ChatGPT, the all-purpose AI, has been unleashing passions since its public release last November. We explain the limits and possibilities of this conversational agent, a major innovation of the year 2022.
Opened to the public on November 30th, the ChatGPT conversational agent impresses as much as it worries. According to industry experts, the language model used by the artificial intelligence, GPT-3, is a real technological revolution and opens the way to an infinite field of possibilities. Today we explain the basics of this little digital being that could be the innovation of the year.
If you want to try, just head to this link: https://chat.openai.com/chat
What exactly is ChatGPT?
The easiest way to answer the question is to ask it to the system itself.
“I am a computer language model designed by OpenAI. My goal is to be able to answer questions and provide help to users using my machine learning and natural language knowledge. I try to provide accurate and useful answers to users. I am a natural language processing tool and I don’t have any personal opinions or preferences”, ChatGPT replies.
The principle is simple, the user asks a question and the conversational intelligence tries to answer it with its acquired knowledge. A more or less detailed answer is generated, in a language almost identical to that of a human. This is the strength of this new service: to be able to formulate an answer in the same way as someone close to you would.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, refers to the ability of a machine or computer system to perform tasks that normally require human-like intelligence, such as understanding language, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. There are many different types of AI, including narrow or weak AI, which is designed to perform a specific task, and general or strong AI, which has the ability to perform any intellectual task that a human can.
AI systems are trained using large datasets and algorithms that enable them to learn and improve over time. For example, a machine learning algorithm might be trained to recognize patterns in data and make predictions or decisions based on that data.
One of the main goals of AI research is to create systems that can perform tasks that would be difficult or impossible for humans to do, such as analyzing vast amounts of data or making complex decisions in real-time. AI has the potential to revolutionize many industries and make our lives easier by automating tasks and improving efficiency. However, it also raises ethical and societal questions, such as how AI might impact employment and how it should be regulated.
What can AI do in concrete terms?
ChatGPT just answers the user’s questions and problems. And this is already huge. All the small tasks of everyday life can be submitted to the AI. A complex mathematical operation, a simple logic problem, a history lesson… Students and other schoolchildren will not fail to use the services of the chat while doing their homework.
But the most impressive features are the custom text generation. ChatGPT can create a fictional story from scratch, develop a simple script for a video, translate text, or write articles on specific topics.
In everyday life, conversational intelligence can create a specific diet, a dedicated sports training or diagnose certain diseases based on symptoms. These possibilities cannot replace a consultation with a professional, the AI reminds us several times.
In terms of new technologies, the arrival of this bot could well be a game changer. ChatGPT is able to develop, in complete autonomy, pieces of code in a wide range of programming languages. The AI can also analyze scripts to detect bugs or vulnerabilities.
How does the system work?
ChatGPT is based on the GPT-3 language model. The AI has been trained in the basics of several languages using deep learning. A massive textual corpus was subjected to algorithms to develop a common sense of language.
AI trainers also “provided conversations in which they played both roles, a user and an AI assistant,” OpenAI explains. He elaborates, “We randomly selected a message written by the model, sampled several alternative responses, and asked the AI trainers to rank them. Using these reward patterns, we can refine the model using proximal policy optimization.”
As for pure knowledge, ChatGPT relies on a database of texts present on the Web in 2021. A definite limitation that sometimes prevents the robot from answering certain questions correctly. A part of the Wikipedia database is thus indexed in the memory of this digital titan.
Who is behind ChatGPT?
Behind ChatGPT is, again and again, the fantastic billionaire Elon Musk. Founded as a nonprofit in 2015 by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, OpenAI specializes in the development of artificial intelligence of all kinds. The organization is also behind the bluffing image-generating AI Dall-E.
OpenAI’s stated goal is to “ensure that general artificial intelligence (GAI)-by which we mean highly autonomous systems that outperform humans in most economically valuable work-benefits all of humanity.”
What are the dangers of this technology?
Although ChatGPT is, for the time being, more beneficial than dangerous for humans, several major problems may arise. The main weakness of AI lies in its limited knowledge. Since learning ended in 2021, the AI’s knowledge is skewed. Answers that require knowledge beyond that year should be treated with caution. In some cases, ChatGPT will not hesitate to lie, and will give a completely wrong answer.
For example, when the agent is asked about the name of the current Twitter boss, he answers “Jack Dorsey” without flinching. However, the latter is no longer in charge of the social network since November 29, 2021. The indexing of ChatGPT seems not to have taken into account the event. Only a connection of the bot to the Internet could, apparently, solve this shortcoming.
Another problem: by allowing code generation, AI is able to develop complex programs, which used to take a programmer several hours to think about. ChatGPT therefore seems to be able to produce malware in a matter of seconds. Similarly, the AI can detect a vulnerability by simply submitting a source code. This saves a lot of time for potential hackers.
However, if used properly, this technology could accelerate the security of complex computer systems.
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