If you haven’t heard of ChatGPT, the uncanny new chatbot from artificial intelligence lab OpenAI, here is a quick primer on everything you need to know about the controversial new program.
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence tool that allows a user to generate original text. You can ask it questions, give it creative prompts, and use it to generate a whole bunch of different stuff—from poems, to songs, to essays, to short stories.
ChatGPT was created by OpenAI and launched in November of last year. Partially founded by Elon Musk, OpenAI is an organization that is dedicated to the research and development of artificial intelligence. OpenAI has a number of other controversial investors, such as rightwing billionaire Peter Thiel, who offered a substantial amount of financial assistance to the org when it was first setting up shop. OpenAI is run by CEO Sam Altman, who is also a founder of the organization.
ChatGPT is really easy to use. To get set up, you’ll need to create an OpenAI account. This is easy to do and only requires that you fork over an email address and a phone number. After that, you’ll be able to use ChatGPT and the company’s other tools like DALL E 2, an AI art tool that creates illustrations based on text prompts.
Like a normal chatbot, ChatGPT includes a text field where you can type in questions or commands. Give the chatbot a prompt and it will respond.
For instance, you can ask: “ChatGPT, why is the sky blue?” or “How do I build a birdhouse” or command it to “Write me a Raymond Chandler story about the McDonald’s Hamburglar.” This chatbot is pretty much down for anything, so feel free to get creative.
ChatGPT is powered by a sophisticated algorithm called a large language model. Such algorithms are fed with massive amounts of textual data, which then allow them to respond to prompts in a realistic, human-like fashion, a computational system known as natural language processing.
Pretty much anybody can use ChatGPT! As long as you set up an account with OpenAI, you should be good to go.
No. In fact, the platform is known for making a lot of things up, and its answers can often be wrong. If you’re planning on relying on ChatGPT to write an essay or an article, you’re going to want to fact check everything it says.
Currently, ChatGPT does not cost any money to use—but the service probably won’t stay that way for long. It was recently reported that OpenAI was considering ways to monetize the platform. One of the proposals allegedly involves a $42 per month “Pro” version, dubbed as a “professional plan” for companies and other organizations. That scoop comes from a LinkedIn user who claims he was recently offered early access to this pro tier, though the rate hasn’t been confirmed by OpenAI.
As much as ChatGPT has excited users, a number of concerns exist about how the platform and others of its kind will impact existing industries as well as educational institutions like colleges and high schools. Some of the concerns include that ChatGPT could...
- Kill the college essay and lead to other academic dysfunction
- Make human writers obsolete
- Generate factually inaccurate news articles (already happened)
- Cause a new disinformation typhoon with such easily-generated text
- Democratize cybercrime and helping to fuel easy malware creation
- Get loads of people fired
- ...and more!
We’re not sure about that, but suffice it to say that OpenAI seems to be in a pretty good position for future success. Microsoft recently announced it plans to invest as much as $10 billion into the AI-focused organization. Microsoft has also said it may want to launch a ChatGPT integration for its search engine, Bing.