What on *Virtual* Earth is ChatGPT?

Jan 25 / Eloise Watts
Heard of ChatGPT but no idea what it actually is? I’ve got you. We put together this guide to ChatGPT because frankly, the “it’s an AI chatbot” response was just not cutting it anymore. So, here you go…

To understand more about ChatGPT and how it works, I signed on and asked away! 

So, according to ChatGPT, it is:

“A computer program that generates human-like text based on patterns it learned from a large dataset during its training process”.

Great, but let’s break it down further - how does it work?

ChatGPT answers prompts like us (humans). It has studied a huge number of books, articles and websites, to learn how we write and speak. And in true computer fashion, it does this through finding patterns. This means that ChatGPT can write things, like blog posts, and it would be very hard to tell whether it was written by a human or a robot.

Ok, so now we know a bit more about what it does, let’s talk about what it is.

(Because, again, what is AI, and what is a chatbot?)

ChatGPT defines AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a computer program that can do things that normally require a brain; for example - understanding speech and text, but also learning. This is where it gets really clever. As ChatGPT put it: “it’s like having a robot helper that can think and learn on its own”. 

That’s right, it can learn independently. Now that sounds scary, but we use AI a lot in our everyday lives - in fact, you’ve probably got AI sitting next to you right now, or at least have had at some point today.

Enter Siri and Alexa. That’s right. Your favourite virtual assistant is a form of AI. 

Siri and Alexa recognise speech and text, but also learn from what we input to them, and from the results they get. However, Siri and Alexa are not the same as ChatGPT. They have very different purposes. 

ChatGPT’s purpose is to mimic and respond to prompts in the same way a human would. It aims to write and create content that a human could. Therefore, ChatGPT is not reliant on the internet. This means that it can’t answer specific or complex questions, or can very eloquently put together an answer, but it may be wrong or contain outdated information (it only learnt data from up to 2021)! This is because it cannot search the internet for the answer in the ways that Siri and Alexa do.

Alexa and Siri’s purpose is to answer specific questions accurately, not eloquently. So, they are connected to the internet. They search, ChatGPT writes.

And just to cover all bases - you know chatbots? An automated chatbot, is the little robot helper that asks if you need any help when you visit a website. They listen and answer your questions, but it’s not a human answering you… it’s a robot! Chat + Robot = Chatbot. 

Key note however - you’re not always talking to a robot, some have human customer service specialists on the other end, and some, like the chat function on our website, will send a message to a member of our team, who will then get back to you with a more specific answer.

Right, let’s tackle the big question. Will AI take our jobs? 

That’s hard to answer directly. But you don’t need to be super worried.

Yes, ChatGPT and other AI models are really helpful tools that will help to automate some processes, for example some customer service queries or help to debug and solve code. However, humans like to talk to humans, and so there will still be customer service jobs. And especially at the early stages, these models aren’t always right. We still need programmers to fix these bots, and check their mistakes! 

But to get more evidence, I asked ChatGPT this question, and it made an excellent point:

“AI models can assist and augment human capabilities rather than replacing them”. With AI and bots such as ChatGPT, it is about making simple tasks easier, so that we can focus on the more complex and creative tasks that they can’t.

And there you have it, the background of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Now, let’s talk about how to have a go yourself - because let’s be honest, we all know you want to! 

Simply head over to OpenAI’s website, and click the link in the banner at the top to try ChatGPT. Create an account, and then you’re in! Simply read the guidance, and start asking questions! 

So, now we have our heads wrapped around ChatGPT, what’s next? 

Well, we already know the answer - ChatGPT API. 

Yes, even more acronyms. But don’t worry - all that means is that programmers will soon be able to interact with ChatGPT through code, instead of using the browser app. This has a ton of benefits for programmers and software developers, and will highly likely have major repercussions for us daily. If you think ChatGPT is popular now, imagine if it was paired up with thousands of other computer programs. The growth would be astronomical - it would become a staple in our world. 

Want to be involved in the rise of AI, and learn to interact with APIs such as ChatGPT API firsthand? Get started in tech! And we can help you. Jumpstart your career by joining our Web Development Mastery course where you’ll become a Software Developer in as little as 28 weeks. Interested? Simply subscribe here, or get in touch by sending a message through our (not automated) chatbot.We look forward to speaking with you 😄

Oh and P.S. This was written by a human 😜