What Is ChatGPT? [Beginner's Guide]

AIApr 6, 2023

Intelligence, at its highest level, has always been a metric reserved for humans. From being able to understand speech to contextualize information and deriving patterns from it, humans have generally been able to only communicate amongst themselves effectively.

With the introduction of computing, however, there were times when humans were absolutely outclassed by the sheer processing power that computers had. Fast forward to 1997, and Chess World champion Garry Kasparov was defeated by IBM's machine learning algorithm, Deep Blue.

Fast forward to 2023, the world of AI chatbots has advanced quite significantly, and we now have an effective generative AI model, ChatGPT. This begs the question, what is ChatGPT? And, how is it able to take human feedback into account and provide responses that are surprisingly useful?

What Is ChatGPT?

Released on November 30, 2023, ChatGPT is an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI that is fine-tuned from a model present in GPT 3.5 and is trained using Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF.) It takes user feedback into account and is a large language model that uses supervised training data to understand semantic context and provide answers in a conversational manner.

Since the language model is primarily based on supervised training and is a sibling model of InstructGPT, it takes human feedback into account. For instance, in its initial training stages, the model was asked to generate responses based on a certain prompt which was then ranked by a labeler assigning it a certain reward value based on its answer.

This particular value is then amalgamated into a supervised policy which generates an answer based on the initial reward. In essence, as the developers at OpenAI collect user feedback, they'll be able to fine tune the large language model even further to ensure that is able to provide better responses with more resources as time goes on.

What Can ChatGPT Do?

The ChatGPT interface acts as a telltale sign of what to expect from the AI chatbot. Besides just a few sample responses, the chatbot is by far the most comprehensive when it comes to answering questions and using generative AI to assimilate to even more complex queries.

Natural Text Generation

Like most language models, ChatGPT is able to generate intricate and comprehensive text that is based on a particular context. For instance, it can answer the question, "what is ChatGPT?" quite well! And, in a lot of different ways too.

Creative Writing

Besides just generating text, ChatGPT's responses go beyond what you'd expect from an AI chatbot as its large language model allows it to create legible, creative text and can even emulate the style of a particular writer or poet.

Generating Computer Code

Akin to Github's Co-Pilot, ChatGPT is also able to generate computer code in any language following the syntax of your choice. The UI goes one step further by automatically marking down code for convenience as well.

Code Debugging

Besides just coding for you, ChatGPT is also able to answer why a particular piece of code may not be working and is also able to fine tune it further as well. For instance, implementing lambda functions instead of opting for traditional function definitions wherever possible.


Besides just generating text, ChatGPT is also able to format pre-defined text in a certain manner allowing you to easily convert data into graphs and tables. This isn't limited to simple world problems either and can be used for more advanced formatting.

What Is The Benefit of Using ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is able to answer questions, format text, generate code, debug certain problems, write content for social media posts, summarize passages, etc. It does not act as a substitute for any profession. Instead, it acts as a vital expeditor that can help accelerate productivity.

As of now, ChatGPT has already been implemented in Bing and is used alongside their search engine to provide more accurate and contextually relevant responses. Besides that, the chatbot is already being used for social media copy, content writing, and writing code for certain applications in production environments as well.

While it does have a lot of practical benefits, it is not always factually accurate and can generate false negatives at times. Like most large language models, it comes with its own set of limitations that must be taken into accord which means that you shouldn't trust any of its answers blindly, especially in more critical tasks.

ChatGPT's Limitations - Do They Exist?

Yes, ChatGPT does have multiple limitations that any artificial intelligence chatbot developed in the status quo has also suffered from to some extent. For instance, ChatGPT may provide nonsensical answers in certain instances.

To further elaborate, this may not always be a qualm with problematic model outputs. Instead, since it is reliant on human input and feedback, the model may not be able to comprehend certain prompts leading it to produce inaccurate results.

For example, in its research preview, the ChatGPT catered to inappropriate requests, such as writing about an individual's appearance in a negative manner. However, as human AI trainers took these responses into account, the model refused inappropriate requests the vast majority of times. Generative AI, at its very core, while possessing some ambits of critical thinking, is primarily reliant on comprehending and understanding pre-existing information to be able to string up words and answer them in a comprehensive manner.

It is not, however, able to come up with new information and have the human level of nuance when it comes to comprehending certain information and being able to apply it in an entirely different medium.

Moreover, AI chatbots like ChatGPT are not always accurate. For example, Google's AI chatbot, Bard, made a factual mistake in its very first demo, citing that the JWST took the first image of an exoplanet which was not the case.

Biased Behavior

AI technology is primarily based on machine learning algorithms that learn from a particular dataset. Due to the sheer size of the language model, these algorithms are bound to exhibit biased behavior. In Bard's case, for instance, a Google search that had the wrong result generated false positives which lead to this result being displayed in the demo.

So, while humans do provide feedback, incorrect or nonsensical answers are going to be a common occurrence especially as the chatbots start answering more complex questions. Therefore, there may be some harmful outputs that may have some actual impacts in the real world.

Because of this, ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding AI written text may be plausible sounding but incorrect. So, while based on supervised learning models, there are some novel risks associated with utilizing ChatGPT as the general public may expect it to perform tasks that it wasn't trained to do, leading to inaccurate responses.

To counteract this, ChatGPT produces responses that very openly discuss its limitations. Even with an external content filter put in place, however, artificial intelligence may still produce unexpected results.

A Claim Of Sentience

For example, when ChatGPT was integrated with the Bing Search Engine, we got to see some absolutely bizarre results, with the bot claiming that it's sentient at times. While humorous at best, harmful instructions can lead to this dangerously strong AI answering questions that can have tangible, practical harm.

However, these supervised training misleads are counteracted by human AI trainers who take these responses and the user feedback form into accord to ensure that the model gets tamer as time goes on.

What's The Difference Between A Search Engine and ChatGPT?

A search engine, for all intents and purposes, acts as a glossary of all the information collected on the Internet. When typing a query on a search engine, the engine searches its index for the most relevant information to your query and displays it.

On the other hand, AI chatbots generally do not constantly skim the Internet. Instead, they work off training data and use that to generate a response. Therefore, the responses found on the Internet and a chatbot tend to vary.

For instance, if you were to ask an AI chatbot about a major world event that happened a few hours ago, it'd have no clue and would most likely present you with inaccurate or unsubstantiated information. A search engine, on the other hand, since it constantly indexes new pages on the Internet, will provide you with more relevant information.

On the other hand, search engines generally cannot provide you with extremely relevant information. For instance, if you were to search for why you were getting a particular error on a certain piece of code, you'd be redirected to forums or pages where the same error was being experienced by but by a different piece of code. So, while your answer may very well be relevant, it won't be as fine tuned as a response from ChatGPT since it'll have a contextual understanding of your particular piece of code, alongside probable causes to provide you with a more accurate response.

Is ChatGPT Free?

Yes, ChatGPT is free, and it seems to remain that way for the foreseeable future. While a paid subscription plan that offers faster responses and a more accurate model has already been released, the free version of the chatbot still remains usable.

However, there's no guarantee as to how long we expect ChatGPT not to be locked behind a paywall. But, considering its recent integration with Bing, we can expect that the chatbot will remain usable without paying inside the search engine and its own website as well in the foreseeable future.

As demand for the chatbot increases, we can expect there to be further slowdowns when it comes to the chatbot itself, with the company naturally dedicating most of its resources and API credits to its paid consumers.

Is Content Generated By ChatGPT Considered Spam?

As the chatbot has proven its relevance and efficiency in writing content, many have resorted to using artificial intelligence to produce content for their websites, social media posts, video scripts, etc. However, is AI content considered as spam by popular search engines such as Google and Big?

The short answer to this is no. Search Engines do not take into account how the content is written when marking it. Instead, they take its relevance, quality, and ingenuity into account. Naturally, however, AI content cannot create original content that presents new facts as it lacks the capability to do so.

Therefore, most of the content generated by AI on any particular topic is a rehash of what is already present on the Internet, albeit in a more descriptive manner. So, depending on what the relevance of the content is, you may or may not be flagged for using AI content.

In most cases, if you use ChatGPT to generate social media captions, lifestyle blogs, stories, or any sort of creative work, your content will face no penalty due to its AI-written nature. However, if you have more critical content, such as topics revolving around finance and health, search engines tend to take factual accuracy and relevance extremely seriously in those domains.

Is ChatGPT Good for Us?

Yes, ChatGPT is great for us, given that we're able to train it continually and improve its response over time. The chatbot has a lot of practical benefits that'll be able to help certain sectors immensely. For example:

  • Support-based Professions: AI chatbots will be able to contextually understand a user's problem, label it according to priority for support staff to see it accordingly, and even answer it if it is simple enough.
  • Assisted Learning: The ability of an artificial intelligence chatbot to comprehend complex topics allows it to also use generative AI to summarize it and explain it to a less knowledgeable audience in a simple manner.
  • Pattern Detection: Enterprises can use the power of artificial intelligence to identify patterns in large datasets that may be indicative of fraudulent or nefarious activity. These particular entities, which may pose a huge cybersecurity risk, can then be flagged and monitored by human agents for further quarantining.

To conclude, the introduction of ChatGPT ushered in a new era of the Internet where access to information was predominantly held by a few search engines. With ChatGPT's ability to provide more contextually relevant information and to do much more than just search queries, artificial intelligence has extended its reach of practicality to the general public for the foreseeable future.

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