OpenAI’s impressive new chatbot causes a stir, inspiring enthusiasm and concern

Thursday, December 8, 2022 by Snacks
How can AI help you today? (Jakub Porzycki/Getty Images)

How can AI help you today? (Jakub Porzycki/Getty Images)

“Are you tired of feeling like a robot when you talk to your computer?... Well, fear not, my friend, because chatGPT is here to save the day!” These prosaic lines were written by AI chatbot ChatGPT in response to “Write a humorous article about ChatGPT.”

  • Meet CGPT: The futuristic AI chatbot was released to the public last week by OpenAI (the company behind generative AI tool Dall-E).
  • It’s causing shock, awe, fear, and lots of Twitter memes. OpenAI said 1M+ people signed up to test CGPT in the first five days.
  • Bot of many trades: CGPT is like a search engine that provides one result, combined with a sophisticated chatbot combined with a blandly unoriginal yet at times eerily human-sounding writer. It can answer questions, compose text based on prompts, and write self-reflective poetry.

A trained model… we’re not talking Gisele. In our unexclusive interview with CGPT, the bot told us where its words came from: “As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I have been trained on a massive amount of text data.” After some prodding, CGPT explained that said data is “typically compiled from a wide variety of sources, such as books, articles, and websites.” It essentially uses those text examples to make educated guesses about how to string together an answer. Yet there are concerns about CGPT’s powers. People fear that it’ll kill:

  • Homework: This probably isn’t a fear for most students, but educators are concerned that CGPT’s essay-writing abilities will destroy take-home assignments. Lex, a new tool that uses CGPT, fills in sentences for you like a Google Docs-style collaborator,
  • Jobs: Like its art-generating cousin Dall-E, CGPT is generating concerns that AI tools could replace creative jobs (think: copywriting, design).
  • Originality: If people start relying on AI for their writing and creating, the intellectual output of future generations could be monotonous. There are also copyright-infringement concerns (think: image generators pulling from original designs).

Generative AI is a many-pronged tool… It could be valuable to automate work, though dangerous if it becomes a crutch. Meanwhile, investment is booming. Jasper, a genAI tool largely used for marketing copy, recently hit a $1.5B valuation. (As of October, OpenAI was valued at ~$20B.) And Google is previewing apps that’ll allow people to have their text rendered to images (similar to Dall-E).

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