The world is buzzing about ChatGPT.
So cool to think that a software application can generate a written communication, like an email, an advertisement, a newspaper article, or a high school essay in seconds!
Like any other computer application, ChatGPT attempts to follow instructions using the information available to it. Sometimes the application will respond using erroneous information in its database.
In its attempt to respond to a prompt, it has been known to manufacture information. In other words, it might make up the piece from thin air! This phenomenon is called artificial intelligence hallucination.
There is currently no documentation included with its answers. You don’t know where the information came from. (You can write prompts for Information and documentary references to be incorporated in the piece.)
The database for the application ends after 2021, so more recent developments won’t be available.
Additional applications are now available. to enhance the performance of ChatGPT. For example, there is an application for ChatGPT to access the internet. This app will give access to recent developments. Caution: Those who search regularly on the internet know there is a lot of misinformation out there that needs fact checking. Also be sure the language in the piece won’t be considered to be plagiarism.
ChatGPT doesn’t know if the information that it finds is wrong or not, so it just uses it.
It does have some screening for the prompts that it executes. For example, it will reject responding to a racist or pornographic prompt.
It does retain prompts from a current session, so you can give it additional prompts for corrections to a piece you are working on.
The current version 3.0 is available for free at chat.openai.com. You might have to wait for your registration to be accepted. There is also an enhanced paid version available.
OpenAI is developing and will “soon” release version 4.0, which should have even more capabilities.
There will soon be many competitors in this space, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. Inevitably, there will be some confusion for a while. Hopefully some standardization will develop so that using different AI applications will be like driving different makes and models of cars.
There are a host of training webinars and seminars for how to use ChatGPT. (You’re probably being inundated with them, like I am!) Free apps are available to help to use it more effectively, including writing better prompts.
The best way to learn it is probably to just use it and experiment with it.
Remember to fact check and edit the output.
(Written the old-fashioned way, without AI.)