What is ChatGPT? A Complete Guide For Beginners…

What is ChatGPT? How does it work? Is it going to steal your job? Here’s everything you need to know about ChatGPT and what it means for the digital landscape…

On April 24, 1826, a riot broke out in Lancashire, England.

The protest was a huge event that saw property damaged, factories destroyed, and people injured.

In total, 20 people were apparently arrested. And the cause of this particular riot? Technology.

More specifically, technical innovation.

Up until 1826, all loom work was done by hand; people worked in factories and mills in awful conditions for horrendous pay.

But the advent of a new machine, the power-loom, which was more efficient than the old method, had the potential to destroy their livelihoods, grim as they were, so the workers protested.

Technical innovations, if they’re big enough and disruptive enough, have a habit of putting the fear of god in a man’s heart.

And this, in a round about way, is where we’re at now with ChatGPT, the new conversational AI from Open AI.

The internet is awash with speculation about what it means for the web, for education, for the arts, even for the legal industry.

I haven’t seen hysteria like this since COVID first kicked off.

  • People are worried about kids using it cheat on essays and college papers;
  • Journalists are worried it will steal their work;
  • Novelists are concerned that, pretty soon, without checks and balances, we’ll all be reading novels and non-fiction books written by machines. And Google is worried it will destroy its entire business model.

But are these worries warranted?

Is ChatGPT going to drink your milkshake, eat your cake, and leave you, along with Google and the entire education system, destitute on the street, living out of a cardboard box? Let’s find out.

But first, it’s probably prudent to give you a quick overview of what ChatGPT is and how it came to be before we look into what it can actually do and whether or not it will destroy millions of jobs inside the next 12-24 months.

What is ChatGPT?

what is chatGPT
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In its most basic form, ChatGPT is a chat bot. You ask it questions and it gives you answers. That’s its most basic functionality. And it’s where it gets its name from: chat generative pre-trained transformer (ChatGPT).

Work on AI tech like ChatGPT has been underway for decades, but it was only recently that OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, achieved a level of performance that was fit for public usage.

ChatGPT was developed using something called Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) technology.

This technology is based on a deep learning model, whereby the AI is trained by human testers AND plugged into myriad feeds of data, with the end goal being the creation of a mind of sorts that can process information and deliver answers quickly and efficiently.

What is A Generative Pre-Trained Transformer?

Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) technology uses deep learning models and special algorithms to understand what people say and answer them accurately.

More specifically:

A Generative Pre-Trained Transformer (GPT) is a language model relying on deep learning that can generate human-like texts based on a given text-based input. A user “feeds” the model with a sentence, and the transformer creates coherent paragraph-based information extracted from publicly available datasets.

ChatGPT uses a combination of data from its own knowledge base, as well as external sources to generate its responses.

The AI platform uses natural language understanding to parse through queries and its own, robust and ever-evolving internal databases, in order to deliver its answers. And its answers, for the most part, are usually pretty damn impressive.

Where Does ChatGPT Get Its Information From?

ChatGPT can also access third-party data sources such as databases, APIs, and webpages to generate more detailed responses.

This is important.

And it is why Google and publishers are so worried.

Because ChatGPT can access the web and other APIs, it is effectively “using” content available online to power itself without giving proper citations.

And this is a problem for Google, for publishers, and for anyone that works in online media.

And this is why companies like Google are starting to get worried about ChatGPT – it represents a direct threat to its entire search business.

What Can ChatGPT Do?

If you’ve never interacted with an AI before or are only just discovering what’s possible with natural language processing and conversational AI, using ChatGPT might just blow your mind a little.

Scared yet?

chatgpt writing a poem
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Keep in mind, the list about is just the tip of the iceberg; ChatGPT is developing and learning constantly, so what it can do now will pale in comparison to what it can do in 2024 and 2030.

Providing, that is, OpenAI can stay on top of its rapidly escalating operating costs.

GPT4 is Coming Soon Too…

OpenAI is constantly developing and evolving the technology that makes ChatGPT possible. Currently, the latest build of ChatGPT is GPT-3.5 but work is now well underway on GPT4.

And GPT4 is shaping up to be a massive update over the existing GPT 3.5 framework. Currently, ChatGPT can access 175 billion parameters; these are inputs that it uses to understand and answer queries. But with GPT4 the number of parameters will increase to 100 trillion.

GPT-3.5 vs GPT4 – Big Changes Are Coming

Obviously, the implications of this are enormous; the more parameters ChatGPT can access the smarter it will be; and the more parameters it has at its disposal, the faster it will be able to process information and perform tasks.

And that’s just inside the next 12 months. Imagine what ChatGPT will be capable of in a decade’s time?

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Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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