ChatGPT crashed into our collective consciousness towards the end of 2022. A few days after its launch, over a million people were already trying it out. But what exactly is it, what can it do, and could it be useful to your digital marketing strategy?
Here are ten things you need to know about ChatGPT.
What is it?
ChatGPT stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. It is an AI model that is designed to interact with users in a conversational way.
How many users does ChatGPT have?
Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has already reached an estimated 100 million monthly users, with 30 million people using it daily. This means that in just 2 months it has reached a level that took TikTok around 9 months and Instagram 2.5 years.
What exactly can it do?
ChatGPT writes like a human. It can provide written answers to questions and answer further questions in an ongoing dialogue. ChatGPT can also remember what has already been said in a conversation and challenge incorrect information or assumptions. It will also admit its own mistakes.
So far, ChatGPT is being used for a range of activities including writing articles and essays, researching topics, drafting emails, and fixing code.
But it’s important to remember that ChatGPT doesn’t exactly “know” anything. It finds its answers by sifting through huge volumes of information on the internet. It is trained to recognise patterns in large volumes of text, and then deliver that information in a useful way.
So how does it actually work?
ChatGPT is based on GPT 3.5, which is an example of AI technology known as a large language model – a language model trained to produce text. Large language models create text based on what they see, and the text is then optimised for human understanding by a technique called RLHF (Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback). RLHF guides the AI model toward preferred styles of communication, typically using huge quantities of computer power and data over a period of several weeks.
Where do you get ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is available from the website openai.com. OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research company, which was founded by Elon Musk. Its mission with ChatGPT is to develop a “safe and beneficial” artificial general intelligence system or to help others do so.
To access ChatGPT, you need to create an account on openai.com, then login to your account and request to Try ChatGPT. You will then be able to use the free trial version.
Users in the USA can upgrade to ChatGPT Plus for around $20 per month. This has the benefits of general access to ChatGPT, even during peak times, faster response times and priority access to new features and improvements. ChatGPT Plus will be rolled out to additional countries and regions soon.
How private is a ChatGPT account?
As the free version of ChatGPT is used via a website, some users may have concerns about how private the output is. Openai.com states openly that conversations are reviewed to improve their systems and ensure the content complies with their policies and safety requirements.
Who uses ChatGPT?
It was recently announced that Microsoft are planning to invest billions of dollars in OpenAI, and are now using a modified version of the technology behind ChatGPT to power their search engine Bing.
Other than that, Elon Musk tweeted that ChatGPT represented a new world. And part of that world is “Goodbye homework”! According to Forbes, a large majority of students are already using ChatGPT for homework assignments. This creates challenges for schools and colleges in terms of plagiarism and cheating. ChatGPT has already been banned from some school systems, and the UK education watchdog Ofqual is planning to draw up guidelines to avoid mass plagiarism.
But education is not the only sector to use ChatGPT. It has already entered the world of politics, with Jeremy Hunt using it for his recent speech on the economy, apparently saying “who needs politicians when you have AI?”
ChatGPT be used in digital marketing?
ChatGPT is also already being used commercially. Online card retailer Moonpig is exploring how to integrate it into its systems, perhaps inspired by the Sydney Morning Herald’s experiment at writing birthday greetings in the style of famous people.
According to Openai’s content policy and terms, ownership of the output created with ChatGPT rests with the human who initiated it. This includes the right to reprint, sell, and merchandise that output, which opens the door for ChatGPT output to be used in many different types of situation.
This has interesting implications for digital marketing. ChatGPT has potential to help with:
Marketing emails and other collateral
ChatGPT could provide a useful start in drafting marketing emails and other collateral such as newsletters, presentations or video scripts. There will still be an amount of editing that needs to be done to get to the finished product, but many marketers find it easier to work from existing content rather than have to start something from scratch.
Blogs and other online content
ChatGPT can be an effective tool for research and first drafts that can then be tailored by a human content writer or social media marketer. However, it is wise not to rely solely on ChatGPT for these tasks. As well as the possibility of incorrect information (see later), you also need to be aware that Google has traditionally penalised auto-generated content, so it could adversely impact your SEO.
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Is ChatGPT always correct?
In a word, no. It’s important to remember that ChatGPT is not a live Internet tool. It has limited knowledge post-2021 and has been known to come up with the response “I’m sorry, but I am not able to browse the internet or access any external information beyond what I was trained on.”
It is also a possibility that ChatGPT may make up facts or even hallucinate outputs. So it is always important to check the accuracy of responses to be 100% certain of their accuracy.
Does ChatGPT always answer?
There are two situations where ChatGPT may not answer the question you have asked.
The first of these is when the question is in some way ambiguous. In this case, the model is likely to try and guess the intention behind the question and the answer may therefore not be completely relevant to the question being asked.
The second situation when a question may not be answered is that ChatGPT is designed to filter out what it has been trained are inappropriate requests. If you ask ChatGPT what is off limits, it will tell you “questions that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise discriminatory or hateful.” It will also refuse to engage in any kind of illegal activity.
We hope that this article has given you a useful introduction to ChatGPT, and some pointers as to how it could be used effectively in your personal and working life. This is an evolving technology and, as such, we will revisit ChatGPT again later in the year.