Over the past few weeks, ChatGPT has generated a massive buzz on the internet.
According to rave reviews by over a million users, this new AI has the potential to become everyone’s personal JARVIS. A digital assistant that uses text input to perform whichever task you set it to. No matter if it’s developing computer programs, writing articles, or finding responses to tricky questions.
But what is ChatGPT exactly? How does it work, and what technologies does it harness?
And what is the real extent of its capabilities?
Here’s the full run-down.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) system developed by OpenAI. It leverages natural language processing (NLP) to parse verbal input and generate responses, imitating a natural human conversation.
Ultimately, this makes it easier for people to communicate with computers. Instead of having to learn a complex system of code and software solutions, you can ask ChatGPT for what you want in your own words. And have it delivered promptly.
ChatGPT harnesses OpenAI’s generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) model. This model was trained using billions of snippets of text on the internet. It can therefore identify and imitate a huge variety of text types – from Twitter threads and blog posts to reports and even novels.
Crucially, ChatGPT is excellent at analyzing the context of a question. If the context isn’t clear enough to generate a reliable response, it may even ask the user for clarification.
That said, what are the different uses you can put this revolutionary AI to in order to boost your productivity?
Automate Simple Tasks and Workflows
Let’s start with some of the most basic applications. You can leverage ChatGPT to take care of routine tasks and workflows. This boosts your productivity by eliminating repetitive, time-consuming aspects of your workday.
For instance, you can set ChatGPT to handle scheduling meetings, replying to messages, and remind you of deadlines. That way, you can stay on top of tasks without having to worry about your schedule or overflowing inbox yourself.
Similarly, you can train ChatGPT to respond to various types of messages – no matter if it’s emails, reviews, or comments on social media.
Let ChatGPT Generate Viral Social Media Content
Another excellent application of ChatGPT is to generate social media posts, and even entire threads, that have a high chance of resonating with your audience.
For instance, ChatGPT was trained using massive amounts of data from Twitter. It therefore knows the most effective phrasings of tweets, and even common responses to different kinds of posts.
We don’t need Twitter anymore. I just had ChatGPT simulate it completely accurately. pic.twitter.com/NHH0jvcgcb
— Ethan Mollick (@emollick) December 16, 2022
Not only can it create social media content from scratch, given a topic framework. It can also reformulate existing content to increase its likelihood of going viral.
Rewrite the following tweet to be more likely to go viral:
“Copywriting is an essential skill for entrepreneurs in 2021!”
— Matt Schlicht (@MattPRD) January 4, 2023
Generate Content Ideas
Another application in which ChatGPT is outstanding is generating content ideas,
Are you a content marketer tasked with coming up with ideas for a clients’ blog to drive up traffic and increase engagement? No problem. Give ChatGPT the specs, and have it do some brainstorming on your behalf.
Do you already have a finished blog post but are struggling to come up with a catchy, attention-grabbing title? ChatGPT has your back.
Or are you maybe even a novelist, with some basic ideas for a story, but no concrete outline? Even in that case, ChatGPT can help you flesh out the outline of your next bestseller.
Writer Guiseppe Fratoni, for instance, tasked ChatGPT to create a story based around three of his passions: mystery novels, music, and writing.
“The request was: “Develop a plot for a mystery novel where a disillusioned homicide detective hunts a clever serial killer who preys on musicians who perform the jazz standard Autumn Leaves”, Fratoni explains.
Here’s the result ChatGPT returned:
“Detective James Thompson is a seasoned veteran of the Homicide department, but lately he’s been feeling burnt out and disillusioned. His latest case, the murder of a young jazz pianist who was found brutally killed in his home, only serves to deepen his sense of despair … (much more provided)”
Taking things even further, one 11-year-old kid used ChatGPT to create an entire text-based Harry Potter game that has since gone viral.
Have ChatGPT Write Goal-Oriented Articles and Blog Posts
Next up, ChatGPT can also generate long-form content from scratch. According to very clear specifications.
Since it was trained using billions of different texts, it knows exactly what boxes various types of articles, blog posts, and reports need to tick to captivate readers.
Plus, the clearer you are in your instructions, the more likely it is that ChatGPT will generate a text that does exactly what you want:
Write a blog post about the importance of developing a morning routine that is:
– no longer than 500 words
– uses no more than 5 examples
– speaks to entrepreneurs and creatives
— Matt Schlicht (@MattPRD) January 4, 2023
You can also give ChatGPT goals that each different piece of content needs to fulfill, such as getting the reader to take action.
Write an article that persuades readers to start a blog.
Include 3 strong arguments to support your point and include a call to action at the end.
— Matt Schlicht (@MattPRD) January 4, 2023
Harness ChatGPT as a Coding Assistant
ChatGPT can help you find the best way to write your code, and spot the origins of errors. In fact, professional programmers who’ve tested it say that ChatGPT has been invaluable when it comes to debugging their code.
ChatGPT could be a good debugging companion; it not only explains the bug but fixes it and explain the fix 🤯 pic.twitter.com/5x9n66pVqj
— Amjad Masad ⠕ (@amasad) November 30, 2022
Furthermore, ChatGPT can also write code by itself.
For instance, it can quickly generate visualizations of linear regressions, as this coding expert demonstrates in a Medium article.
However, ChatGPT also has the capacity to generate more complex code. A web developer reported that it managed to create an entire WordPress plugin – on the first try.
Ask ChatGPT to Explain Complex Concepts
Are you sometimes stymied by complex concepts that don’t seem to have simple explanations? Where each definition leads to more questions instead of answers?
Cue ChatGPT. Not only can you ask it to explain complicated concepts, processes, and phenomena in easily understandable terms. You can also ask it to do so with a certain flair and panache.
OpenAI’s new ChatGPT explains the worst-case time complexity of the bubble sort algorithm, with Python code examples, in the style of a fast-talkin’ wise guy from a 1940’s gangster movie: pic.twitter.com/MjkQ5OAIlZ
— Riley Goodside (@goodside) December 1, 2022
having a particularly bizarre morning thanks to chatgpt pic.twitter.com/BX0cJUMVzn
— juan (@juanbuis) December 1, 2022
The Limitations of ChatGPT
Now, if you’re a bit critical of tech – or simply not that familiar with AI – you might be thinking that this all sounds too good to be true.
To a certain extent, you’d be right. While ChatGPT can doubtlessly do some amazing things, it still has some limitations. When you launch yourself into using it, it’s important to be aware of these.
For one thing, users have reported that ChatGPT sometimes provides authoritative-sounding explanations that are just plain wrong.
ChatGPT is sometimes amazing, and sometimes hilariously wrong. Here, it confidently explains to me why an abacus is faster than a GPU. 😃 pic.twitter.com/vpJZTStDnD
— Andrew Ng (@AndrewYNg) December 7, 2022
Other users have pointed out that the ChatGPT provides nonsensical break-downs of mathematical operations.
ChatGPT can only multiply small numbers correctly. If you ask it to explain step by step, it generates nonsense. But you can just describe the multiplication algorithm in words and it will execute it flawlessly — except call it smth like “snorp” so it doesn’t use its wrong algo! pic.twitter.com/hmJCiKAt9p
— Arvind Narayanan @firstname.lastname@example.org (@random_walker) December 7, 2022
And others again have found its responses to simple logical riddles quite hilarious.
I have discovered the best possible use of ChatGPT pic.twitter.com/plSkwTbI4J
— Find me at buttondown.email/hillelwayne (@hillelogram) December 16, 2022
Another common criticism of ChatGPT is that it necessarily adopts the biases of the texts on which it was trained, especially with regard to gender and race.
Yes, ChatGPT is amazing and impressive. No, @OpenAI has not come close to addressing the problem of bias. Filters appear to be bypassed with simple tricks, and superficially masked.
— steven t. piantadosi (@spiantado) December 4, 2022
Finally, there is the question of sustainability, both in terms of energy and finances. Currently, it’s estimated that ChatGPT costs OpenAI about 3 million USD to run. Every day. And it burns through massive amounts of energy doing so.
Overall, ChatGPT provides some amazing capabilities in terms of NLP and how humans communicate with computers.
While it’s important to keep ChatGPT’s limitations in mind, it also opens up fantastic new avenues and can help you boost your productivity significantly.
Want to give it a test drive? Check it out here.