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A simple guide to understanding ChatGPT

ChatGPT is the talk of the town in Silicon Valley and tech circles globally, with every industry professional diving head first into exploring its capability. But just what is ChatGPT and what do brands need to understand about its capability? To help you to understand the ins and outs of ChatGPT, we have pulled together a handy 101 on topic, outlining everything you may be wanting to know about the technology.

Woman looking at phone by digital stream

What is ChatGPT? To answer this question we went to the source itself and asked the ChatAI tool to tell us about ChatGPT – this is what it told us...

ChatGPT is a new natural language processing (NLP) model developed by OpenAI that is specifically designed for use in chatbots and other conversational systems. Unlike traditional NLP models, which are trained on large amounts of text data, ChatGPT is trained on a dataset of chat logs that includes both text and context, allowing it to better understand the nuances of human conversation.

How does it work?

In simple terms, ChatGPT allows users to type in a prompt like you would do with any search engine. ChatGPT then returns results in a chat-like experience. To best illustrate this, we decided to ask ChatGPT what we could have for dinner as a vegetarian – here is what ChatGPT recommended:

Chat GPT conversation - I am a vegetarian

But dinner suggestions and solutions to common everyday problems are just the tip of the iceberg – there are a host of use cases that ChatGPT is supporting, which include:

  • Translating text from one language to another

  • Recapping long documents by providing the full text and asking ChatGPT to generate a shorter summary

  • Using chatbot-generated answers to create automated customer service tools

  • Preparation of copy

...and the list goes on.

Who is behind ChatGPT?

OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, was founded by the world's richest man, Elon Musk, along with Sam Altman. In 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion into the buzzy artificial intelligence research outfit OpenAI. The investment was believed to be a split between cash and credits for Azure, Microsoft's cloud business. In early January news broke that Microsoft is now in talks to funnel $10 bn into the business but Microsoft has been very tight-lipped on the subject. This investment would see Microsofts' share reach 49%.

What has its uptake been like so far?

In December it was reported that ChatGPT had crossed one million users within a week of its launch. 

Will ChatGPT be monetised and if so, how?

At this stage OpenAI are fairly tight lipped about how the platform will be monetised, but there are clear signs that this is a matter of when, not if. CEO Sam Altman recently reported that they will have to monetize ChatGPT at some point, as the computing costs to run the chatbot are “eye-watering.”  ChatGPT owner OpenAI predicts that they will be able to generate a revenue of $1 billion by the end of the year 2024 which suggests plans are already in motion to monetise the product.   One option that is being explored is deployment of a professional version of ChatGPT which will offer higher limits and faster performance according to Greg Brockman, President & Co-Founder of Open-AI.

How worried is Google about the launch of ChatGPT?

ChatGPT could portend major disruptions ahead for Big Tech — particularly for the business of search and Google. Today, Google's ad business (according to an an Insider report) was estimated to be US$208 billion in 2021 and accounted for 81 percent of Google's earnings. A significant shift in audiences could therefore spell disaster for the tech giant.

The big difference in experience delivery between ChatGPT and Google is that the chatbot can respond to user queries with summarized information in short, simple, concise ways vs the Google experience, which serves users a bunch of internet links that they need to surf through to get the information they seek. This makes ChatGPT far more solution oriented than a search engine. But it isn’t just this that has Google concerned. One of the really big announcements that is set to shake up the search space is that Microsoft is currently in the throes of integrating ChatGPT into the Bing search engine.

What are some of the disadvantages or challenges in the experience of ChatGPT?

Despite the improved experience, however, Google still has the edge over ChatGPT in several respects. As the Google search engine indexes web pages on the internet to help the user find the information they asked for – it has a much richer dataset powering its search results. ChatGPT does not have the ability to search the internet for information. Instead, it uses the information it learned from training data to generate a response. This leaves room for error.  In addition, with ChatGPT it is difficult to determine the source for the information being provided, therefore accuracy is of real concern.

Has ChatGPT been rolled out globally? ChatGPT is unavailable in some notable countries and territories due to security reasons. These include;  

  1. China

  2. Russia

  3. Ukraine

  4. Afghanistan

  5. Iran

  6. Belarus

  7. Venezuela

Already making waves in the way that users gather information, ChatGPT is something to watch over the coming months. Creative user experimentation continues to reveal the powerful opportunities that this software can provide for brands - for improving both the efficiency of in-house operations and through its revolutionary impact on how users search.


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