPT is an impressive tool that can answer questions, write essays, summarize documents, and even write software. It has become popular among millions of people worldwide, thanks to its ability to offer conversational, if somewhat stilted, responses based on natural-language prompts. The tool is built on a deep learning algorithm and derives its answers from a massive volume of information available on the internet. It’s clear that ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our lives, but it’s not without its limitations.
According to OpenAI’s Chief Executive Sam Altman, it’s not wise to rely on ChatGPT for anything important yet. The bot has some potential pitfalls that are both easy to spot and subtle. One of the most significant issues is that ChatGPT doesn’t always know what’s true. While it’s knowledgeable in areas where there are good training data available, it’s not omniscient or smart enough to replace all humans.
Despite its limitations, ChatGPT is becoming a big business. In January, Microsoft pledged to invest billions of dollars in OpenAI, and a modified version of the technology behind ChatGPT is now powering Microsoft’s new Bing challenge to Google search. Eventually, it will power the company’s effort to build new AI co-pilot smarts into every part of our digital life.
Bing uses OpenAI technology to process search queries, compile results from different sources, summarize documents, generate travel itineraries, answer questions, and chat with humans. This has the potential to revolutionize search engines, but it’s not without its challenges. Factual errors and unhinged conversations have plagued the platform, highlighting the importance of ensuring that ChatGPT is truthful and robust.
What is ChatGPT?
In November, OpenAI released ChatGPT, an AI chatbot system designed to showcase the capabilities of a large, powerful AI system. Users can ask ChatGPT a multitude of questions and often receive useful answers. Examples include asking for explanations of complex concepts like Newton’s laws of motion, requesting a poem, or even a computer program that can arrange letters of a word in different ways. However, ChatGPT does not possess any actual knowledge but rather is trained to recognize patterns in text from the internet and then further trained with human assistance to provide improved dialogue. While the answers may sound convincing, they are not always accurate, as cautioned by OpenAI.
For years, companies have been interested in chatbots as a means of assisting customers and as a subject of AI research, especially in the context of the Turing Test. This test, proposed by computer scientist Alan Turing in 1950, determines if a human conversing with both a human and a computer can distinguish between the two. However, chatbots have limitations as companies have attempted to use them instead of human customer service representatives with limited success. A study sponsored by Ujet, a technology company that handles customer contacts, found that 72% of 1,700 Americans surveyed felt that chatbots were unproductive.
Despite these limitations, ChatGPT has become a popular tool on the internet. According to UBS analyst Lloyd Walmsley, ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly users in the previous month, which took TikTok approximately nine months and Instagram two and a half years to accomplish. The New York Times has reported that ChatGPT has 30 million daily users based on internal sources.
Types of Questions, we can ask ChatGPT
Although there is no guarantee of a response, ChatGPT allows for a vast array of questions on diverse topics such as physics explanations, birthday party ideas, and programming assistance, as suggested by OpenAI. To test its abilities, I requested it to write a poem. Although the result may not impress literary experts, when I asked it to make the poem more exciting, ChatGPT intensified it with words like battlefield, adrenaline, thunder, and adventure.
ChatGPT’s expertise is extensive, and it stands out for its ability to engage in conversation. For example, when I requested words that rhyme with “purple,” it provided a few options, and when I asked for rhymes with “pink,” it quickly offered additional suggestions. (As it turns out, there are quite a few good rhymes for “pink.”)
When I asked, “Is it easier to get a date by being sensitive or being tough?” ChatGPT responded, in part, “Some people may find a sensitive person more attractive and appealing, while others may be drawn to a tough and assertive individual. In general, being genuine and authentic in your interactions with others is likely to be more effective in getting a date than trying to fit a certain mold or persona.”
People are sharing stories on Twitter of ChatGPT blowing their minds with its abilities, including generating art prompts and writing code. Some have even declared “Google is dead,” along with the college essay. CNET writer David Lumb has compiled a list of some useful ways ChatGPT can help, and more possibilities continue to emerge. For instance, one doctor has reported using it to persuade a health insurance company to cover a patient’s procedure.
Who made ChatGPT & How does it work?
ChatGPT is the brainchild of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research company. Its mission is to develop a “safe and beneficial” artificial general intelligence system or to help others do so. OpenAI has 375 employees, Altman tweeted in January. “OpenAI has managed to pull together the most talent-dense researchers and engineers in the field of AI,” he also said in a January talk.
GPT-3, and the GPT 3.5 update on which ChatGPT is based, are examples of AI technology called large language models. They’re trained to create text based on what they’ve seen, and they can be trained automatically — typically with huge quantities of computer power over a period of weeks.
It’s not automated. Humans evaluate ChatGPT’s initial results in a process called finetuning. Human reviewers apply guidelines that OpenAI’s models then generalize from. In addition, OpenAI used a Kenyan firm that paid people up to $3.74 per hour to review thousands of snippets of text for problems like violence, sexual abuse, and hate speech, Time reported, and that data was built into a new AI component designed to screen such materials from ChatGPT answers and OpenAI training data.
ChatGPT doesn’t know anything the way you do. It’s just able to take a prompt, find relevant information in its oceans of training data, and convert that into plausible-sounding paragraphs of text. “We are a long way away from the self-awareness we want,” said computer scientist and internet pioneer Vint Cerf of the large language model technology ChatGPT and its competitors use.
Is ChatGPT free?
ChatGPT is not entirely free, but it does offer a free trial version for users to test out its capabilities. OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, offers a variety of pricing plans for businesses and developers who wish to use the model for commercial purposes.
The free version of ChatGPT is called the Playground, and it provides users with limited access to the model’s language processing abilities. Users can input prompts and receive responses from the model, but they are restricted in the amount of text that they can generate per prompt. The Playground is intended to give users a taste of ChatGPT’s capabilities without having to commit to a paid plan.
For businesses and developers who wish to use ChatGPT for commercial purposes, OpenAI offers a range of pricing plans that vary depending on the level of access and support required. The pricing plans include a Developer plan, a Business plan, and a Custom plan.
The Developer plan is intended for individual developers or small teams who want to experiment with ChatGPT’s language processing abilities. This plan provides users with access to the API for a limited number of calls per month.
The Business plan is designed for larger companies or teams that require more extensive access to ChatGPT’s capabilities. This plan offers higher call limits and additional features such as priority support and a dedicated account manager.
The Custom plan is for businesses with unique needs that are not covered by the other plans. This plan provides a high degree of customization and personalized support to meet the specific needs of the business.
Overall, while the Playground version of ChatGPT is free, users who wish to use the model for commercial purposes will need to purchase one of OpenAI’s pricing plans.
Limitations of ChatGPT
ChatGPT is a powerful language model developed by OpenAI that can perform a wide range of natural languages processing tasks such as text generation, translation, summarization, and more. However, despite its impressive capabilities, there are still some limits to what ChatGPT can do.
One of the primary limits of ChatGPT is its dependence on the training data it was trained on. ChatGPT was trained on a large corpus of text data from the internet, which means that it may have inherited some of the biases and inaccuracies that exist in that data. This can lead to ChatGPT producing inaccurate or inappropriate responses to certain queries or prompts.
Another limit of ChatGPT is its inability to reason and understand the context in the same way that humans do. ChatGPT is a machine learning model that relies on statistical patterns in the data it was trained on to generate responses. While it can mimic human-like responses, it cannot understand the meaning behind the words or concepts it is generating.
ChatGPT is also limited in its ability to handle complex tasks such as logical reasoning and problem-solving. While it can respond to a wide range of questions and prompts, it is not able to perform more advanced tasks such as solving mathematical equations or performing scientific experiments.
Furthermore, ChatGPT is limited by its inability to engage in multi-modal communication, meaning it cannot process or generate responses that include both text and other media types such as images or videos.
Lastly, while OpenAI has implemented measures to prevent the misuse of ChatGPT, it remains a concern that it can be used for malicious purposes such as generating fake news or phishing scams.
Overall, while ChatGPT is an impressive language model with a wide range of applications, it still has some limitations that prevent it from completely replacing human intelligence or reasoning.
Does it help students cheat better?
No, ChatGPT is not intended to be used for cheating. OpenAI has taken measures to prevent ChatGPT from being used for unethical or harmful purposes, including plagiarism, fraud, and other forms of cheating. OpenAI has stated that it is committed to ensuring that artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity, and as such, it has implemented safeguards to prevent misuse of its technology.
While ChatGPT can generate text on a wide range of topics, including academic subjects, it is not a replacement for learning or studying. Using ChatGPT to generate essays, reports, or other academic assignments would be considered plagiarism and could result in serious consequences for the student.
Furthermore, educators and institutions are aware of the potential for students to misuse AI technology such as ChatGPT for academic dishonesty, and many are taking steps to prevent it. Some companies are even developing tools to detect AI-generated content, which can make it more difficult for students to cheat using ChatGPT.
Ultimately, it is up to individuals to use technology like ChatGPT ethically and responsibly. Students who use ChatGPT to generate ideas or improve their writing skills, rather than cheat, may find it to be a valuable tool. However, it is important to use such technology by academic integrity policies and to always give credit to sources.
Can teachers spot ChatGPT use?
As an AI language model, ChatGPT is designed to generate human-like responses to text-based queries. While teachers can detect the use of ChatGPT or similar language models, it may not always be easy.
Here are some factors that may influence a teacher’s ability to spot ChatGPT use:
- The quality of the text generated by ChatGPT: ChatGPT’s responses are generated based on patterns learned from vast amounts of text data. As such, its responses may vary in quality and coherence. If the student is using ChatGPT to answer questions or complete assignments, the quality of the responses may raise suspicion.
- Familiarity with ChatGPT: If a teacher is familiar with ChatGPT and similar language models, they may be more likely to spot its use. On the other hand, if a teacher has never heard of ChatGPT, they may not even consider the possibility that a student is using an AI language model.
- Context of the assignment or task: If the assignment or task is designed to test a student’s knowledge and understanding of a particular subject, ChatGPT-generated responses may stand out as being off-topic or lacking in depth. However, if the task is more open-ended, such as a creative writing assignment, it may be more difficult for a teacher to spot ChatGPT use.
- Writing style: ChatGPT’s responses may differ in writing style from a student’s typical writing style. If a student suddenly starts writing in a different style or using complex vocabulary, it may raise suspicion.
- Plagiarism detection tools: Many schools use plagiarism detection software to check for copied or pasted text. These tools can sometimes detect text generated by ChatGPT, although it may depend on the specific tool and the quality of the ChatGPT-generated text.
In summary, while teachers can spot ChatGPT use, it may not always be easy, especially if the responses are high-quality and the teacher is not familiar with AI language models. However, some factors may raise suspicions, such as the quality of the responses, the context of the assignment, and changes in the student’s writing style.
Can ChatGPT write software?
ChatGPT is an AI language model that is designed to generate natural language responses based on the input it receives. However, it is not designed to write software or perform programming tasks on its own.
While ChatGPT can generate text that appears to be code or programming instructions, it is not capable of understanding the syntax and logic of programming languages. It cannot compile or execute code, debug errors, or perform other programming tasks that require knowledge and expertise in software development.
In some cases, developers and researchers may use ChatGPT and other AI language models to generate code snippets or provide suggestions for code completion. However, these tools are typically used to augment human programming efforts and are not intended to replace human programmers.
Moreover, developing software involves a wide range of tasks beyond writing code, such as project planning, architecture design, testing, and maintenance. These tasks require a combination of technical skills, domain expertise, and collaboration with other team members, which cannot be performed by ChatGPT.
In summary, while ChatGPT can generate text that resembles code or programming instructions, it is not capable of writing software or performing programming tasks on its own. Developing software requires a combination of technical skills, domain expertise, and collaboration with other team members, which cannot be replaced by AI language models like ChatGPT.
What’s out of bounds for ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI language model that can generate natural language responses to a wide range of queries and prompts. However, there are some topics and activities that are considered off-limits for ChatGPT. Here are some examples:
- Illegal activities: ChatGPT should not be used to facilitate or promote illegal activities, such as drug use, terrorism, or human trafficking. Any such use of ChatGPT would violate ethical and legal principles.
- Harmful content: ChatGPT should not be used to generate content that is harmful, offensive, or discriminatory towards individuals or groups based on their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Any such use of ChatGPT would be considered unethical and potentially harmful to others.
- Misinformation: ChatGPT should not be used to spread misinformation or fake news, which can mislead and harm people’s understanding of important issues. Any use of ChatGPT to intentionally spread misinformation is highly unethical and can have serious consequences.
- Medical advice: ChatGPT should not be used to provide medical advice or diagnose medical conditions. ChatGPT is not qualified to provide medical advice, and any reliance on its responses for medical decisions can be dangerous.
- Financial advice: ChatGPT should not be used to provide financial advice or investment recommendations. ChatGPT is not a financial expert and cannot provide accurate and reliable financial advice.
- Confidential information: ChatGPT should not be used to share or disclose confidential information, such as personal identifying information, credit card numbers, or login credentials. Any such use of ChatGPT can compromise privacy and security.
In summary, ChatGPT should not be used for any activities or topics that are illegal, harmful, misleading, or beyond its scope of expertise. It is important to use ChatGPT responsibly and by ethical and legal principles to avoid potential harm or negative consequences.
Is it better than Google or other Search Engines?
ChatGPT and Google search serve different purposes and have different strengths and limitations. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. Here’s an overview of the differences between ChatGPT and Google search:
- Purpose: ChatGPT is an AI language model that is designed to generate natural language responses to queries and prompts. It is typically used for conversational interfaces, chatbots, and question-answering systems. On the other hand, Google search is a search engine that is designed to index and retrieve web pages and other online content based on keywords and other search criteria.
- Query types: ChatGPT is designed to understand and respond to natural language queries and prompts, which can be more conversational and context-dependent. It can handle a wide range of query types, such as factual questions, opinion-based queries, and creative writing prompts. Google search, on the other hand, is better suited for keyword-based queries that are more straightforward and focused on finding specific information or resources.
- Search results: ChatGPT generates responses that are tailored to the specific query or prompt, and can include explanations, descriptions, and examples. However, the responses may not always be accurate or complete and may require follow-up questions or clarification. Google search, on the other hand, returns a list of web pages and other online content that match the search criteria, which can be more comprehensive and reliable.
- User experience: ChatGPT is designed to provide a conversational and personalized user experience, and can adapt to the user’s preferences and previous interactions. It can also provide feedback and suggestions to guide the conversation. Google search, on the other hand, provides a more standardized and objective user experience and does not take into account the user’s individual preferences or context.
In summary, ChatGPT and Google search are different tools that serve different purposes and have different strengths and limitations. While ChatGPT may be better suited for conversational interfaces and question-answering systems, Google search may be better suited for keyword-based queries that require specific information or resources.