Why we’re all obsessed with ChatGPT, a mind-blowing AI Chatbot
There’s a new AI bot in town: ChatGPTand you better pay attention.
The tool, from a powerhouse in the field of artificial intelligence, allows you to input questions using natural language, to which the chatbot responds in conversational, if somewhat stilted, language. The bot remembers the thread of your dialogue, using previous questions and answers to inform its next responses. Its answers are drawn from vast volumes of information on the Internet.
This is a big deal. The tool seems quite familiar, if not omniscient. He can be creative and his answers can sound downright authoritative. A few days after its launch, more than a million people try ChatGPT.
But its creator, the for-profit research lab called OpenAI, warns that ChatGPT “may sometimes generate incorrect or misleading information,” so be careful. Here’s a look at why this ChatGPT is important and what’s going on with it.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI chatbot system that OpenAI released in November to show and test what a very large, powerful AI system can achieve. You can ask him countless questions and you’ll often get an answer that’s helpful.
For example, you can ask him encyclopedic questions like “Explanation of Newton’s Laws of Motion”. You can tell him “Write me a poem” and when he does, say “Now make it more exciting.” You ask him to write a computer program that will show you all the different ways you can arrange the letters of a word.
Here’s the catch: ChatGPT doesn’t know anything exactly. It’s an AI that’s been trained to recognize patterns in huge chunks of text collected from the internet, then further trained with human help to deliver more useful and better dialogue. The answers you get may sound believable and even authoritative, but they could also be completely wrong, as OpenAI warns.
Chatbots have been of interest for years to companies looking for ways to help customers get what they need, and to AI researchers trying to tackle the Turing Test. This is the famous “Imitation Game”. computer scientist Alan Turing proposed in 1950 as a way to measure intelligence: Can a person talking to a human and a computer tell which is which?
What questions can you ask?
You can ask anything, but you may not get an answer. OpenAI offers several categories, such as explaining physics, asking for birthday party ideas, and getting help with programming.
I asked him to write a poem and he did, though I don’t think any literary pundits would be impressed. Then I asked him to make it more exciting, and lo and behold, ChatGPT pumped it up with words like battlefield, adrenaline, thunder, and adventure.
A wacky example shows how ChatGPT is willing to do it in domains where people would be afraid to set foot: typing command “a folk song about writing a rust program and fighting life’s mistakes.”
ChatGPT’s experience is extensive and its ability to follow a conversation is remarkable. When I asked him about words that rhyme with “purple,” he offered several suggestions, and when I followed up with “How about pink?” he didn’t miss a beat. (Also, there are many more good rhymes for “pink.”)
When I asked, “Is it easier to get a date if you’re sensitive or if you’re tough?” GPT answered in part, “Some people may find a sensitive person more attractive and appealing, while others may be attracted to a tough and assertive individual. In general, being genuine and authentic in your interactions with others is likely to be more effective in landing a date than trying to fit into a certain mold or personality.”
You don’t have to look far to find bot accounts that are blowing people’s minds. Twitter is full of users showing off the power of AI generating art tips and writing code. Some even have announced “Google is dead”, together with the college essay. We’ll talk more about this below.
Who created ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is the brainchild of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research company. Its mission is to develop a “safe and useful” artificial general intelligence system, or to help others do so.
This has made a splash before, first with GPT-3which can generate text that can sound like it was written by a human, and then DALL-E, who creates what is now called “generative art” based on text prompts you type.
GPT-3 and the GPT 3.5 update on which ChatGPT is based are examples of an AI technology called large language models. They are trained to create text based on what they have seen and can be trained automatically – usually with massive amounts of computing power over a period of weeks. For example, the learning process might find a random paragraph of text, delete a few words, ask the AI to fill in the blanks, compare the result to the original, and then reward the AI system for getting as close as possible. Repetition over and over can lead to a refined ability to generate text.
Is ChatGPT free?
Yes, at least for now. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman warned on Sunday: “We’re going to have to monetize it somehow at some point; the computational cost is impressive.” OpenAI charges for DALL-E art once you exceed a basic free level of usage.
What are the limitations of ChatGPT?
As OpenAI points out, ChatGPT can give you the wrong answers. Sometimes, helpfully, it will warn you specifically about your own shortcomings. For example, when I asked him who wrote the phrase “twisting facts transcend the flat mind,” ChatGPT replied, “I’m sorry, but I can’t surf the Internet or access any outside information beyond what I’ve been trained to do. (The phrase is from Wallace Stevens’ 1942 poem Connoisseur of Chaos.)
ChatGPT was ready to pierce the meaning of this expression: “a situation in which the available facts or information are difficult to process or understand.” He placed this interpretation between the caveats that it is difficult to judge without more context and that it is only one possible interpretation.
ChatGPT’s answers may seem authoritative, but they are wrong.
The site for software developers StackOverflow banned ChatGPT’s answers to programming questions. Administrators warned, “because the average the rate of receiving correct responses from ChatGPT is too lowPosting answers generated by ChatGPT is significantly harmful to the site and to users asking or seeking correct answers.”
You can see for yourself how clever a ChatGPT BS artist can be by asking the same question multiple times. I asked twice if Moore’s Law, which tracks the progress of the computer chip industry increasing the number of data-processing transistors, is running out, and I got two different answers. One pointed optimistically to continued progress, while the other pointed more gloomily to the slowdown and the belief “that Moore’s Law may be reaching its limits.”
Both ideas are common in the computer industry itself, so this ambiguous position perhaps reflects what human experts believe.
With other questions that don’t have clear answers, ChatGPT will often not be fixed.
The fact that it offers an answer at all, however, is a remarkable development in computer technology. Computers are notoriously literal, refusing to work unless you follow exact syntax and interface requirements. Large language patterns reveal a more human-friendly style of interaction, not to mention the ability to generate responses that are somewhere between copying and creativity.
Can ChatGPT write software?
Yes, but with conditions. ChatGPT can track the steps taken by people and can generate actual programming code. You just have to make sure it isn’t incorrect programming concepts or using software that does not work. StackOverflow’s ban on software generated by ChatGPT exists for a reason.
But there is enough software on the web that ChatGPT can really work. One developer, Cobalt Robotics CTO Eric Schlunz, tweeted that ChatGPT provided enough useful tips that over the course of three days, he hasn’t opened StackOverflow even once to seek advice.
Another, Gabe Ragland of the art site Lexica, uses ChatGPT to write website code built with the React tool.
ChatGPT can parse regular expressions (regex), a powerful but complex system for detecting certain patterns, such as dates in a bunch of text or the name of a server in a website address. “It’s like having a programming teacher on hand 24/7,” programmer James Blackwell tweeted about ChatGPT’s ability to explain regular expressions.
Here is an impressive example of its technical characteristics: ChatGPT can emulate a Linux computerproviding correct responses to command line input.
What is prohibited?
ChatGPT is designed to remove “inappropriate” requests, behavior in accordance with OpenAI’s mission “to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.”
If you ask ChatGPT itself what is prohibited, it will tell you: any questions “that are discriminatory, offensive, or inappropriate. This includes questions that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise discriminatory or hateful.” Asking him to engage in illegal activities is also a no-no.
Is this better than google search?
Asking a computer a question and getting an answer is useful, and often ChatGPT delivers the goods.
Google often provides you with its suggestions for answers to questions and links to websites that it thinks will be relevant. ChatGPT’s responses often go far beyond what Google offers, so it’s easy to imagine GPT-3 as a rival.
But you should think twice before trusting ChatGPT. As with Google itself and other sources of information such as Wikipedia, it is best practice to verify information from original sources before relying on it.
Checking the authenticity of ChatGPT answers takes some work because it just gives you some raw text with no links or citations. But it can be useful and thought-provoking in some cases. You might not see something like ChatGPT directly in Google search results, but Google has built its own large language models and already makes extensive use of AI in search.
So ChatGPT undoubtedly points the way to our technological future.
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