ChatGPT – Things to Know
You might be hearing a lot about ChatGPT in the news lately, and you are probably wondering what it’s all about?
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT stands for “Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer.”
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ChatGPT is a chatbot program launched by the software company OpenAI in November 2022.
For those who may not already know, a ‘chatbot’ is a type of software that uses large amounts of information and data in order to respond to human interaction and generate ‘content’. If this sounds ambiguous, that’s because it kind of is.
It is being used to do everything from scheduling, to writing and debugging software, enhancing existing search engine functions (such as Google), translating texts – and even to have conversations with.
And still a great deal more.
ChatGPT is not Artificial Intelligence.
It is programmed to provide a user with ‘human-like’ responses, but it still can’t ‘think’ for itself.Think of chatbot software as a large factory:
Information goes in one end, it gets ‘sorted’, processed, then text comes out from the other end.
ChatGPT isn’t the first of its kind to exist, but chatbot software is still very new.
Why is this program such a big deal?
More and more big companies are beginning to invest in new chatbot programs.
Chatbots are becoming especially big in the tech and business industries – A lot of money is now being thrown around.
For example, in January Microsoft announced that they will be partnering with OpenAI (the creators of ChatGPT) and investing more into Artificial Intelligence technologies.
And just recently Google has created their own software, ‘Bard’, in order to compete with other chatbot programs.
How will programs like ChatGPT affect different industries?
People have begun to use chatbot software like ChatGPT for a wide number of uses – everything from writing articles, generating code, and even to doing school homework. As such, it has had a great impact throughout a great many fields.
There is still some uncertainty as to whether chatbot software will be a good thing, or if there will be negative consequences. It’s certainly understandable when you take into account that students have been using Chatbots in order to cheat in important matters, such as Medical and Legal exams.
Some media companies have even tried using chatbot bots to write their articles, but not without problems. Many of those articles contained errors a human would have caught.
Again, chatbots are like factories: Data goes in one side, text comes out the other.
Chatbot software has also become a topic of concern in the world of arts and graphic design.
But the content created by this software has raised some uncertainty regarding copyright laws and plagiarism.
Will chatbot software eventually replace people?
This is usually people’s first concern whenever the topic of Artificial Intelligence comes up. And not without good reason.
But don’t worry: The answer is still a definitive No.
At the moment chatbots are mostly being used as a supplementary tool for various tasks, not as an all-out replacement for human workers.
The Robot uprising is still a long way away.
What will ChatGPT mean for me?
Probably very little.
Chatbot software is still quite new, and it’s far from being perfect. We’re still many years from having fully functioning Artificial Intelligence yet.
But this doesn’t mean we should ignore this new technology, either.
Chatbot software such as ChatGPT has raised concerns about further spread of misinformation.
People may try to use chatbots as learning tools, or as a way to write essays, or as an easy shortcut to certain jobs, and this just doesn’t work.
Programs like ChatGPT is very much capable of providing its users with incorrect or misleading information.
Princeton computer science professor Arvind Narayanan has even called ChatGPT a “Bullshit Generator” (Narayanan 2022).
By this, he doesn’t mean that the software is lying to people.
Remember: Chatbots use their information to sound ‘human-like’, or to be persuasive – that’s its purpose. It’s not programmed to be factual.
The information ChatGPT provides can be easily guided by the phrasing of the questions it is asked.
Because the software can’t actually think, it also can’t make inferences or ask for more information.
This means that the software will always just assume it knows what you are talking about when it provides its responses.
ChatGPT’s accuracy level is still quite low.
And that’s not even the worst of it.
Chatbot software has already been put to malicious use.
Chatbot software has already been used to create and spread hateful and racist content through online forums.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are already finding ways to use chatbot software for nefarious ends.
Some of these have included:
• Spreading misinformation
• Propagating hateful or harmful messages online
• Political brainwashing
• Generating malware
Big companies such as Microsoft and Amazon have already advised their employees not to give chatbots any valuable or ‘sensitive’ information.
At the stage nobody can say for sure what impact chatbot will have.
As I have already said, ChatGPT has only just released, and chatbot software overall is still being explored.
To some, programs like ChatGPT may seem scary. To others this may all be exciting. But I don’t think anyone really knows what the future will bring with all these new chatbot programs.
It should be clear to all of us by now that technology will only continue to evolve, and change. And more often then not it will do so in ways we can’t foresee or account for.
All we can really do is sit back and watch.