Connect with us

Technology

ChatGPT, explained

Published

on

ChatGPT, explained

Some writers have declared that the debut of ChatGPT on November 30th, 2022, marked the beginning of a new chapter in history akin to the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Others have been more skeptical, wondering if this is just another overhyped tech, like blockchain or the metaverse.

What history will call ChatGPT remains to be seen, but here’s one thing I do know for sure: nobody has shut up about it since.

From injecting itself into presidential debates and Saturday Night Live sketches to creepily flirting with talking to you Her-style (well, briefly at least), ChatGPT has captured the public imagination in a way few technologies have. It’s not hard to see why. The bot can code, compose music, craft essays… you name it. And with the release of GPT-4o, it’s even better than ever.

Yet, as it gets smarter, the tech is also becoming less comprehensible. People are also getting more scared of what it can do, which is understandable given some are already losing their jobs to AI. It doesn’t help that a lot of sensationalism surrounds the subject, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

That’s why we decided to throw together this explainer so we can cut through all the BS together. You ready? Let’s begin.

Advertisement

What is ChatGPT?

Do you want the simplistic answer or the complex one?

The easy answer is that ChatGPT is a chatbot that can answer your questions by using data it’s gathered from the internet.

The complex answer is that ChatGPT is an AI chatbot powered by language models created by OpenAI that are known as generative pre-trained transformers (GPTs), a kind of AI that can actually generate new content altogether as opposed to just analyzing data. (If you’ve heard of large language models, or LLMs, a GPT is a type of LLM. Got it? Good.)

So what’s OpenAI?

Advertisement

OpenAI is an AI company founded in December 2015. It created ChatGPT, but it’s also responsible for other products, like the AI image generator DALL-E.

Doesn’t Microsoft own it? Or was that Elon Musk?

No, but Microsoft is a major investor, pouring billions into the tech. Elon Musk co-founded OpenAI along with fired and rehired OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever (who has since left), Greg Brockman, Wojciech Zaremba, and John Schulman. However, Musk eventually cut ties to create his own chatbot called Grok.

So, will ChatGPT take over the world?

It will most definitely replace people with machines and — along with other AI bots like Amazon’s Alexa — basically take over the world. So you’d better start playing nice with them.

Advertisement

Nah, I’m messing with you. I mean, nobody knows for sure, but I highly doubt we’re going to see a job apocalypse and have to welcome in our new robot overlords anytime soon. I’ll explain more in a minute. 

Phew! But how is it so smart?

Well, like I said, ChatGPT runs on GPTs, which OpenAI regularly updates with new versions, the most recent being GPT-4o. Trained by humans and a ton of internet data, each model can generate human-like conversations so you can complete all kinds of tasks.  

Like? 

Where do I begin? The possibilities are practically endless, from composing essays and writing code to analyzing data, solving math problems, playing games, providing customer support, planning trips, helping you prepare for job interviews, and so much more.

Advertisement

Here’s just a short list of what it’s capable of: 

I mean, honestly, it could probably summarize this entire explainer. The AI world is your oyster.

So what you’re saying is, it’s basically smarter than me. Should I be worried?

Eh, not really. For all its hype, at its current level, ChatGPT — like other generative AI chatbots — is very much a dim-witted computer that sits on a throne of lies. For one thing, it hallucinates. 

Pardon?  

Advertisement

Oh, sorry, not that kind of hallucination. Hallucination in the AI world refers to an AI-generated process in which the tool tries to extrapolate and create from collected data but gets it absurdly wrong, in turn creating a new reality. 

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the word. It doesn’t really bear resemblance to actual human hallucinations, and I think it makes light of mental health issues — but that’s another subject. 

In other words, sometimes ChatGPT generates incorrect information? 

Incorrect information is a weak way of putting it. 

Sometimes ChatGPT actually fabricates facts altogether, which can lead to the spread of misinformation with serious consequences. It’s made up news stories, academic papers, and books. Lawyers using it for case research have gotten in trouble when it cited nonexistent laws.

Advertisement

And then, there are times when it gives the middle finger to both reality and human language and just spouts out pure gibberish. Earlier this year, for example, a malfunctioning ChatGPT that was asked for a Jackson family biography started saying stuff like, “Schwittendly, the sparkle of tourmar on the crest has as much to do with the golver of the ‘moon paths’ as it shifts from follow.” Which is probably the worst description of Michael Jackson’s family in the world.

The Jackson 5 deserved better, ChatGPT.
Photo: CBS Television via Wikipedia

Right, but isn’t ChatGPT getting better?

Many AI researchers are trying to fix this issue. However, a lot of AI researchers think hallucinations are fundamentally unsolvable, as a study out of the National University of Singapore suggests. 

But hallucinations aren’t the only issue ChatGPT needs to iron out. Remember, ChatGPT essentially just regurgitates material it scrapes off the internet, whether it’s accurate or not. That means, sometimes, ChatGPT plagiarizes other people’s work without attributing it to them, even sparking copyright infringement lawsuits.

Advertisement

It can also pick up some really bad data. Likely drawing from the more unpleasant parts of the internet, it’s gone so far as to insult and manipulate users. Hell, sometimes it’s just downright racist and sexist.

So, basically, what I’m hearing is ChatGPT — like other generative AI chatbots — has a lot of critical flaws, and we humans are still needed to keep them in check. 

But isn’t it possible OpenAI could iron out these issues in time?

Anything’s possible. But I would say that one thing is for sure: AI is here to stay, and so it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to leverage these tools. Plus, they really can make life easier in the here and now if you know how to use them. 

So, how do I start playing around with it?

Advertisement

If you’re on a desktop, simply visit chat.openai.com and start chatting away. Alternatively, you can also access ChatGPT via an app on your iPhone or Android device.

Great! Is it free?

Absolutely. The free version of ChatGPT runs on an older model in the GPT-3.5 series but does offer limited access to the newer and faster GPT-4o. That means free users, for example, will soon be able to access previously paywalled features, like custom GPTs, through the GPT Store.

ChatGPT also now freely supports the chatbot’s web browsing tool, meaning it can now search the internet in real time to deliver up-to-date, accurate results. The new model can also recall earlier conversations, allowing it to better understand the context of your request, while users can now upload photos and files for ChatGPT to analyze.

Why would I want one of the paid tiers?

Advertisement

You do get more advanced capabilities through its paid tiers — ChatGPT Plus, ChatGPT Team, and ChatGPT Enterprise — which start at $20 a month. 

For starters, you have fewer usage restrictions, rendering them the better option if you plan on using ChatGPT often. Free users have usage limits OpenAI has yet to specify but has said that Plus subscribers are allowed to send five times as many messages as free users. The pricier Team and Enterprise subscription plans offer even fewer usage restrictions, though at this point, OpenAI has yet to divulge specifics.

Aside from being able to use ChatGPT longer, paid subscribers can do more. They can, for example, create their own custom GPTs and even monetize them via the GPT Store. Plus, only paid subscribers can access the DALL-E 3 model, which generates images from text prompts. 

Paid subscribers also get early access to the newest AI features. The voice capabilities OpenAI demonstrated onstage should arrive over the next couple of weeks for Plus subscribers, while ChatGPT’s desktop app for Mac computers is already rolling out for Plus users.

Custom GPTs?

Advertisement

Custom GPTs are basically chatbots you can customize. There are millions of versions on the GPT Store that you can use to accomplish all kinds of tasks, from providing tech support to personalized hiking trail recommendations. Some customized GPTs currently trending include an image generating bot, a bot that makes logos, and a chatbot that helps people perform scientific research.

By the way, what’s all this I hear about trouble within OpenAI?

There have been some upheavals in the company — we’ll keep you in the loop.

Are there any ChatGPT alternatives I could check out?

Yes, there are quite a few, and each varies in terms of features, pricing, and specific use cases. One notable example is Google’s AI chat service Gemini. As a Google product, it offers deeper integration with Google services like Workspace, Calendar, Gmail, Search, YouTube, and Flights. The latest version, Gemini 1.5 Pro, also offers a longer 2 million token context window, which refers to the amount of information the AI model can understand.

Advertisement

Anything else you think I should know? 

Yeah! Did you know ChatGPT sounds like “chat j’ai pété” in French, which roughly translates to “cat, I farted.” Somebody even created a website with a cat who farts when you click on it, and I just can’t stop clicking.

The French version of ChatGPT.
Image Credit: Chat J’ai Pété

You should be. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Technology

Yahoo resurrects Artifact inside a new AI-powered News app

Published

on

Yahoo resurrects Artifact inside a new AI-powered News app

Artifact is dead, long live Yahoo’s version of Artifact. The architecture behind Artifact, the news aggregation app built by Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, will live on inside the body of a brand-new Yahoo News app.

Available to download today on iOS and Android, the new Yahoo News app brings an AI-powered personalized news feed for users based on their interests, while a feature called Key Takeaways can give a bullet summary of a news article when a reader is feeling TL;DR.

Other features of the Yahoo News app include Top Stories, which picks up on trending stories for users to read and will soon include key takeaway summaries. You can block stories with undesired keywords, as well as filter out certain publishers to your preference. And just like Artifact, Yahoo News also lets you flag content like clickbaity headlines, then lets AI rewrite them to something better.

Yahoo is also taking some of what it’s building in the News app to the Yahoo News online homepage. Starting today, the website has a new layout that highlights top news, gives personalized recommendations, and shows trending topics. The new homepage experience is opt-in.

Continue Reading

Technology

Former head of NSA joins OpenAI board

Published

on

Former head of NSA joins OpenAI board

OpenAI has appointed Paul M. Nakasone, a retired general of the US Army and a former head of the National Security Agency (NSA), to its board of directors, the company announced on Thursday.

Nakasone, who was nominated to lead the NSA by former President Donald Trump, directed the agency from 2018 until February of this year. Before Nakasone left the NSA, he wrote an op-ed supporting the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the surveillance program that was ultimately reauthorized by Congress in April.

OpenAI says Nakasone will join its Safety and Security Committee, which was announced in May and is led by CEO Sam Altman, “as a first priority.” Nakasone will “also contribute to OpenAI’s efforts to better understand how AI can be used to strengthen cybersecurity by quickly detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats.”

Recent departures tied to safety at OpenAI include co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who played a key role in Sam Altman’s November firing and eventual un-firing, and Jan Leike, who said on X that “safety culture and processes have taken a backseat to shiny products.”

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to have huge positive impacts on people’s lives, but it can only meet this potential if these innovations are securely built and deployed,“ board chair Bret Taylor said in a statement. “General Nakasone’s unparalleled experience in areas like cybersecurity will help guide OpenAI in achieving its mission of ensuring artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.” 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Technology

Chilling fake of birthing 30,000 babies in eerie artificial wombs

Published

on

Chilling fake of birthing 30,000 babies in eerie artificial wombs

The intriguing yet fictional video, “EctoLife: The World’s First Artificial Womb Facility,” has recently regained traction on social media, likely due to creator Hashem Al-Ghaili releasing another fake video – on head transplants called “BrainBridge” – sparking discussions and raising questions about the EctoLife video’s authenticity. 

However, both videos are conceptual presentations and do not depict an existing facility or technology.

An image from the controversial concept video (EctoLife)

A thought-provoking concept, not a reality

The EctoLife video, created by Hashem Al-Ghaili, a science communicator and filmmaker, presents a futuristic concept of an artificial womb facility that claims to offer a safe and pain-free alternative to natural pregnancy and childbirth.

GET SECURITY ALERTS, EXPERT TIPS – SIGN UP FOR KURT’S NEWSLETTER – THE CYBERGUY REPORT HERE

Advertisement

The video showcases rows of fetuses in clear, football-shaped pods inside a high-tech building, accompanied by a narrator describing the facility’s capabilities.

However, it’s crucial to understand that the EctoLife video is a concept video and not a representation of an existing reality. Al-Ghaili himself has clarified that the technology depicted in the video does not yet exist, and the video is marked as a “concept” near its end.

artificial womb 2

Controversial concept video (EctoLife)

KURT’S BEST FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE 2024 

Partial ectogenesis: A more realistic approach

While the concept of complete ectogenesis (gestating a fetus entirely outside the womb) remains a distant possibility, researchers are making progress in the field of partial ectogenesis. In 2017, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia successfully gestated premature lambs in artificial womb-like “biobags” for several weeks. However, experts emphasize that these efforts are focused on potential life support options for premature human babies, not an alternative to full gestation.

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

Advertisement
ARTIFICIAL womb 3

Controversial concept video (EctoLife)

Sparking discussions and ethical considerations

While the EctoLife video may not depict a current reality, it has succeeded in igniting discussions about the potential implications and ethical considerations surrounding artificial womb technology. As scientific advancements continue, it is crucial to engage in thoughtful dialogue and address the complex ethical, legal, and social issues that may arise.

As Hashem Al-Ghaili stated, the main goal of creating the video was “to ignite the discussion about an emerging technology and to highlight scientific progress in the field of ectogenesis.” By presenting a thought-provoking concept, the video has sparked conversations that could shape the future development and regulation of artificial womb technology.

artificial womb 4

Controversial concept video (EctoLife)

BOSTON DYNAMICS’ CREEPY ROBOTIC CANINE DANCES IN SPARKLY BLUE COSTUME 

Kurt’s key takeaways

While the resurfacing of the EctoLife video has reignited discussions and raised eyebrows, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. The video, though intriguing, is a conceptual presentation and not a depiction of an existing reality. However, its creator, Hashem Al-Ghaili, seems to have a knack for sparking conversations with his thought-provoking, albeit fictional, videos.

Advertisement

The recent release of Al-Ghaili’s “BrainBridge” video on head transplants has likely contributed to the renewed interest in the EctoLife concept. While these videos may not represent current scientific capabilities, they serve as a reminder of the rapid pace of technological advancements and the ethical considerations that must accompany them.

As we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible, it’s crucial to engage in thoughtful dialogue and address the complex ethical, legal, and social issues that may arise. The EctoLife video, though fictional, has succeeded in igniting discussions about the potential implications of artificial womb technology, and these conversations could shape the future development and regulation of such technologies.

Ultimately, while we may not have artificial womb facilities like EctoLife just yet, the video serves as a thought-provoking glimpse into what the future might hold and a reminder to approach such advancements with careful consideration and ethical responsibility.

What are your thoughts on the implications of artificial womb technology? If a facility like the conceptual “EctoLife” were to become a reality in the future, what potential concerns would you have? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

Advertisement

For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

Follow Kurt on his social channels

Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending