- AI Language Model: ChatGPT is an advanced AI (artificial intelligence) language program created by OpenAI. GPT, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a system that utilizes deep learning techniques to generate human-like text.
- Knowledge Limitations: ChatGPT’s knowledge is based on the data it was trained on. It increases its knowledge with every user interaction.
- Fine-tuning Process: ChatGPT goes through a two-step process in its creation. First, it is trained on a large dataset containing diverse text from the internet, learning grammar, facts, and reasoning abilities. Then, it is fine-tuned with the help of human reviewers to ensure its performance aligns with user and search intent, and safety standards.
- Controllable and Creative: It is designed to be both controllable and creative, enabling it to generate relevant responses to specific prompts. However, this creativity can sometimes lead to the generation of plausible sounding but nonsensical answers.
- Applications: ChatGPT can be used for a wide range of applications, including answering questions, providing recommendations, generating text, language translation, and more.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI-based chatbot created by OpenAI. It uses Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to understand input and respond in the most human-like way possible. Released in November 2022, it became the first chatbot publically available with such a level of “intelligence”. Chatting with the bot is possible via a web app (you can try it out here: https://chat.openai.com/chat). OpenAI is a US-based company that specializes in artificial intelligence research. Its best-known projects include the autoregressive language model GPT-3 and the image generator DALL-E.
ChatGPT has been trained on a huge corpus of text; from books, articles, and scientific papers to social media posts, chat transcripts, and even emails. As a successor to the aforementioned GPT-3, ChatGPT has been further developed using what is known as Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF). This enables the chatbot to make probable guesses, which words and phrases belong together and respond in a natural-sounding tone and complete sentences.
ChatGPT can communicate in a variety of languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and more. Since the chatbot has access to a vast amount of knowledge, it can also answer a wide range of inquiries. For example, it can tell jokes (some of which are even funny), create code, write essays, give medical diagnoses, and more.
Is ChatGPT problematic?
Along with the possibilities ChatGPT offers, there are also risks, especially concerning user questions and demands addressed to the bot. In general, ChatGPT always does what the user wants, whether consciously or subconsciously. When asked strange questions, for example whether machines want to subjugate humans, the bot will also give strange answers.
It is important to remember that ChatGPT is only as good as the texts it was trained on. Since the bot is continuously learning from conversations with users, this can lead to problems. If the training corpus is incomplete or biased, it can result in errors and biases in ChatGPT’s responses.
In addition to conversations with users, the text corpus, on which the bot has been trained, also contains a significant amount of untrue, biased, and otherwise harmful material, taken from the general internet. Since the chatbot lacks a true contextual understanding of language and social situations, inappropriate responses can be the result. These circumstances might then encourage the spread of fake news and half-truths.
ChatGPT has also been banned by Stack Overflow, the well-known internet platform for software developers, because the bot repeatedly produces computer code that looks right but does not function properly.
Nevertheless, OpenAI continues to train ChatGPT to reject inappropriate requests that contain, for example, racist, sexist or offensive statements. Unfortunately, the filtering feature is not perfect and there are occasionally so-called “false positives”, where even harmless requests are wrongly rejected.
When does it make sense to use ChatGPT?
However, ChatGPT also has many positive aspects. The chatbot is generally well suited as a source of inspiration. No matter if it’s writing an essay for university or school, or finding a research question for a term paper – if you provide the topic or a general idea, ChatGPT quickly offers suggestions you can use as incentives. Nevertheless, always fact-check before using the bot’s answer verbatim.
Moreover, the chatbot is particularly convenient for customer service, translating texts, giving legal as well as medical advice, and assisting with online shopping. Another major area of use is entertainment, one viral example being ChatGPT’s instructions on how to get a peanut butter sandwich out of a VCR, written in the style of the King James Bible: (https://twitter.com/tqbf/status/1598513757805858820).
Use ChatGPT to research and write or do it yourself?
It may seem tempting to let ChatGPT write texts for you and only change some minor details. However, due to the numerous aforementioned problems, it is not advisable to have entire papers, especially scientific ones, written by the chatbot. No sources are provided, and although its answers may sound plausible, ChatGPT is not reliable enough to be used in an academic context. Therefore, it is always better to take a cue from a scientific text with properly checked sources. You can find such texts right here, at Hausarbeiten.de. And generally, it is always worthwhile to write your papers by yourself. Only then will you learn how research is done and encounter new and maybe exciting ideas in the process!
- Data Analysis: ChatGPT can quickly analyze large amounts of textual data, helping researchers identify patterns and trends in studies, saving time and effort.
- Enhanced Communication: ChatGPT can generate human-like responses, enabling more engaging and interactive studies, especially in fields like psychology or linguistics.
- Multi-disciplinary Applications: ChatGPT’s versatile nature allows for its use in various fields, from literature analysis to scientific research, offering unique insights and perspectives.
- Ethical Concerns: The use of AI-generated content in studies can raise questions about authenticity, authorship, and the potential for manipulation or bias in the generated data.
- Limited Understanding: ChatGPT might not fully grasp complex domain-specific knowledge, leading to inaccuracies or misinterpretations in research contexts. Furthermore, the program won’t give you citable sources.
- Dependence on Data Quality: ChatGPT’s performance relies on the quality of the input data and training materials, which can limit its usefulness in studies if not carefully curated and maintained.
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- Official website of ChatGPT: https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt (last accessed 3/6/2023)
- Kelly, Samantha Muphy. 2022. “This AI chatbot is dominating social media with its frighteningly good essays” CNN Business. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/12/05/tech/chatgpt-trnd/index.html (last accessed 1/3/2023).
- Metz, Cade. 2023. “Why Do A.I. Chatbots Tell Lies and Act Weird? Look in the Mirror.” The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/26/technology/ai-chatbot-information-truth.html (last accessed 1/3/2023).
- Moorstedt, Michael. 2022. „Die gefühlte Revolution“ Süddeutsche Zeitung. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/chatgpt-kuenstliche-intelligenz-1.5708877 (last accessed 1/3/2023).
- Roose, Kevin. 2022. “The Brilliance and Weirdness of ChatGPT.” The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/05/technology/chatgpt-ai-twitter.html (last accessed 1/3/23).