Chat GPT has become the world’s fastest growing consumer app acquiring more than 100 million users in just 2 months since its launch. And, according to Perfectly Spoken’s global media partner Reuters, this is faster than even TikTok which took 9 months to reach that number or Instagram which took two and a half years.
But what is it?
In its description of itself, ChatGPT is ‘an AI-powered chatbot based on the GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) language model. It uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like responses to text inputs in a conversational manner.’
So, it’s a natural language processing tool that can create content, images and even code on demand via conversations with a chatbot.
And it’s a very powerful tool. It can take written inputs from users and then produce human-like responses in numerous different forms from jokes to advice, even to complete essays
Is it really so special?
Yes. Because it has the ability to produce human-like responses which come from the enormous amounts of data it has been trained to use.
And, experts believe that with use, the responses will become more and more human-like, something that computers haven’t been able to do until now.
Furthermore, it can take content that users have put in earlier messages in a conversation and use them to form responses later in the conversation!
And what is the competition doing?
ChatGPT has been developed by AI start up OpenAI which is backed by Microsoft. Microsoft has launched a version of its Teams messaging service with ChatGPT integration.
Other firms, like China’s Baidu, are quickly developing their own chatbots.
However, the biggest threat is to Google. Instead of using our favourite search engine to find answers, we could just ask ChatGPT. This is possibly why Google has launched its own competitor to ChatGPT, called Bard.
But experts still argue that ChatGPT not only has a first mover advantage in the market but will also benefit from the massive numbers of users it is gaining on a daily basis who will help to train the AI system.
Are there any concerns?
Concerns have been raised over potential abuses.
While hackers have begun testing it to write malicious code, in classrooms, students have used ChatGPT to generate entire essays. AI plagiarism is a new challenge and teachers are concerned that the tool could be sued by students to do their homework and undermine learning especially critical thinking and creativity which marks us out as humans. This has now led to a ban across all New York City public schools and many other schools across the US.
In response, a spokesperson for the company has said it is “already developing mitigations to help anyone identify text generated by that system”
Are there any drawbacks to ChatGPT?
Researchers say chatbots like ChatGPT have their limitations. They can provide responses that are simply factually inaccurate, fail to solve a maths problem and even invent names and book titles.
So while it can seem to provide realistic engaging content on nearly any topic, there’s no guarantee that that content is factually accurate.
This means AI is still yet to be able to understand or learn any intellectual task that a human being can.