What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a natural language AI chatbot. At its most basic level, that means you can ask it any question, and it will generate an answer.
As opposed to a simple voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant, though, ChatGPT is built on what is called an LLM (Large Language Model). These neural networks are trained on huge quantities of information from the internet for deep learning — meaning they generate altogether new responses, rather than just regurgitating specific canned responses. They’re not built for a specific purpose like chatbots of the past — and they’re a whole lot smarter.
The name ChatGPT, which stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, implies this. In the current iteration of ChatGPT, the GPT-3.5 LLM serves as the foundation. The ChatGPT model was trained on a wide variety of web content, including websites, books, social media, and news articles, and the language model was refined using both supervised learning and RLHF (Reinforcement Learning From Human Feedback). According to OpenAI, the use of human AI trainers is what truly distinguishes ChatGPT.
ChatGPT was first launched as a prototype to the public in November 2022, quickly growing to over 100 million users by January of 2023, making it the most quickly-adopted piece of software ever made.
How to use ChatGPT
First, go to chat.openai.com. If it’s your first time, you’ll need to set up a free account with OpenAI before getting started. You have the option of choosing an easy login with a Google or Microsoft account, or just
entering your email address. You will then be prompted to input a phone number; however, you cannot register for OpenAI using a virtual phone number (VoIP). You will then receive a confirmation number to input on the registration page to finalize the configuration.
You will see some fundamental principles for ChatGPT, such as the possibility of data errors, how OpenAI collects data, and how users can provide feedback — all of which cause some to question whether ChatGPT is safe to use. After completing this, you will know that you have effectively registered. You’re in!
Using the ChatGPT chatbot is straightforward, as all you need to do is enter text and receive responses. The key is to be inventive and observe how your ChatGPT reacts to various prompts. If you do not receive the desired result, try modifying your prompt or providing ChatGPT with additional instructions. ChatGPT is aware of the context of prior queries you’ve posed, allowing you to refine your inquiries without having to start from scratch each time.
For example, starting with “Explain how the solar system was made” will give a more detailed result with more paragraphs than “How was the solar system made,” even though both inquiries will give fairly detailed results. Take it a step further by giving ChatGPT more guidance about style or tone, saying “Explain how the solar system was made as a middle school teacher.”
In addition, you have the option to make more specific input requests, such as an essay with a certain number of paragraphs or a Wikipedia page. The response to the query “Write a four-paragraph essay explaining Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” was incredibly comprehensive. Remember that ChatGPT is adept at modifying previous responses, so you can always request more information, ask it to rewrite something, or ask additional questions.
If sufficient information is available, the generator will execute commands with precision. Otherwise, ChatGPT may begin to patch in missing data with incorrect information. OpenAI notes that these occurrences are uncommon, but AI “hallucinations” do occur. The company also observes that ChatGPT, which presently utilizes the GPT-3.5 LLM (large language model), has “limited knowledge of world events after 2021.” Consider using a different instrument, such as Bing Chat, for more recent global knowledge.
Despite this, you have the option to perpetually enter queries until you exit your browser or reset the thread to erase your previous requests. These discussions are then automatically named and stored as conversations in the sidebar. There, you can rename or delete these conversations as necessary. If necessary, you can even “hide” specific conversations.
You also have the option to use ChatGPT in dark mode or light mode.
Unlike Bing Chat, which can now generate images with Bing Image Creator and receive images as prompts for questions, ChatGPT only works with text in both directions. Google Bard also recently got this feature included.
How to use the ChatGPT iPhone app
After many months of anticipation, OpenAI has finally launched an official iOS app that you can go and download today. The app quickly topped half a million downloads in less than a week and is becoming available in an increasing number of countries.
Its usage instructions are comparable to those of the ChatGPT web application. You have the option of signing in with your Apple ID, but other than that, it functions nearly identically to the web app; simply input your query and initiate the conversation.
The streamlined interface displays your conversation with GPT in a straightforward manner, concealing the chat history and preferences behind a menu in the upper-right corner.
For those who are paying for ChatGPT Plus, the app lets you toggle between GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 too. You can even use the microphone to chat with ChatGPT over voice.
As our mobile editor noted in his experience with the app, it still doesn’t provide a connection to the internet like chatbots like Bing Chat and Perplexity.
Please note, though, that there is no official Android, Mac, or Windows app just yet. If you’re using one of those platforms, we recommend sticking to the web app to avoid any possible scams or fakes.
Is ChatGPT free to use?
Yes, the basic version of ChatGPT is completely free to use. There’s no limit to how much you can use ChatGPT in a day, though there is a word and character limit for responses.
It is not free for OpenAI to continue operating it. Initial estimates indicate that OpenAI spends approximately $3 million per month to maintain ChatGPT or approximately $100,000 per day. According to a report from April, the daily cost of operation is closer to $700,000.00.
In addition to the cost of the servers themselves, recent revelations have revealed what else has been done to prevent the language model from generating objectionable content.
OpenAI also has a premium version of its chatbot, called ChatGPT Plus. It costs $20 a month but provides access even during peak times, faster responses, and first access to new features like GPT-4.
Who created ChatGPT?
ChatGPT was created by an organization called OpenAI, a San Francisco-based AI research lab. The
The organization began as a non-profit with the intention of collaborating with other institutions and researchers. Peter Thiel and Elon Musk provided initial funding.
OpenAI became a for-profit enterprise in 2019 and is now led by Sam Altman, its CEO. It operates on the Microsoft Azure system infrastructure and is propelled by Nvidia’s GPUs, including the newly announced supercomputers. Microsoft has also made substantial investments in OpenAI beginning in 2019.
Latest ChatGPT controversies
Although ChatGPT is a very useful tool, it isn’t free of problems. It’s known for making mistakes or “hallucinations,” where it makes up an answer to something it doesn’t know. A simple example of how unreliable it can sometimes be involved misidentifying the prime minister of Japan.
People are concerned about the implications of this human-like generative AI for the future of the internet, so much so that thousands of tech leaders and prominent public figures have signed a petition to slow down its development. It was prohibited in Italy due to privacy concerns, as well as FTC complaints, a decision that has since been reversed.
Speaking of prohibitions, a number of prominent companies, including Samsung, Amazon, and Verizon, have prohibited the internal use of ChatGPT. Apple is also on the list, despite the fact that Tim Cook stated he still uses the product weeks after it was prohibited.
Goldman Sachs estimates that generative AI such as ChatGPT could eliminate as many as 300 million positions globally.
In addition, numerous controversies have arisen regarding the use of ChatGPT to perform duties that should likely be performed by a real individual.
Peabody School of Vanderbilt University was recently criticized for sending an email about mass murder and the value of community. In addition, JPMorgan Chase is restricting the use of AI chatbots by employees, particularly for email generation, which Apple has also prohibited internally.
The largest controversy to spring up since the release has been ChatGPT passing the Wharton MBA exam. According to the school, ChatGPT scored between a B- and B on the MBA exam and provided “excellent” responses.
Can ChatGPT be detected?
Teachers, school administrators, and developers are already finding different ways around this and banning the use of ChatGPT in schools. Others are more optimistic about how ChatGPT might be used for teaching, but plagiarism is undoubtedly going to continue being an issue in terms of education in the future. There are some ideas about how ChatGPT could “watermark” its text and fix this plagiarism problem, but as of now, detecting ChatGPT is still incredibly difficult to do.
ChatGPT recently launched a new version of its own plagiarism detection tool, with hopes that it will squelch some of the criticism around how people are using the text generation. It uses a new feature called “AI text classifier,” which operates in a way familiar to other plagiarism software. According to OpenAI, however, the tool is still a work in progress and is “imperfect.”
Other tools like GPTZero claim to help detect ChatGPT plagiarism, too. Although they work, some extra editing on AI responses can still trip up these tools.
Common uses for ChatGPT
Well, that’s the fun part. Since its launch, people have been experimenting to discover everything the chatbot can and can’t do — and some of the results have been mind-blowing.
Learning the types of prompts and follow-up prompts to which ChatGPT responds favorably requires experimentation. Similar to how we’ve learned to obtain the desired information from conventional search engines, it can take some time to obtain the finest ChatGPT results. If you want to get started with ChatGPT, we have compiled the most useful recommendations.
Ultimately, it depends on your objectives. Try using it to compose a blog post template or even code snippets if you are a programmer as a starting point.
Also, our writers tested ChatGPT to see if it could manage holiday purchasing or even correctly interpret astrological makeup. In both instances, we discovered limitations in its capabilities, despite being extremely astonished by the results.
However, the joy is in attempting it yourself. Whether you believe ChatGPT is an incredible piece of technology or that it will lead to the end of the internet as we know it, you should test it for yourself to determine its capabilities.
However, you cannot question anything. OpenAI has implemented safeguards in order to “build a safe and beneficial artificial general intelligence.” Thus, queries that are in any way offensive, misogynistic, racist, or discriminatory are generally off-limits.
What are ChatGPT plugins?
Some developers have described ChatGPT modules as “the most powerful developer platform ever created.” AI enthusiasts have compared it to the initial popularity of the iOS App Store, which significantly expanded the iPhone’s capabilities.
Essentially, developers will be able to directly create modules for ChatGPT, allowing it to have access to the entire internet and communicate directly to the APIs of particular applications. This is ChatGPT in the actual world. OpenAI provides examples of applications that can perform actions on the user’s behalf, retrieve real-time information, and access knowledge-based information.
It’s presently only accessible via a waitlist, but Expedia, Instacart, Slack, and OpenTable were among the first companies to use plugins with ChatGPT. There are now many plugins to investigate, including the ones we’ve identified as the finest.
Is there a ChatGPT API?
Outside of the ChatGPT app itself, many apps have announced partnerships with OpenAI using the ChatGPT API. So far, the most prominent examples is Snapchat’s MyAI.
Essentially, this is a way for developers to access ChatGPT and plug its natural language capabilities directly into apps and websites. We’ve seen it used it all sorts of different cases, ranging from suggesting parts in Newegg’s PC builder to building out a travel itinerary with just a few words.
What’s the future of ChatGPT and GPT-5?
There’s no doubt that the tech world has become obsessed with ChatGPT right now, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. ChatGPT-4, the next iteration of the model, has officially launched, though it’s currently only available for ChatGPT Plus. We do know, however, that Bing Chat is at least partially built on the GPT-4 language model, even if certain elements such as visual input aren’t available.
But the most significant development will be ChatGPT’s continued integration with other applications. Microsoft reportedly invested multiple billions of dollars in ChatGPT, which is beginning to bear fruit. The initial integration occurred in Teams Premium, where OpenAI’s capabilities to automate duties and provide transcripts appeared. Microsoft introduced 365 Copilot, which incorporates ChatGPT natural language prompts directly into Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Initial reports indicated that GPT-5 is on its way and could complete training by the end of the year, with some speculating that it will achieve AGI (artificial general intelligence). This is a bold and controversial assertion, but it is evident that things are progressing rapidly.
Since then, OpenAI has stated that GPT-5 is not presently planned or on the schedule. The following version, GPT-4.5, is presently undergoing training and may be available later this year. OpenAI indicated that it could be finished with planning by September or October.
All that to say, if you think AI is a big deal now, just wait until it’s built into the most common applications that are used for work and school.
ChatGPT alternatives worth trying
ChatGPT continues to be the most popular AI chatbot at present, but it is not without competition. Microsoft’s Bing Chat, which bases its responses on OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, is the largest competitor. Bing Chat is free and offers additional features such as various writing modes, image creation, and search links, despite requiring the Edge browser. Even more recently, it received a significant update that added export, third-party modules, and multimodal support. There’s also YouChat, which uses GPT-3, an older model from OpenAI, and Forefront AI, which gives you access to GPT-4 and beyond.
The biggest non-GPT competitor to ChatGPT is Google Bard. It’s based on Google’s own homegrown language model, LaMDA, and Google seems intent on competing directly with OpenAI with Google Bard. The most recent updates make it a far more compelling alternative to ChatGPT, even if it’s not quite there.
There are a number of other chatbots out there, some of which are based on Meta’s open-source language model, LLaMA, such as Vicuna and HuggingChat.
Other things to know about ChatGPT
Are ChatGPT chats private?
It depends on your definition of privacy. OpenAI utilizes all conversations with ChatGPT to fine-tune its models, which may involve the use of human trainers. No, this does not imply that a human is reviewing every query you ask ChatGPT, but there is a reason why OpenAI advises against providing ChatGPT with any personal information.
Note that if you do not expunge your messages, the conversations will appear in the sidebar on the left. Individual messages within a conversation cannot be expunged, but they can be amended by clicking the pencil icon that appears when hovering over a chat. However, when you delete conversations, ChatGPT does not ignore that they occurred; they simply vanish from the auxiliary chat history.
Fortunately, OpenAI has just announced a method for hiding your conversations from the sidebar. These “hidden” conversations will also not be used to train AI models.
When was ChatGPT released?
ChatGPT was originally launched to the public in November of 2022 by OpenAI. The chatbot is based on the GPT-3.5 LLM, which is a fine-tuned version of GPT-3, a model first launched on March 15, 2022. GPT-3 itself, though, has been around for a few years now. It was first released in June 2020, but only as an autoregressive language model.
The predecessors to GPT-3 had very limited public exposure. GPT-2 was announced in February 2019, and the first research paper on GPT was published on OpenAI’s website in 2018.
Will ChatGPT replace Google Search?
Rather than replace it, chatbots are likely to be integrated directly into search. Microsoft has already done this with Bing Chat and Bing, which puts a “chat” tab right into the menu of Bing search.
Even Google has begun experimenting with integrating the smarts of Google Bard into a search through its Search Generative Experience. We’re in the early days where all these exist has different products, but it’s not hard to imagine a future where it’s a completely unified experience.
Is Bing Chat the same as ChatGPT?
Microsoft has officially brought ChatGPT to Bing in the form of Bing Chat. After a long beta period, it was officially available to try out. But unlike ChatGPT, Bing Chat does require downloading the latest version of Edge. So Safari or Chrome users are out of luck.
In the early days of its release, Bing Chat was capable of some unhinged responses, but Microsoft has been quick to tame things a bit. It was recently announced that Bing Chat is using the latest GPT-4 language model, meaning it’s more powerful and accurate than ChatGPT. The new Edge Copilot mode also provides a more user-friendly way to get started, offering suggested prompts, links to learn more, and ways to tweak the kinds of answers it gives you. And now with the Windows Copilot, Bing Chat will live right on your desktop.
Is Google Bard the same as ChatGPT?
Google Bard employs an entirely distinct LLM than Bing Chat to fuel its natural language capabilities. Bard has been utilizing LaMDA, the company’s proprietary Language Model for Dialogue Applications, since its release. As has been evident from the beginning, Bard’s answers lacked a certain degree of precision.
Reports indicate that Bard will soon receive an enormous update, with its training set increasing from 30 billion to 600 billion parameters. This could bring it closer to the capabilities of GPT-4.
Can you write essays with ChatGPT?
The use of ChatGPT has been full of controversy, with many onlookers considering how the power of AI will change everything from search engines to novel writing. It’s even demonstrated the ability to earn students surprisingly good grades in essay writing.
Essay writing for students is one of the most obvious examples of where ChatGPT could become a problem. ChatGPT might not write this article all that well, but it feels particularly easy to use for essay writing. Some generative AI tools, such as Caktus AI, are built specifically for this purpose.
Can ChatGPT write and debug code?
Absolutely — it’s one of the most powerful features of ChatGPT. As with everything with AI, you’ll want to double-check everything it produces, because it won’t always get your code right. But it’s certainly powerful at both writing code from scratch and debugging code.
Developers have used it to create websites, applications, and games from scratch — all of which are made more powerful with GPT-4, of course. There’s even a plug-in called ChatGPT Code Interpreter that makes programming with AI even more accessible.
What is the ChatGPT character limit?
OpenAI does not specify a specific character limit, but it will stop responding after approximately 500 words or 4,000 characters. If you request a number of words greater than 500, the chatbot may cut the sentence off in the middle after 500 words.
One method to circumvent this is to simply ask it to “continue” or “carry on,” though this depends on the prompt and type of response. Occasionally, ChatGPT will essentially rehash previous responses in different terms.
ChatGPT Plus is the easiest method to gain access to responses with lengthier characters.
Is there a ChatGPT bug bounty program?
Yes. A bug bounty program for ChatGPT was recently announced. The program was unveiled officially on OpenAI’s website, which details the types of “cash awards” that are being offered. They range from $200 to up to $20,000 for what it calls “exceptional discoveries.”
While addressing security researchers interested in getting involved in the program, OpenAI said it recognized “the critical importance of security and view it as a collaborative effort. By sharing your findings, you will play a crucial role in making our technology safer for everyone.”
Do you need to download ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is available via a webpage, so no downloading is needed. However, OpenAI has finally released a free, official iOS app which needs to be downloaded from the iOS app store. For many months, the various app stores were full of fake versions. These are still out there, though, and should be installed and used with caution, as they are not official ChatGPT apps. There is no still no official Android app.
On desktop, there are a couple of ways to install ChatGPT, though. First, you can navigate to the ChatGPT website and save it as a Windows app through Edge. Go to the site, click the ellipsis menu, and hover over Apps. Select Install this site as an app to load ChatGPT from your desktop.
Other tools like MacGPT also allow shortcuts to access the browser service from your desktop. Recently, OpenAI made the ChatGPT API available to everyone, and we’ve seen a surge in tools leveraging the technology, such as Discord’s Clyde chatbot.
Can you use ChatGPT on iPhone or Android?
Now that there’s an official iOS app, you no longer have to rely solely on the web app to use ChatGPT on your phone. So, whether with the official app as downloaded through the app store or just the web version, you can certainly use ChatGPT on iPhones. In addition, there’s even a way to replace Siri with ChatGPT on your iPhone, as well as some useful mobile apps like Perplexity AI.
As for Android, you’ll need to rely on the web app. Just as on the desktop, just type in chat.openai.com to start using ChatGPT.
What does the ChatGPT ‘At Capacity’ error mean?
When attempting to access the ChatGPT website, a large number of users have received a “at capacity” message. It’s likely the reason for the attempt to use unofficial paid apps, which have already inundated app stores and duped thousands of people into paying for free services.
Due to the cost of operating ChatGPT, it appears that OpenAI has restricted access when its servers are “at capacity.” It may take several hours to wait out, but if you are patient, you will ultimately get through. This was the greatest obstacle preventing people from using ChatGPT more, out of all the issues it is currently experiencing. In some instances, demand has been so high that ChatGPT has been taken offline for maintenance multiple times over the past few months, each time for several hours.
This seems to be less of a problem as of late, as demand has normalized and OpenAI has learned to better manage the traffic, but it occasionally rears its head in the middle of the day.
Can you get ChatGPT to answer any question?
Not exactly. ChatGPT has limitations in the kinds of questions it can answer. First of all, it can’t write about anything that requires internet knowledge after late 2021, which is when its training stopped.
Beyond that, ChatGPT is careful about answering questions that might imply illegal, explicit, or damaging activity. It’ll avoid swearing or political debates, and will (usually) avoid making malware. There is some amount of jailbreaking that can be done to get around these restrictions, but OpenAI is constantly tightening its content policies to restrict unwanted answers.
What is Auto-GPT?
Built on GPT-4, Auto-GPT is the latest evolution of AI technology to cause a stir in the industry. It’s not directly related to ChatGPT or OpenAI — instead, it’s an open-source Python application that got into the hands of developers all over the internet when it was published on GitHub.
With ChatGPT or ChatGPT Plus, the capabilities of the AI are limited to a single chat window. Auto-GPT, at its simplest, is making AI autonomous. It can be given a set of goals, and then take the necessary steps towards accomplishing that goal across the internet, including connecting up with applications and software.
According to the official description on GitHub, Auto-GPT is an “experimental open-source application showcasing the capabilities of the GPT-4 language model. This program, driven by GPT-4, chains together LLM ‘thoughts’, to autonomously achieve whatever goal you set. As one of the first examples of GPT-4 running fully autonomously, Auto-GPT pushes the boundaries of what is possible with AI.”
The demo used on the GitHub page is simple — just create a recipe appropriate for Easter and save it to a file. What’s neat is how Auto-GPT breaks down the steps the AI is taking to accomplish the goal, including the “thoughts” and “reasoning” behind its actions. Auto-GPT is already being used in a variety of different applications, with some touting it as the beginning of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) due to its autonomous nature.
What is GPT-4 and how does it compare to GPT-3.5?
GPT-4 is a more sophisticated LLM, the most potent currently available from OpenAI. OpenAI currently only provides access to GPT-4 through ChatGPT Plus. In contrast, GPT-3.5 is the LLM that powers the gratis ChatGPT utility. OpenAI no longer discloses the precise number of parameters that these sophisticated models are trained on, but it is rumored that GPT-4 has up to one trillion parameters.
Regardless, the qualitative differences between GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 are relatively significant. It provides much more accurate responses, is vastly superior at coding and creative collaboration, and can provide (and respond to) much lengthier text passages. GPT-4 remains the finest available variant, while GPT-3.5 is more comparable to other available models.
Who owns the copyright to content created by ChatGPT?
This is a question open to debate. Much of the conversation around copyright and AI is ongoing, with some saying generative AI is “stealing” the work of the content is was trained on. This has become increasingly contentious in the world of AI art. Companies like Adobe are finding ways around this by only training models on stock image libraries that already have proper artist credit and legal boundaries.
According to OpenAI, however, you have the right to reprint, sell, and merchandise anything that was created with ChatGPT or ChatGPT Plus. So, you’re not going to get sued by OpenAI.
The larger topic of copyright law regarding generative AI is still to be determined by various lawmakers and interpreters of the law, especially since copyright law as it currently stands technically only protects content created by human beings.
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