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chatgpt primer
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Everything you need to know about ChatGPT (and why Google is freaking out)

You’ve probably heard about ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that can write anything from a speech to a fictional TV episode from your favorite series. It can help you out of a jam or offer some entertainment value, but it can also hurt you.

It’s true that you must exercise caution with this type of technology. AI has come a long way, but it’s by no means perfect. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what ChatGPT is all about.

A little ChatGPT history

ChatGPT, or Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, went public in November 2022. The company behind it, OpenAI, boasts some heavy hitters in the tech industry — Elon Musk was among the founders (he’s stepped down from the board and is now a donor), and funding from Microsoft amounts to billions.

Ask ChatGPT a question and it’ll break down complex concepts. Give it a task and it’ll generate new ideas from scratch. The AI has been trained to understand and process natural language and generate human-like responses.

ChatGPT “speaks” to you in a conversational way. This includes answering follow-up questions, admitting mistakes and even rejecting inappropriate questions. Over a million people, including Kim, have already chatted it up with the bot!

OpenAI also developed DALL-E, which uses AI to generate images from descriptions you type in. Check out our creations!

A new way to search

ChatGPT will change the way we find things online. Microsoft revealed a new AI-powered version of its Bing search engine this week, which uses the same technology behind ChatGPT. Tap or click here to get on the waitlist to try it out.

Google hasn’t been sitting on its laurels. The company issued a code red and called in founders who left years ago for help. They’ve been scrambling to find a way to compete, recently announcing Bard, which will be integrated into Google services such as Search, Maps and Lens. Here’s what we know about Google’s AI-powered chatbot.

Unfortunately for Google, the Bard rush backfired. Google uploaded a video ad in which Bard was asked a simple astronomy question — which it got wrong. Ouch.

Now let’s give ChatGPT a try and see what all the hype’s about.

Ask away

You can use ChatGPT for free at You’ll need to provide an email address to create an account.

Keep in mind that the training data only goes up until 2021. If you ask about Russia invading Ukraine, for example, you’ll get a history of the conflict but nothing about the events from this year.

We’ll start by asking ChatGPT a few questions:

Who are you?

questions for chatgpt from

Who is Kim Komando?

questions for chatgpt from

Good answer!

Are you better than Google?

questions for chatgpt from

How humble!

Will you take people’s jobs?

questions for chatgpt from

Are our conversations private?

questions for chatgpt from

There are some things in there that you should remember when using this program. Mainly, the company stores your conversations for its own means. You’ll find similar language in the terms of service for many apps and social media platforms, and our advice stands: Don’t share any personal, financial or sensitive information.

Will ChatGPT always offer a free option?

questions for chatgpt from

You can use ChatGPT for free, but OpenAI has a subscription model in the works. You can join ChatGPT Plus for $20 per month, which gets you faster response times and priority access.

Will you become self-aware and destroy humanity?

questions for chatgpt from

So you say.

Note: Ask the same question twice and you may get different answers, or at least the same response stated differently. This tracks with the “human” narrative being pushed by many AI companies.

There’s more

ChatGPT can do more than just answer questions. Here are some more things to try, with our examples:

  • Ask ChatGPT for help in the kitchen: “Give me a recipe for apple pie.”
  • Ask for tips on planning an event: “How do I plan a ‘Happy Days’-themed party?”
  • Ask it to write a song based on anything: For the musicians in the house, add “with chords” at the end of your query and you’ll get those as well! “Write a song about making money selling old gadgets online with chords.”
  • ChatGPT can play games: “Let’s play hangman.”
  • Ask ChatGPT to translate something for you: “How do you say ‘Let’s grab lunch’ in Swahili?”
  • Type in a math problem and get an answer: “What’s the square root of 123,456,789?”
  • Ask for a conversation between well-known people, characters, animals and objects: “Show me a conversation between William Shakespeare and an iPhone.”

What else can you come up with? Try whatever pops into your head, but remember that AI has limits and will not answer all requests.

Be careful

While ChatGPT is a valuable tool for inspiration and ideas, please don’t use it to do your work for you. As a student, you could be expelled for plagiarism or cheating. As an employee, you could lose your job.

Some publications have been using AI to write their content, which led to plagiarism and glaring errors. AI cannot compete with human beings when it comes to fact-checking.

As with just about any tech, think before you act.

Keep reading

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