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ChatGPT – It's good to talk but beware of the response!


ChatGPT by OpenAI has been creating quite a stir in the media recently - it's even been covered by our very own podcast

However, it's very easy to get over excited about ChatGPT without fully appreciating where it's background and the actual extent of its abilities. 


What is ChatGPT? 

Chat GPT is a natural language processing tool that is driven by AI technology and enables you to have conversations and more with a chatbot. The language model can answer questions and help with tasks like writing essays, email and code. 


Why you should be wary 

ChatGPT is built on top of OpenAI's GPT-3.5 large language model. GPT-3.5 itself was trained on various publicly available text and code data sources published before the end of 2021. This has the ramification that the model is fixed in time and can therefore be out-of-date in respect to recent news and events.  


ChatGPT limitations…

Although ChatGPT is perceived as a "chatbot", if you ask it the time, it will say it does not have access to it. If you ask it how to contact the support department it will give you a general answer stating how to search for contact details on a given company’s website - rather than direct you to OpenAI’s customer service. And of course it won't book your holiday for you! 


…and benefits 

However ChatGPT does succeed at being a conversationalist and is probably better described as being a large language model with a contextual conversational interface. This means you can interact with the model using natural or ‘everyday’ language and it keeps tabs on what you are talking about to give more concise answers in sync with the current line of conversation. Something most chatbots don't have! 

ChatGPT is very versatile in that it can write stories, plays, essays, poems, lyrics to music, code, create dummy data, help to understand and to some extent debug code, answer test questions, perform sentiment analysis, opinion mining, language translation, summarisation... the list goes on! 

Over the coming months I’ll delve into some key questions around this new tool to help you understand what it is all about. 


By Kevin Slater, Research Engineer 

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