ChatGPT stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer and it’s the “it” thing in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) world. One month after its launch, the platform already had over one million users. I heard of the computer model a few weeks ago, and now, not a day goes by where I don’t hear someone talking about the transformative technology. ChatGPT is a language generation model (or what some compare to a chatbot) developed by OpenAI that launched in November 2022. ChatGPT is an extremely sophisticated large language model (LLM) or machine-learning system that autonomously learns from data and can generate human-like text in a conversational form.
A chatbot is limited in its usefulness because it is an unintelligent system that regurgitates pre-entered data from a rules based system. ChatGPT, however, is powered by machine learning algorithms and can handle open-ended, unstructured conversations by digesting massive amounts of data on the web and returning that data to the user in a conversation format. Additionally, ChatGPT can build knowledge, by drawing connections from prior questions to tailor better answers, or seemingly understand the user’s purpose through exchange.
Since its recent launch, ChatGPT has already been utilized in innovative and transformative ways. ChatGPT has generated original creative writing such as poetry, drafted research papers for college students, completed code, won trivia challenges, and translated writing between languages…in seconds!
In a practical sense, ChatGPT will likely be utilized in customer service inquiries, possibly reducing wait times, leveraging humans to handle complex tasks (by giving the easy tasks to computers), and possibly cutting down on corporate employee expenses. ChatGPT and similar technologies may also be utilized in virtual assistant tools like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and other smart devices. The computer model may also become a tool to draft the foundational writing of research papers, articles, and even email correspondence.
The current limitations of ChatGPT are notable. For one, the model is unable to filter out incorrect information on the web that might provide a user with erroneous information. Additionally, while a large amount of data is gathered very quickly, it is just that – aggregated data. Therefore, the data must be organized into a logical flow and edited by a human before finalization for use (sorry college students). In some respects, ChatGPT might be like a chatbot with the world wide web as its input system. As the saying goes, “bad input equals bad output.”
Some have said that ChatGPT could be the end of Google Chrome’s dominance as a search engine. Microsoft has reportedly invested $10 billion dollars into the cloud-computing support system for ChatGPT. Microsoft has also announced the launch of a new version of its search engine Bing, which will incorporate OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, in hopes of reviving the unpopular web browser. Like any good epic battle, Google announced the launch of Bard in early February – an artificial intelligence tool to counter Microsoft’s ChatGPT. Bard will be available to a test group initially, with a larger public launch later in 2023. A key difference is Bard draws on information from the internet, while ChatGPT has access to data only through 2021.
Big picture, ChatGPT and similar technology have the potential to affect a wide range of industries and applications in the U.S. economy. These models can automate human labor tasks such as customer service, data entry and even content creation. Consequently, this may create end-user efficiency, save companies money, and possibly eliminate jobs for humans. At the same time, it can be argued that this type of technology can create new jobs in artificial intelligence, and developers and engineers will be needed to continually improve the intelligence in these models. ChatGPT technology might also lead to the creation of more virtual assistant technology as we utilize AI to create a weekly dinner menu, organize the needed ingredients into a grocery-shopping list, and then send the grocery list to a food delivery service, for example. The opportunities for innovation and economic growth may be plentiful. Fortunately, ChatGPT is already creating competition in many industries as companies look to integrate the new technology into improved operations to gain a competitive edge. It is an exciting new landscape, full of possibilities, in the AI world. Reach out to your Certified Financial Planner™ or your CPA to inquire about how new developments such as these can be incorporated into your long-term investment portfolio in a safe and responsible manner. Let’s get in on the ground floor.