What Is ChatGPT And How Can You Use It?

By Elaine Yang

You’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t yet heard of ChatGPT.

Sure, like many of us, you may not know what it is or what it does, but the term has been everywhere the past couple of weeks.

To better understand what ChatGPT is and how you can use it, we spoke with AI expert Elaine Yang,  founder of AI-powered beauty platform askbella. 

So, What Is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is essentially a computer program that harnesses AI chatbot technology. It was launched by OpenAI in November 2022 and has since gained worldwide attention thanks to its ability to perform an array of human tasks. In fact, ChatGPT was so popular that it hit one million users in less than five days. For context, technology like WhatsApp or Snapchat took two years to reach that kind of popularity. 

What Can ChatGPT Do?

ChatGPT has the ability to perform human tasks like write emails, essays, original jokes, resumes, poetry, answer questions, solve tricky maths questions and generate lines of code based on prompts (and the list goes on). While Chatbot technology like ChatGPT has been around since the 90s, this particular version of a Chatbot is very advanced and can generate human-like content in a natural way. ChatGPT is free to use and will interact with users in a conversational manner, allowing room for reiterations, follow-up questions, changes in tone, plus it can also admit its mistakes, and the list goes on.

Ultimately, this AI Chatbot technology is incredibly smart and can perform tasks much quicker than a human could. An example of this is how it can write a blog post introduction in less than 30-seconds. 

Can You Explain More What AI Is?

In the simplest terms, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a form of technology.

It refers to technological programming that combines computer science and data, to allow a computer to mimic the things that a human normally would do. But before you let your imagination run away with itself, it is not a term that refers to robots taking over the world.

While it might sound like something that happens in a science fiction movie, AI has been around for years and is already something that we use on a daily basis. Some examples of this are Apple’s Siri, Google Translate, Uber, Chatbots, Video Games and even using emojis on Instagram (Meta created "Emojineering," a term used to describe a new series of programs that teach Instagram how to read emoji).

The purpose of AI is to make our lives better, improve our productivity, relieve us from mundane or repetitive tasks and optimise those tasks—it is not so robots can ‘take over’. 

Right, So How Does AI Work?

Artifical Intelligence uses a huge amount of data from past behaviour and puts it through a complex system like iterative processing algorithms that have learnt from past patterns in the data. Using data and intelligence, AI is able to learn from this information and make predictions about what will happen next. For example, if a computer sees an image of someone smiling then it can recognise that this person is happy. It's not just about recognising faces though—the computer can learn patterns from images, input, or sounds too. This means that it can start making guesses about what a person likes based on what they’ve previously shown interest in or what they’ve bought before. 

The great thing about AI is that as time passes, the technology gets smarter and smarter. The ability for machines to learn, adapt, and make decisions based on data has been asset for many industries and this will continue to evolve as time goes on. 

What Exactly Is A ChatBot Then?

A Chatbot is something that has actually been around since 1994, although back then it was referred to as a Chatterbot.

It is a computer software application that was developed by Joseph Weizenbaum at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that can be used to conduct an online chat conversation via text. In short, a computer can talk to a human via text online. Without even knowing it, you may have already had a conversation with a Chatbot online (but you may have thought you were talking to an actual human). Many e-commerce businesses have integrated Chatbot technology onto their website, where a pop up comes on the screen and you can have a conversation via messaging. 

Chatbot technology is currently used heavily in customer service because this form of AI can allow for any business to provide 24/7 availability and support. An example of this is askbella’s Chatbot which was the first beauty bot launched in Australia in 2021. Askbella used this AI technology to simulate person-to-person conversations with askbella users, which enabled our program to provide users with a skin analysis and product recommendations based on their skin type. 

Will ChatGPT And Similar AI Make Human Tasks Obselete?

Many people deem AI to be a risk to humans given that it can ‘take over’ our jobs. While this is true, AI is still in its infancy, and it’s likely that we’ll be long since retired before the machines come for our job. Ultimately AI's larger impact should be about complementing human capabilities, not replacing them. It should enhance human productivity and will invariably create new jobs given that a human needs to oversee this technology. 

While using AI to perform tasks will save on time, there are also risks involved with the technology itself. For example, if using a program like ChatGPT to create a blog post, there are risks of plagiarism or the messaging being completely off the mark. A human still needs to oversee AI outcomes, to prevent any potential risks. 

Right now AI should be seen as an asset to any industry, thanks to its ability to allow employees to perform their roles with much greater efficiency and effectiveness. An example of AI complementing a job is the role of a pilot – Aeroplanes have inbuilt complex systems of autopilot which during flights are controlled mostly by computers, yet human pilots are still needed to operate the computer’s controls and oversee functionality.

Elaine Yang is the founder of askbella, an Australian beauty recommendation platform that uses AI to digitally ‘prescribe’ a complete skincare regime based on your skin.

Image credit: Urban List

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