In less time than it will take you to read this sentence, ChatGPT, the powerful language model developed by San Fran-based startup OpenAI, could beep-beep out hundreds of words on any topic you give it.
Released in late 2022, this groundbreaking online tool has been designed to understand and coherently respond to a query in just about any style you want, with only a very small amount of context needed. Realtors are using it to write listings, CEOs are using it to write emails, and it’s been all over social media: ChatGPT gained 1 million users in the first 5 days after launch. And since it can seemingly write essays, debug code, and even pass exams, some people are pretty nervous about what it means for the future: Could every student easily cheat? Are programmers obsolete? Did a human being even write this blog?
While ChatGPT is changing expectations and practices in education and professional fields that involve skills like writing and coding, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While this makes some people think “danger”, others are taking these advancements in stride and realizing these developments are tools that can change things for the better.
One important thing to realize is that even though just about everything says ChatGPT is artificial intelligence (AI), it isn’t, really.
Why is this distinction important? AI emulates human thought and performs tasks in real-world environments, while machine learning is the technologies and algorithms that enable systems to recognize patterns, make predictions, and improve themselves through experience. Basically, ChatGPT is language processing technology that compiles and copies data. It doesn’t think independently: It’s a chatbot at its core. So, while it can answer questions, write sentences, and even have a text conversation with you, we’re not quite in The Matrix just yet.
Just like how calculators didn’t do away with students learning math, ChatGPT isn’t going to take every office job. Imagination, fusing together ideas, and other creative thinking skills won’t soon be a feature. But what you can do with it now is a lot. It’s a tool, but like any other tool you need to know how to use it the right way to get the best results.
Here are a couple of our favorite productivity hacks for getting the most out of ChatGPT:
- Play around – After you set up your account on OpenAI, start playing with it by entering in prompts that are based on something you know well. This way you’ll begin to understand how it works – and the limitations. It can be difficult to understand and even just completely wrong.
- Start creating – Create first drafts – emails and subject lines, blogs and titles, Pinterest descriptions, anywhere you need words, you can use ChatGPT to give you a starting point. But remember – you will need to edit. Think of it as a second brain or sounding board. From helping you create high-quality content to providing keyword suggestions, ChatGPT can perform many tasks to make the job of any content creator easier.
- Save time – Think about the parts of your job that are time-intensive and ask yourself – is there a way to have ChatGPT handle it? Well, maybe! It can provide keyword ideas, give you calls to action suggestions, make existing copy more relaxed or elevated, and so, so, so much more. But note, if you are trying to talk about trends or news, ChatGPT only references data through 2021.
What sets ChatGPT apart is that it was specifically designed to understand the intent in a question or prompt and provide helpful answers. It’s a productivity magnifier, not a work replacement.
So, while it is not sentient, ChatGPT feels like it is and that’s still a big deal. It can — and probably will — revolutionize the way we interact with computers. As its language processing technology continues to evolve (and it evolves every time it’s used) it’s likely that we will see an increasing number of applications that take advantage of its capabilities — think customer service chatbots and virtual assistants, for starters.
We’re also excited to see how ChatGPT will be integrated into other applications: Microsoft recently made a $10 billion dollar investment in its parent company, OpenAI, meaning this tool could someday be built into Office applications like Word or Teams.
ChatGPT is clearly a game-changer. With its current capabilities and potential for further evolution, it’s no wonder that so many people are using it for a wide range of tasks, from writing and coding to making tasks that once took hours to complete much more manageable. And we’re excited to see where it goes next.