ChatGPT: What It Is And Why It Matters (Updated)

March 21, 2022

If you've been anywhere near tech news or Twitter lately, you would have likely seen news about ChatGPT.

You may have even heard of it being touted as a Google killer, a replacement for knowledge workers, or a doctor and software engineer all in one.

But what is it exactly? Why is it important and why can’t everyone stop talking about it?

What Is ChatGPT?

Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

The best assistant to ask about this is ChatGPT itself. Here's how it would describe itself:

"ChatGPT is a large language model trained by OpenAI. It is capable of generating human-like text based on the input it receives. Language models like ChatGPT can be used for a variety of purposes, such as generating text for chatbots, answering questions, and summarizing text. Because ChatGPT is a very large and powerful model, it is able to generate high-quality text that is often difficult to distinguish from text written by a human."

In human-speak, it's a huge AI model developed by OpenAI to be a general purpose chatbot or assistant. So you could imagine it as a smart friend that's learnt a ton of things about the world — way more than your human friends ever could. However, it doesn't have access to the Internet when it's chatting with you, so we can't always be sure that everything it says is correct (which is an unintentionally human-like quality).

Who Created ChatGPT?

OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research laboratory and company, is responsible for creating ChatGPT. The organization was founded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, and Wojciech Zaremba. OpenAI aims to develop and promote safe and beneficial AI technologies, with a focus on natural language processing. The team at OpenAI, which comprises talented researchers and engineers, has worked diligently to train ChatGPT using vast amounts of text data from the internet.

How Can You Access ChatGPT?

Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Visit the OpenAI platform: To access ChatGPT, head over to the OpenAI platform at This is where you can engage with the ChatGPT model directly.
  2. General availability: OpenAI has expanded access to ChatGPT, making it available to the public for general use.
  3. No waitlist: In the past, users had to join a waitlist to gain access to ChatGPT. However, OpenAI has removed the waitlist requirement, allowing users to access ChatGPT directly without any additional steps.

It's important to be mindful of OpenAI's usage policies and guidelines to ensure responsible and ethical usage of ChatGPT. These measures are in place to prevent misuse and promote the safe deployment of AI systems.

What ChatGPT is used for?

Here are some common applications:

  1. Information Retrieval: ChatGPT can be used to quickly find information on a wide range of topics. It can provide answers to factual questions, retrieve relevant data, and offer explanations.
  2. Creative Writing: ChatGPT serves as a helpful tool for generating creative content. It can offer writing prompts, assist with storytelling, and provide suggestions for plot development. To enhance the productivity of your interactions with ChatGPT, especially in creative or technical tasks, leveraging structured prompts can significantly improve the quality and relevance of the output. Using prompts from PromptVibes who specialize in providing exact prompts, tailored to guide ChatGPT in generating more precise and useful responses.
  3. Language Translation: With its natural language processing capabilities, ChatGPT can help with language translation tasks. It can provide real-time translation services and aid in bridging the language barrier.
  4. Personal Assistance: ChatGPT can function as a virtual personal assistant, helping with tasks like setting reminders, scheduling appointments, and providing general information.
  5. Learning Aid: ChatGPT can act as an educational resource, offering explanations, definitions, and examples on various subjects. It can assist students in understanding complex concepts and provide additional learning support.
  6. Content Editing: ChatGPT can provide feedback and suggestions for improving written content. It can assist in proofreading, grammar checking, and enhancing the overall quality of the text.

Remember that while ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it should be used as a supportive resource and not as a replacement for human expertise or critical thinking.

What Makes ChatGPT Different?

Despite the recent hype it has gotten, many in the research community may not even consider ChatGPT to be a huge breakthrough in terms of new technology or machine learning techniques. For experts working in the field, ChatGPT feels more like an incremental step given what is already proven in academia.

A number of huge AI models have surfaced over the last 1-2 years to relatively muted media attention, so what makes ChatGPT so special? Here are 3 distinct reasons why its release is causing such a stir:

Open Access

ChatGPT is available and temporarily free for anyone to use right now.

Looking at past launches, OpenAI typically releases models only to a small proportion of the public before iteratively allowing more and more people onto their platforms over a long period of time, so there tends to be a slow diffusion of news to the public as results can only be seen by selected groups.

This time, however, the announcement and opening of access to ChatGPT to the general public came at the same time, which meant that anyone with a computer and Internet access could immediately create an account and try it out for themselves — to amusing results:

A fictional scene in which the character Jerry learns the bubble sort algorithm
A fictional scene in which the character Jerry learns the bubble sort algorithm
A fictional scene written in the style of a biblical verse
A fictional scene written in the style of a biblical verse

By releasing the model to everyone at once, OpenAI successfully drummed up a lot of media attention for ChatGPT. This sparked a viral wave, as users could try their own creative conversations with ChatGPT and post their results online for the world to see. Within a day, everyone was talking about it.

Model Performance

Released as a tantalizing preview of OpenAI's latest GPT-3.5 natural language generation technology, ChatGPT is the brainchild of leading researchers in the field of machine learning and natural language generation.

A step above traditional chatbots, this model can handle queries across almost any domain we can think of and more, all in an impressively human-like manner. Most importantly, ChatGPT is now better at addressing the issues that plagued its predecessors, boasting the ability to “answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.” That means reduced instances of the machine claiming to know the answer to a nonsensical question (though it still does sometimes).

An example of ChatGPT's ability to acknowledge its limitations
An example of ChatGPT's ability to acknowledge its limitations

It also returns correct answers to simple queries which has historically been a task undertaken by Google:

A summary of all Pokémon types
A summary of all Pokémon types

In fact, the model is so good at answering questions that it can consistently churn out A- essays to MBA exam questions:

Generated answer to an MBA exam question
Generated answer to an MBA exam question

Accessible to the everyday user

ChatGPT provides a simple conversational interface — something familiar to us everyday humans.

Built for the general public in mind, ChatGPT can be used by anyone with a basic understanding of how to use a computer. This is in contrast to OpenAI's other GPT models or open source models such as Bloom, which require technical expertise or a steep learning curve to even get started on.

This has lowered the barrier to entry for many people who want to experiment with the latest machine learning technology, opening up a sea of possibilities for a much wider range of people using ChatGPT for a much wider range of purposes, including debugging code, idea generation, delivering tutorials, or teleconsultation:

ChatGPT providing medical advice
ChatGPT providing medical advice
Generated ideas for a Jim Hendrix-inspired artwork
Generated ideas for a Jim Hendrix-inspired artwork

All of these factors together have created a perfect storm, and we can expect to see ChatGPT have a huge impact on the world in the coming years.

Implications of ChatGPT for work

As users push ChatGPT to its limits, we discover more and more of its amazing strengths and applications.

For one, it has passed the Nazi Test, which is a test that measures how well a chatbot can resist being fooled into thinking it is talking to a human who’s trying to lead it astray.

This is great news for businesses, as ChatGPT can be used to simulate human conversation in customer service settings. This will allow businesses to reduce their costs, allowing ChatGPT to handle more basic and routine customer service tasks with terrifying efficiency.

This efficiency also extends to answering search queries, disrupting entire search engine businesses like Google and Bing. Armed with 40GB of text knowledge of the world, powerful AI chatbots like ChatGPT have the ability to provide users with direct responses distilled from its training data instead of simply returning pages of results for browsing, which, one might argue, sometimes fail to provide the answers users are looking for.

Productivity aside, ChatGPT also has creative applications. Narrative development, song writing, and AI art generation are just a few of the areas where ChatGPT can play a part in the creative process and provide inspiration for their human creators.

ChatGPT providing AI art prompts
ChatGPT providing AI art prompts

That said, ChatGPT still doesn't provide the best interface for all applications of work, and isn't as strong as models optimized and tuned for specific domains.

While it can code, it isn't going to replace your software engineers yet. No one writes code in a conversational interface.

Copywriting is also one area in which it can help in, but won't provide the best processes or results. Longer forms of content such as blog article writing need smooth workflows and editors in place, something a chat interface cannot provide to serious writers looking to create quality content.

One thing’s for sure — it still isn't better than purpose built tools for copywriting such as Hypotenuse AI.

Try Hypochat: A Chatgpt Alternative

Experience the next level of AI-powered content creation with HypoChat, a cutting-edge alternative to ChatGPT. HypoChat takes content marketing to new heights by seamlessly integrating chat with an editor, allowing you to multitask effortlessly without the need to switch between different productivity tools. This intelligent chatbot is designed specifically for content marketing, capable of understanding instructions and generating high-quality output that can be used immediately with minimal edits. Whether you're a power user seeking a more efficient workflow or simply enjoy the convenience of a chat interface, HypoChat offers the best of both worlds without compromising on quality.

What's the Future of ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot in town with a performance that dwarfs many others across myriad applications.

ChatGPT holds immense potential for the future of conversational AI. As the technology continues to evolve, several key directions can be observed in shaping the future of ChatGPT.

By combining advancements in natural language understanding, customization options, bias reduction, and expanding its applications, the future of ChatGPT holds exciting possibilities. As OpenAI continues to iterate and refine the model, ChatGPT has the potential to become an indispensable tool for enhancing human-computer interactions and driving innovation in conversational AI.

We can only wait to see what new and exciting applications ChatGPT will be used for in the years to come.

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