There has been a lot of recent buzz surrounding ChatGPT, which was launched in November 2022. For those in a creative space or studying, you’ve likely been warned not to use the AI chatbot for ethical or plagiarism reasons. Many of us are worried that AI will eventually put us out of a job. But is this really possible? This guide to ChatGPT explains whether it’s just the latest fad or something we should be concerned about.
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What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a type of AI (artificial intelligence) language model. Its purpose is to understand and generate human-like text. Essentially, it’s a tool that’s designed to have conversations with users and respond based on data it has gleaned from the internet.
Why was ChatGPT created?
The concept of AI is nothing new and, believe it or not, ChatGPT is not the first AI to be implemented. In fact, the first AI program was written in 1951, with AI beginning to flourish from 1957-74. AI, in general, was created as a tool to help us learn and store information, and ChatGPT is simply the latest leap in this technology.
The primary aim of ChatGPT is to improve AI language models and make them more user-friendly. ChatGPT is currently in its researching and development stage, as it learns from its interactions with people. Its research and experience will likely be used as a starting point for future AI.
What are the benefits?
ChatGPT offers several benefits, especially surrounding education and efficiency. Some of the key benefits include:
ChatGPT allows users to input a topic or prompt, and then creates content relating to the topic. For example, you can easily create emails, articles, essays and code by simply typing in a few words. It also works well as a first draft and means you can get a feel for the type of layout and content that should be covered in essays, stories, reports etc.
You can now use ChatGPT to interact with people who speak different languages. While Google Translate has been a go-to for years, ChatGPT is a newer option, and it’s much better at communicating cultural expressions than Google’s platform.
ChatGPT’s role as a translator doesn’t begin and end with spoken/written language. It can also be used as a means of translating a prompt into code (fairly accurately) within seconds.
One of the main uses for ChatGPT is as an educational tool. Users can type in a question and receive an answer automatically. Answers can be simplified or expanded on by typing a command into the text box.
What are the downsides?
It’s still early days for ChatGPT and, as to be expected, it has some issues that will (hopefully) be fixed in time. The downsides of ChatGPT include:
Lack of common sense
Because ChatGPT isn’t human, it doesn’t possess real-world knowledge or common sense. Many of its responses may sound plausible, but aren’t entirely correct, or may not make sense at all. This is more likely when dealing with complex issues or opinions.
One major problem: ChatGPT often makes up things. It attributes quotes and research to various sources that don’t exist. So if you plan to use ChatGPT outside of a recreational setting, make sure you check everything carefully.
Lack of real understanding
Once again, ChatGPT is not human, even though it may sound like it. This means it doesn’t understand the data it is giving users. It processes information based on patterns and associations, so its content often isn’t relevant to what you’re asking.
Will ChatGPT replace me?
For years movies like iRobot, The Matrix and Ex Machina have warned us of the dangers of AI. Even kids’ movie WALL-E depicts the future of humanity being controlled by robots. So, is there really cause for concern?
Well, maybe. The introduction of AI models like ChatGPT has the potential to impact certain jobs. For example, jobs that involve manual data entry, basic customer support and content generation could be completed by AI in the future.
However, it is important to note than AI isn’t likely to replace jobs entirely, but rather transform the nature of work. For example, programmers may use ChatGPT to automate some aspects of programming, such as code generation and bug fixing.
And, on a positive note, AI has the potential to create more jobs. Creating and maintaining new AI systems requires programmers, engineers, machine experts and plenty of roles that haven’t been created yet.
Is ChatGPT free?
There is a basic model of ChatGPT, called GPT-3.5, that is free to use. Its features include:
- Standard response speed
- Regular model updates
There’s also a paid version available, named ChatGPT Plus, which costs USD$20 per month. It’s features include:
- Access to the “most capable” model of ChatGPT
- Faster response speed
- Exclusive access to beta features, like browsing, plug-ins and code interpreter
How do I use ChatGPT?
Using ChatGPT is straightforward, but there are a few different ways to do it.
Option 1: OpenAI’s Plaground
OpenAI provides a web-based playground where you can experiment with ChatGPT. This is a great option for first-time users as it provides tutorials and easy access links to help you get the most out of ChatGPT.
You can access OpenAI by clicking here.
Option 2: Access ChatGPT directly
You can access ChatGPT by going directly to its webpage. It allows you to get straight to work if you don’t need tutorials. Simply enter your text in the “send a message” box to get started.
Note: you will need to create an account when first using ChatGPT. This requires your email and a password, or you can use Facebook or Gmail.
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About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.