By now, most of us have encountered “bot” technology. In its simplest form, we encounter them in phone menus, where we are asked questions by the computer to help direct the call. Another place basic bots are used is on a website chat box. In either case, if the answers you give don’t fit what the bots are expecting, the “conversation” comes to a halt with a response that indicates you were not understood.
The next generation of artificially intelligent bots was much more impressive. Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant are much better at understanding natural language and responding appropriately. Many of us have one of these digital assistants within reach for most of our day, and some rely on them heavily to manage tasks, appointments, home appliances, and more.
A Leap Forward
There is no doubt that today’s digital assistants are extremely capable. However, ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence created by OpenAI (the same firm that created Dall-E/Craiyon), is next level. Not only can you ask it questions and get detailed answers, it learns from your previous conversations.
There is one caveat, though. ChatGPT gets its information from the internet, which, as we know, is not always factual or correct. Like all AI models, it is only as good as the quality of information fed into it. Earlier AI models ended up revealing our racial biases, such as a racist HR bot or Microsoft’s Tay experiment. Even the Dall-E/Craiyon AI has equity issues. OpenAI is working to offset those issues, but many are skeptical that they can be overcome.
Currently, you need a free account to use ChatGPT. When you sign up, you are asked for your name and phone number, as well as the reason you want to use ChatGPT. I created one and took it for a spin to write this article. First I asked it what the best fiction book of 2022 was. The answer was a little disappointing.
So I asked about the best fiction book of 2021, and I thought this answer was great! Just like a librarian, it tried to remove the subjective “best” and provide titles popular with the general public. Although, a librarian would have asked about books you have liked in the past to personalize the recommendation.
Next, I asked a question that I didn’t think had an answer. As it turns out, ChatGPT had a pretty good answer.
ChatGPT doesn’t just deal in facts. It can also make up stories, which is why some teachers are concerned.
What Would You Ask ChatGPT?
Even though ChatGPT is not a mystical oracle that can guide us through life, it is a big step forward in the development of artificial intelligence technology. It’s not perfect, but it’s a work in progress. If you had access to ChatGPT, what would you talk to it about? Let us know in the comments.