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What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT has been hard to avoid in 2023. It seems this thing is everywhere, but what is it and should you be using it?

Resource written by lauralikespi (our founder)

A blurred picture of the ChatGPT suggestions page

ChatGPT is essentially a chatbot designed by the company OpenAI using their Large Language Models (What is LLM?) algorithms, called GPT (which stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, but this isn't important).


ChatGPT is one of the most advanced chatbots as the AI it uses to respond has used extremely large datasets made up of data available on the internet. Chatbots are not necessarily a new technology (they date back to the 1960s, personally I remember using a question and answer bot on my MSN messenger as a teenager). Siri and Alexa are technically considered to be virtual assistant, but also use chatbot technology (along voice rather than text). What is different about ChatGPT (and the other chatbots based on LLMs, such as Bard and Claude) is how much computing power has increased in recent years - this allows a few important things to happen:

  1. the size of the dataset they were trained on to be enormous compared to previously

  2. their ability to remember the conversation and reply according, called the context window (compare this to Siri and Alexa who just give replies to your most recent interaction)

  3. a new way of interacting with these chatbots has been used called prompt engineering which allows more human like interactions


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