In November 2022, OpenAI introduced a long-form question-answering AI called ChatGPT that answers complex questions conversationally in November 2022.
It’s a revolutionary technology because it’s trained to learn what humans mean when they ask a question.
Many users are awed at its ability to provide human-quality responses, inspiring the feeling that it may eventually have the power to disrupt how humans interact with computers and change how information is retrieved.
What Is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a large language model chatbot developed by OpenAI based on GPT-3.5. It can interact in conversational dialogue form and respond.
Large language models perform the task of predicting the next word in a series of words.
Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF) is an additional layer of training that uses human feedback to help ChatGPT learn the ability to follow directions and generate responses that are satisfactory to humans.
ChatGPT was created by San Francisco-based artificial intelligence company OpenAI.
OpenAI is famous for its well-known DALL·E, a deep-learning model that generates images from text instructions called prompts.
Large Language Models
ChatGPT is a large language model (LLM). Large Language Models (LLMs) are trained with huge amounts of data to accurately predict what word comes next in a sentence.
It was discovered that increasing the amount of data increased the ability of the language models to do more.
LLMs predict the next word in a series of words in a sentence and the next sentences – kind of like autocomplete but at a mind-bending scale.
This ability allows them to write paragraphs and entire pages of content.
But LLMs are limited in that they don’t always understand exactly what a human wants.
And that’s where ChatGPT improves on state of the art, with the aforementioned Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF) training.
How Was ChatGPT Trained?
GPT-3.5 was trained on massive amounts of data about code and information from the internet, including sources like Reddit discussions, to help ChatGPT learn dialogue and attain a human style of responding.
ChatGPT was also trained using human feedback (a technique called Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback) so that the AI learned what humans expected when they asked a question. Training the LLM this way is revolutionary because it goes beyond simply training the LLM to predict the next word
What sets ChatGPT apart from a simple chatbot is that it was specifically trained to understand the human intent in a question and provide helpful, truthful, and harmless answers.
Because of that training, ChatGPT may challenge certain questions and discard parts of the question that don’t make sense.
Another research paper related to ChatGPT shows how they trained the AI to predict what humans preferred.
The researchers noticed that the metrics used to rate the outputs of NLP- natural language processing AI resulted in machines that scored well on the metrics, but didn’t align with what humans expected.
The following is how the researchers explained the problem:
“Many machine learning applications optimize simple metrics which are only rough proxies for what the designer intends. This can lead to problems, such as YouTube recommendations promoting click-bait.”
So they come up with a solution by designing an AI that could output answers optimized to what humans preferred.
To do that, they trained the AI using datasets of human comparisons between different answers so that the machine became better at predicting what humans judged to be satisfactory answers.
What are the Limitations of ChatGPT?
Limitations on Toxic Response
ChatGPT is specifically programmed not to provide toxic or harmful responses. So it will avoid answering those kinds of questions.
Quality of Answers Depends on Quality of Directions
An important limitation of ChatGPT is that the quality of the output depends on the quality of the input. In other words, expert directions (prompts) generate better answers.
Answers Are Not Always Correct
It is trained to provide answers that feel right to humans, the answers can trick humans that the output is correct.
Many users discovered that ChatGPT can provide incorrect answers, including some that are wildly incorrect.
The moderators at the coding Q&A website Stack Overflow may have discovered an unintended consequence of answers that feel right to humans.
OpenAI Explains Limitations of ChatGPT
The OpenAI announcement offered this caveat:
“ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.
Fixing this issue is challenging, as:
(1) during RL training, there’s currently no source of truth;
(2) training the model to be more cautious causes it to decline questions that it can answer correctly; and
(3) supervised training misleads the model because the ideal answer depends on what the model knows, rather than what the human demonstrator knows.”
Is ChatGPT Free To Use?
The use of ChatGPT is currently free during the “research preview” time.
The chatbot is currently open for users to try out and provide feedback on the responses so that the AI can become better at answering questions and learning from its mistakes.
Will Language Models Replace Google Search?
Google itself has already created an AI chatbot that is called LaMDA. The performance of Google’s chatbot was so close to a human conversation that a Google engineer claimed that LaMDA was sentient.
Given how these large language models can answer so many questions, is it far-fetched that a company like OpenAI, Google, or Microsoft would one day replace traditional search with an AI chatbot?
The scenario that a question-and-answer chatbot may one day replace Google is frightening to those who make a living as search marketing professionals.
It has sparked discussions in online search marketing communities, like the popular Facebook SEOSignals Lab where someone asked if searches might move away from search engines and towards chatbots.
Having tested ChatGPT, I have to agree that the fear of search being replaced with a chatbot is not unfounded.
The technology still has a long way to go, but it’s possible to envision a hybrid search and chatbot future for search.
But the current implementation of ChatGPT seems to be a tool that, at some point, will require the purchase of credits to use.
How Can ChatGPT Be Used?
ChatGPT can be used to write code, poems, songs, and even short stories in the style of a specific author.
The expertise in following directions elevates ChatGPT from an information source to a tool that can be asked to accomplish a task.
ChatGPT can function as a tool for generating outlines for articles or even entire novels.
It will respond to virtually any task that can be answered with written text.
While ChatGPT is an exciting new tool worth exploring, it is still unsure of its long-term implications.