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ChatGPT: Everything you need to know


The term “broke the internet” is tossed around a lot, but there are few things that actually break the internet. One of these things is ChatGPT. This is an extremely powerful AI (Artificial Intelligence) chatbot that has put a lot of big companies at attention. So, what is this technology and what does it mean for the future of AI? Here’s everything you need to know about ChatGPT.

What is ChatGPT?

The concept of ChatGPT isn’t new. It’s a chatbot- a piece of software that simulates a human conversation. You’re able to send messages to it and get responses as though you’re talking to a human being. There’s a certain humanization factor to it that we’re seeing with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

ChatGPT is much the same thing, and it’s been making waves since November 2022. It has a simple interface with a text field on the bottom. You’re able to type in whatever query you want and get a prompt response.

How do I access ChatGPT?

There are two main ways to access ChatGPT. Firstly, you can go to the official ChatGPT website. This will take you right to the chatbot. There, you can access your past conversations, settings, and GPTs.

Also, you can use the official ChatGPT mobile app. It’s available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Just like on the website, you can access all of your conversations, settings, and GPTs.

What can you do with ChatGPT?

That is the million-dollar question because it’s what this chatbot can do that is making companies like Google quake in their boots. Some say that ChatGPT does a lot, and others will argue that it does too much. The responses that ChatGPT delivers range from conversational to informative.

Basic knowledge

This is, perhaps, the biggest threat to Google. We’re all used to turning to Google to find results for just about anything. Baby care tips, local restaurants, information on quantum mechanics, etc. Well, ChatGPT does the same thing, but it cuts out the middleman. If you search for the best way to swaddle a baby on Google, you’ll get about 31,400,000 results. Those results will involve ads, contradictory results, and downright wrong information.

However, if you ask ChatGPT, it will just tell you how to- plain and simple. You won’t have to wade through an endless pool of results. If you type in “How to swaddle a baby” in ChatGPT right now, you’ll get a clear and concise list of five steps.

You’ll also be able to ask it factual questions. You can ask questions like “When was Jupiter discovered?”, “Who was Muzio Clementi?”, or “How much energy does it take for an electron to jump from the lowest energy level in a carbon atom?”. ChatGPT will give you a clear to-the-point answer with additional context.

Advice

This is an area where ChatCPT stands out. As stated before, you’re getting a direct response, not a wall of search results. This means that getting advice is a lot easier. Typing in something like “I need advice on what to teach my kid”. Again, you’ll get a direct list of items to keep in mind. If you type this in Google, you’ll see a highlight from an article along with other search results.

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What might make ChatGPT’s implementation more tempting is the mentality about it. If you want advice on parenting, who would you rather ask, your mother/father or a group of 50 parents who are likely to have contradicting advice? Getting one answer from one source will likely make people feel more confident about the results rather than a slew of results that won’t agree with one another.

What also makes ChatGPT tempting is the conversational aspect. If you don’t like the results, you can say (type) so, and the chatbot will alter its results based on that. You can’t really do that with Google.

For example, “I want advice on buying a new pet” was entered, and we got this result:

This result gives you a list of things you should consider when buying a pet, but if you have an additional question, then you can inquire further. Below is the rest of the conversation.

So, you can see how you’re able to have a conversation with the bot to get further information.

Analyzing images

With the latest version of ChatGPT, GPT-4, you’re able to upload an image. Then, the bot will analyze the image and give you answers based on that image. For example, you can upload an image of different ingredients and ask it “What can I make with these?”. It will then give you a list of dishes that you can make using them.

It goes beyond just that. You’re able to upload images and ask it pretty much what you want.

Conversation/support

This might be one of the oddest aspects of this chatbot, but you can have idle chit-chat with it. You can start a conversation about pretty much anything.

We were able to hold a conversation about going out with a friend and wanting to pay her back for treating us to lunch. ChatGPT remained consistent and even offered advice on the way. There was another extended conversation centering around the loss of a pet. It offered condolences and gave advice on coping. If you’re in need of conversation, ChatGPT could actually hold a conversation.

Producing written content

Now, let’s get down to the juicy stuff. You can ask ChatGPT to write you several forms of written content. This includes full news articles, product reviews, poems, stories, scripts, and much MUCH more.

For example, we asked it to write a 2000-word review of the HTC 10, and it delivered- albeit extremely dryly. We also had it write a story about a mean boy who gets hit just deserts.

Other examples include a poem about the night, a plot synopsis of Toy Story, a script about a couple just getting home from the store, and more. Each time, we were able to offer changes, and ChatGPT made them.

Writing code

One of the smash-hit features of this chatbot is the ability for it to write actual code. You just need to ask it to write code for the action you want the program to perform. We asked for code for an app that can tell time, and it gave us some Python examples to add to the app.

ChatGPT code

What can’t ChatGPT do?

While ChatGPT can write code, it can not write an entire program. Also, it can’t give you advice on certain sensitive subjects. These could involve subjects like sex, pregnancy, murder, violence, etc.

Obviously, while this chatbot can produce original content, just know that it will be rather clinical. Sure, that’s great for looking up advice, encyclopedia knowledge, recipes, etc., but anything like articles or reviews won’t show any personality. The HTC review read like a press release with even LESS personality.

[Updated December 4th, 2023] When is ChatGPT’s knowledge cutoff point?

ChatGPT’s knowledge stops at April 2023. That’s a stark difference from its previous cutoff point of September 2021.

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How much does ChatGPT cost?

There are two ways to use ChatGPT. You can use the core functionality for free. This means that you can ask it questions until your heart’s content. The company doesn’t put a limit on how many inquiries you can put in.

In fact, OpenAI thrives off of this input. However, there are a few limitations. At times in the day when a ton of people are using it, you won’t have access to the service. You’ll need to wait until traffic goes down.

However, there is a paid tier that costs $20/month. With this, you’ll have access to it regardless of the traffic. Also, it will process your results more quickly. Last but not least, you’ll have early access to new features with the paid tier.

Do I need an account to use it?

Yes. In order to use the service, you’ll need to sign in. You can either set up an OpenAI account or sign in with either your Google or Microsoft account.

How can I customize my ChatGPT experience?

There are a few ways that you can do so. For starters, you can set it to dark mode by going to the settings. Click on your profile picture in the bottom left corner of the screen. There, click on the Settings button. In the popup in the middle of the screen, click on the dropdown in the Theme section.

Custom Instruction

If you create conversations using ChatGPT constantly, and all of the conversations pertain to the same subject, you can use Custom Instruction. With this feature, you’ll tell ChatGPT about yourself, what you do, and what you want your conversations to be about. It will remember this. So, when you make new conversations, it will already have the context of what you’re talking about. So, you won’t have to tell it what you’re talking about.

Say, you’re a 6th grade science teacher, and you want it to generate a lesson plan each day for you, this tool will come in handy. Instead of having to explain the grade of the class and the subject, you can tell ChatGPT this information in the instructions. This way, it knows to create plans for 6th-grade science students.

[Updated February 2024] ChatGPT memory feature

ChatGPT has a memory and can remember certain important things about you. It will then use this information in future conversations. This will eventually eliminate the need to tell ChatGPT about you every time you start a conversation.

For example, if you’re using ChatGPT for health purposes, it could ostensibly remember things about your diet, allergies, favorite foods, ETC. Then, when you have future health conversations, you won’t need to tell it this information again. So, if you look up a recipe, it will know these things about you.

There are two ways of using this feature. Firstly, you can tell the chatbot to remember specific things about you. The other way is to let it learn things about you at its own discretion.

Does ChatGPT save a history of my chats?

Yes. The company saves a log of your chats. you can turn this off by going into the settings. If you do that, your chats will not be saved, and they will no longer be used to train the model.

Does ChatGPT remember my conversations when I clear them?

No. However, you can set it up so that you can. Go to your settings, and go to the Custom Instructions section. Then, tell the system about yourself and why you’re using ChatGPT. It will remember this information for the next time you create a conversation.

Is using ChatGPT content illegal?

At this point (early 2023) there are no laws or regulations stating that you’re not allowed to use the AI-generated content that ChatGPT makes. While there are obvious moral roadblocks, you can use your generated articles or stories and publish them.

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You’ll just need to take into account the rules and regulations of the specific publication companies that you’re submitting to. They have the final word.

What should I be worried about with ChatGPT?

[UPDATE December 4th, 2023]

Despite how advanced ChatGPT is, it’s still not human. This means that it could accidentally give results that are heavily offensive. They could, unintentionally, be biased or hurtful. This technology is still being developed, so you’ll want to keep that in mind.

So, if you’re planning on having it write something for you, then you’ll want to double-check your work to make sure that you’re now offending a large group.

Can ChatGPT accept image inputs?

OpenAI is granting ChatGPT Plus and ChatGPT Enterprise users the ability to use pictures as input. You’re able to upload a picture to the chatbot. It will then ascertain the image and give you information based on it. This adds another dimension to the chatbot.

Can I use voice input?

Yes, ChatGPT Plus and ChatGPT Enterprise users can speak directly to ChatGPT using their voice. What’s neat is that ChatGPT will actually speak back using an AI-generated voice.

[Updated Feb. 20th, 2024] What are GPTs and how do I use them?

OpenAI lets you download custom GPTs to use on the website and within the app. A GPT is a custom chatbot that’s made for specific tasks. Imaging using a version of ChatGPT that’s specialized to do accounting. You’ll install that GPT and use it for that task. There’s an entire store where you can find different GPTs to install and use.

When you install a GPT, all you have to do is tap/click on it when you’re in ChatGPT and start feeding it queries. You’re also allowed to tag different GPT while you’re in a conversation. For example, if you’re in a long conversation with ChatGPT, and you want to call upon that accounting GPT to do a task. Well, rather than exiting that conversation and starting a new one with the other GPT, you can call tag it in the current conversation and it it there.

To access your GPTs, just in the left panel both on the website and in the app. You’ll see them listed above your conversations.

[Updated March 11th, 2024] Does ChatGPT have multi-factor authentication?

Yes, you are able to make your account more secure with the use of an authenticator app. In order to enable this function, you’ll first want to download an authenticator app from your app store of choice. After that, go to the ChatGPT site and go to your settings. On the popup, you’ll see the Multi-factor authentication section. Click on the enable button.

On the resulting page, scan the QR code using your authenticator app. This will add ChatGPT to the home screen at the app. You’ll see a six-digit code on the screen. Type that code into the text field under the QR code displayed on your computer screen. This will change every 30 seconds, so be sure to use the most up-to-date code.

After that, you’ll see a recovery code on the next page. Be sure to copy that code and store it in a secure place. You’ll use this recovery code if you don’t have access to your authenticator app.

ChatGPT going forward

At the time of writing this, OpenAI is currently working on plugins for ChatGPT. This will allow it to access different services. For example, if you’re looking for flights to a certain place, you could ask it which airlines have planes there. It could then search for different services and give you a list of those times.

This will give it the ability to basically surf the internet to obtain knowledge. That will explode its usefulness.

Try out ChatGPT



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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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