ChatGPT has been capturing the attention of the internet with its AI-generated content, evolving from a unique chatbot into a groundbreaking technology that is shaping the future of innovation. Few tech products in recent memory have generated as much interest, controversy, fear, and excitement.
If you’re just discovering ChatGPT, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. You can try it out for free, or use the official free iOS app. But if you’re looking for a comprehensive guide that covers everything from the AI apocalypse to an introduction to the app, you’ve come to the right place.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that excels in natural language processing. At its core, it can answer a wide range of questions and generate detailed responses.
Using the ChatGPT chatbot is straightforward. Simply type in your text and let ChatGPT provide you with the information you need. To maximize its effectiveness, try experimenting with different prompts to see how ChatGPT responds. And if you don’t get the desired result, you can always refine your prompts or provide additional instructions. ChatGPT understands the context of your previous questions, allowing you to build on previous conversations.
For example, asking “Explain how the solar system was formed” will yield a more detailed response compared to simply asking “How was the solar system formed?” You can further enhance your results by specifying the style or tone, such as asking for an explanation suitable for a middle school teacher.
You also have the option to request specific formats, such as a four-paragraph essay or a Wikipedia page. For example, when we asked ChatGPT to “write a four-paragraph essay explaining Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” it provided an incredibly detailed response. And don’t forget, ChatGPT is skilled at refining its previous answers, so feel free to ask for more details, request a rewrite, or ask follow-up questions.
You can use ChatGPT in various settings, such as daily life or work activities. It can assist with writing emails, crafting business proposals, suggesting fun date night ideas, or even helping with a best man’s speech. As long as your requests comply with the explicit and legal content rules, ChatGPT will do its best to fulfill your commands. However, it’s worth noting that while rare, there are instances where ChatGPT may generate incorrect information or “hallucinations.” OpenAI states that ChatGPT has “limited knowledge of world events after 2021.” For more up-to-date information, consider using other tools like Bing Chat.
You can continue your chat with ChatGPT until you close your browser or reset the conversation. These chats are saved in the sidebar, automatically named and organized for easy management. You can rename or delete conversations as needed, and even hide specific chats if desired.
ChatGPT also offers the option to switch between dark mode and light mode to suit your preferences.
Unlike Bing Chat, which can generate and receive images, ChatGPT currently only supports text-based interactions. However, Google Bard has recently introduced this feature.
How Does ChatGPT Work?
Unlike simple voice assistants like Siri or Google Assistant, ChatGPT is built on a powerful Large Language Model (LLM). These neural networks are trained on vast amounts of internet data, allowing them to generate responses that go beyond simple pre-programmed answers. ChatGPT is not limited to a specific purpose like traditional chatbots—it’s a highly intelligent and versatile tool.
The name ChatGPT stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. The current version, ChatGPT, is based on the GPT-3.5 LLM. It is trained on a diverse range of web content, including websites, books, social media, and news articles. The language model is fine-tuned using supervised learning and reinforcement learning from human feedback, making ChatGPT truly stand out.
How to Use ChatGPT
To get started, visit the chat.openai.com website. If it’s your first time, you’ll need to set up a free account with OpenAI. You can choose to log in with your Google or Microsoft account or simply use your email address. After that, you’ll be asked to provide a phone number, but please note that virtual phone numbers (VoIP) cannot be used. Once you receive a confirmation number, enter it on the registration page to complete the setup process.
Before you start using ChatGPT, you’ll find some basic rules and information about potential errors and how OpenAI collects data. OpenAI encourages users to provide feedback for continuous improvement. Once you’ve reviewed this information, you’re ready to begin!
How to Use the ChatGPT iOS and Android Apps
After months of anticipation, OpenAI has officially launched the ChatGPT iOS app, which is available for download. The app has quickly gained popularity, with over half a million downloads in less than a week. It is gradually rolling out to more countries.
Using the app is similar to the web application. You have the option to sign in using your Apple ID, and the functionality is nearly identical to the web app. Just type in your questions, and the conversation will flow seamlessly.
The app features a clean interface that displays your conversation with ChatGPT in a straightforward manner. The chat history and settings are conveniently hidden behind the menu in the top right corner.
For ChatGPT Plus subscribers, the app allows you to switch between GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 models. You can even engage in voice chat with ChatGPT using the microphone.
While an official ChatGPT Android app is now available, it is currently limited to specific countries, including the U.S., India, and Brazil. You can find it in the Google Play Store.
Is ChatGPT Free to Use?
Yes! The basic version of ChatGPT is completely free with no usage limits. However, please keep in mind that it does have word and character limits for responses.
It’s important to note that keeping ChatGPT operational is not free for OpenAI. Initial estimates suggest that running ChatGPT costs around $3 million per month, or approximately $100,000 per day. According to a report from April, the operating costs are closer to $700,000 per day.
To support continued free access, OpenAI also offers a premium subscription called ChatGPT Plus, priced at $20 per month. Subscribers enjoy benefits such as access during peak times, faster response times, and early access to new features like GPT-4.
Who Created ChatGPT?
ChatGPT was developed by OpenAI, an AI research lab based in San Francisco. Originally established as a non-profit organization for collaboration with other institutions and researchers, OpenAI transitioned into a for-profit company in 2019. It is currently led by CEO Sam Altman and relies on Microsoft’s Azure system infrastructure, powered by Nvidia’s GPUs.
Microsoft has made significant investments in OpenAI since 2019, further solidifying the partnership between the two companies.
Recent ChatGPT Controversies
While ChatGPT is an incredibly useful tool, it is not without its flaws. It has been known to make mistakes or “hallucinations,” generating incorrect answers to certain questions. For instance, it once misidentified the prime minister of Japan. These occurrences have raised concerns about the future implications of human-like generative AI. In fact, thousands of tech leaders and public figures have signed a petition to slow down its development. In Italy, it was even temporarily banned due to privacy concerns, although the ban has since been reversed. The FTC has also raised complaints about the handling of personal consumer data by OpenAI, resulting in reopened investigations.
A number of prominent companies, including Samsung, Amazon, Verizon, and the United States Congress, have prohibited the internal use of ChatGPT. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, mentioned using ChatGPT, despite the company’s initial ban.
Another concern is the potential job displacement resulting from the use of generative AI like ChatGPT. Goldman Sachs estimates that as many as 300 million jobs worldwide could be affected. In the entertainment industry, it has become a focal point in the writer’s strike, as screenwriters strive to protect their jobs from AI-generated scripts.
Furthermore, controversies have arisen from instances where individuals have used ChatGPT to perform tasks that should typically be handled by human beings. For example, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody School faced criticism for using ChatGPT to generate an email discussing a mass shooting and community importance. JPMorgan Chase has also restricted the use of the AI chatbot for workers, particularly in generating emails. Similarly, Apple and other companies have implemented internal restrictions.
Privacy concerns have also been raised. A recent GDPR complaint alleges that ChatGPT violates user privacy by collecting and utilizing user data without explicit consent.
Lastly, some individuals have discovered that ChatGPT is capable of generating Windows 11 keys for free, although this is not the intended use of the technology.
Can ChatGPT be Detected?
Teachers, school administrators, and developers have already started finding ways to detect and prohibit the use of ChatGPT in educational settings. Plagiarism remains a concern, especially in academic environments. While some solutions, such as watermarking the text generated by ChatGPT, have been proposed, effective detection of ChatGPT-generated content remains challenging.
ChatGPT recently introduced its own plagiarism detection tool, equipped with an “AI text classifier” feature. This tool operates similarly to other plagiarism software, but OpenAI acknowledges that it is still a work in progress and not flawless.
Other tools, such as GPTZero, claim to assist in detecting ChatGPT plagiarism, but some slight modifications to AI responses can still bypass these tools.
Common Uses for ChatGPT
Since its launch, people have been exploring the vast array of possible uses for ChatGPT, revealing its impressive capabilities.
Learning how to prompt and interact effectively with ChatGPT requires some experimentation, much like learning to search effectively using traditional search engines. If you’re looking to get started, we’ve compiled a list of the best ChatGPT tips.
The possibilities are endless. You can use ChatGPT to write template blog posts, code snippets for programmers, or even engage in conversations about holiday shopping or astrological makeup. Our writers have experimented with ChatGPT and discovered its limitations in certain areas, yet they remain impressed by its capabilities.
Ultimately, the true fun lies in trying ChatGPT yourself. Whether you see it as a groundbreaking technology or a potential threat to the internet as we know it, exploring its capabilities firsthand will help you understand its true potential.
OpenAI has recently introduced custom instructions with ChatGPT. This feature allows you to customize how ChatGPT responds to your inputs, tailoring it to your specific needs.
It’s important to note that ChatGPT is designed to adhere to content policies that promote safety and benefit users. Questions or prompts that involve hate speech, sexism, racism, or discrimination are generally off-limits.
ChatGPT Plugins: Expanding Possibilities
The announcement of ChatGPT plugins has generated significant excitement among developers, earning comparisons to the launch of the iOS App Store and its transformative impact on the capabilities of the iPhone.
Developers can now create plugins specifically for ChatGPT, expanding its functionality and enabling direct integration with various applications and APIs. The possibilities are vast, from performing actions on behalf of users to retrieving real-time information and accessing knowledge-based resources.
The plugin feature is currently available on a waitlist basis, with early adopters including Expedia, Instacart, Slack, and OpenTable. A wide range of plugins is being developed, providing users with an ever-growing selection of options.
The ChatGPT API: Empowering Developers
Beyond the ChatGPT app itself, OpenAI has also introduced the ChatGPT API, enabling developers to integrate ChatGPT’s natural language capabilities into their own apps and websites. Several prominent partners, including Snapchat, have already started utilizing the ChatGPT API.
This API opens up new possibilities for a range of applications, including suggesting parts in online PC builders, creating travel itineraries, and much more. Discord and Wix are just a few examples of platforms leveraging the power of ChatGPT through the API.
The Future of ChatGPT and GPT-5
ChatGPT’s popularity continues to grow, and with the introduction of GPT-4, the next iteration of the model, the landscape is evolving rapidly. While GPT-4 is currently only available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers, Bing Chat is partially built on the GPT-4 language model.
Microsoft’s substantial investment in OpenAI has further accelerated the integration of ChatGPT into various applications. Teams Premium, for example, already incorporates some of OpenAI’s features to automate tasks and provide transcripts. Furthermore, Microsoft has unveiled 365 Copilot, which seamlessly integrates ChatGPT’s natural language capabilities into Office apps such as Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
While initial reports suggested that GPT-5 could achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI), OpenAI has clarified that GPT-5 is not currently planned. However, GPT-4.5, the next version in the pipeline, is undergoing training and may become available later this year. OpenAI expects to complete the planning phase as early as September or October.
The rapid advancements in AI technology and its integration into commonly used applications for work and school herald an exciting future.
ChatGPT Alternatives Worth Exploring
While ChatGPT remains the most popular AI chatbot, it’s not the only option available. Microsoft’s Bing Chat represents its biggest competitor, utilizing OpenAI’s GPT-4 model. Although Bing Chat requires downloading the latest version of Microsoft Edge, it offers additional features such as different writing modes, image creation, and search links. Bing Chat has recently undergone significant updates, introducing features like export, third-party plugins, and multimodal support. Other alternatives include YouChat, based on OpenAI’s GPT-3, and Forefront AI, offering access to GPT-4 and beyond.
Google Bard, powered by Google’s LaMDA language model, stands out as the leading non-GPT competitor to ChatGPT. Recent updates have made Google Bard a compelling alternative, although it still has room for improvement.
Several other chatbots are available, including Vicuna and HuggingChat, which are based on Meta’s LLaMA model. Apple has also reportedly been working on its own ChatGPT rival for years, although details remain scarce.
Other Things to Know About ChatGPT
Are ChatGPT Chats Private?
ChatGPT chats are used by OpenAI to enhance the models but are not actively monitored by human trainers. However, it is essential to exercise caution when sharing personal information with ChatGPT.
By default, conversations are saved in the sidebar, allowing you to easily access and manage them. It’s worth noting that individual chats within a conversation cannot be deleted, although you can edit them using the pencil icon. Deleting conversations will remove them from the sidebar chat history, but they are not completely erased.
OpenAI recently introduced “hidden” chats, which are not used to train AI models and are not visible in the sidebar. This feature enhances privacy for sensitive conversations.
When Was ChatGPT Released?
ChatGPT was initially launched to the public in November 2022 by OpenAI. It is based on the GPT-3.5 LLM, a refined version of GPT-3. The first version of GPT-3 was released in June 2020, following the announcement of GPT-2 in February 2019. The research paper introducing GPT was published on OpenAI’s website in 2018.
Will ChatGPT Replace Google Search?
Rather than replacing traditional search engines like Google Search, chatbots like ChatGPT are more likely to be integrated directly into search platforms. Microsoft has already implemented this with Bing Chat and Bing, adding a “chat” tab to the Bing search menu. Google has also begun incorporating its own natural language capabilities, such as Google Bard, into search through its Search Generative Experience. While these features are currently separate, a future where search and chat are unified is not far-fetched.
Is Bing Chat the Same as ChatGPT?
Microsoft’s Bing Chat is essentially ChatGPT integrated into the Bing search engine. It initially required downloading the latest version of Microsoft Edge, but recent updates have made it more easily accessible. Bing Chat now uses the advanced GPT-4 language model, providing more accurate answers and offering a user-friendly experience with features like suggested prompts and links for further exploration. With the introduction of Windows Copilot, Bing Chat is now available directly on users’ desktops.
Is Google Bard the Same as ChatGPT?
No, Google Bard is not based on OpenAI’s GPT models. Google has developed its own language model called LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), which powers Google Bard. While Bard has had some limitations, recent updates have significantly improved its capabilities. Google’s ongoing investment in Bard, including expanding its training parameters, positions it as a strong alternative to ChatGPT.
Can ChatGPT Write Essays?
Absolutely! Writing essays is a powerful feature of ChatGPT. However, as with any AI-generated content, it’s important to review and validate the output. ChatGPT can serve as a valuable tool for essay writing, and there are even AI tools like Caktus AI designed specifically for this purpose.
Can ChatGPT Write and Debug Code?
Yes! ChatGPT is excellent at writing and debugging code. However, it’s essential to double-check its output for accuracy, as it may occasionally make mistakes. Developers have successfully used ChatGPT to create websites, applications, and games from scratch. ChatGPT significantly enhances the entire coding process, and there are even plugins like ChatGPT Code Interpreter that facilitate programming with AI.
What is the ChatGPT Character Limit?
ChatGPT does not set an exact character limit, but responses are generally limited to around 500 words or 4,000 characters. If you exceed this limit, ChatGPT may cut off its response mid-sentence. To overcome this limitation, you can ask ChatGPT to continue or provide more details. However, please note that for access to longer responses, you can subscribe to ChatGPT Plus.
Is There a ChatGPT Bug Bounty Program?
Yes, OpenAI has launched a bug bounty program for ChatGPT. Security researchers can participate in this program and receive cash awards ranging from $200 to $20,000 for exceptional discoveries. OpenAI recognizes the importance of collaborative efforts in ensuring the safety of AI technology and encourages researchers to share their findings.
Do You Need to Download ChatGPT?
No, you don’t need to download ChatGPT to use it. You can access ChatGPT directly through the chat.openai.com website. However, OpenAI has also released an official ChatGPT iOS app, which you can download from the App Store. Please be cautious when using unofficial ChatGPT apps, as there are fake versions available.
For desktop users, you have the option to save ChatGPT as a Windows app through Microsoft Edge. Simply visit the ChatGPT website, click the ellipsis menu, hover over Apps, and select “Install this site as an app” to add ChatGPT to your desktop. Other tools like MacGPT also offer shortcuts to access the service from your desktop.
Can You Use ChatGPT on iPhone or Android?
Yes, ChatGPT is available for use on iPhones. You can either access it through the web app or download the official iOS app from the App Store. The iOS app offers additional features, such as signing in with your Apple ID and voice chat capabilities. On Android devices, you can use ChatGPT through the web app by visiting chat.openai.com.
Can ChatGPT Answer Any Question?
While ChatGPT is highly capable, it does have limitations. It cannot provide information on events that occurred after 2021, as its training data does not cover recent world events. Additionally, ChatGPT is designed to avoid answering questions that involve illegal, explicit, or harmful content. OpenAI continuously updates its content policies to prevent unwanted responses. While some users have found ways to bypass these restrictions, OpenAI actively seeks to close those loopholes.
What Is Auto-GPT?
Auto-GPT is an experimental open-source Python application built on GPT-4. It offers a level of autonomy where users can set goals and let Auto-GPT take actions across the internet to achieve those goals. It chains together LLM “thoughts” to accomplish tasks autonomously. While ChatGPT is limited to a single chat window, Auto-GPT expands the possibilities by making AI more autonomous. It is often referred to as a significant step toward artificial general intelligence (AGI).
What Is the Difference Between GPT-4 and GPT-3.5?
GPT-4 is a more advanced LLM and the most powerful model currently available from OpenAI. Access to GPT-4 is currently limited to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. On the other hand, GPT-3.5 powers the free version of ChatGPT. While the exact number of training parameters used in these advanced models is not publicly disclosed, it is rumored that GPT-4 consists of up to 1 trillion parameters. The results achieved with GPT-4 are significantly superior to those of GPT-3.5, boasting higher precision, improved coding capabilities, and support for longer texts.