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What Is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a language model (or chatbot) designed to hold human-like conversations with the user. It was developed by a company called OpenAI and released on November 30, 2022.

The AI apocalypse is upon us. Ruuuuuuuun!!!

Just kidding; artificial intelligence is (mostly) a good thing. We promise.

But if that’s hard for you to believe, we get it. We’ve all heard about the dangers of artificial intelligence since we were babies in the womb. Or, at least, it feels that way.

But now that AI is here and making a daily impact on the modern world, is it really that scary? Or is there something to be gained by this new and exciting technology?

What Is ChatGPT and Why Should I Care?

For starters, artificial intelligence is not actually all that new. According to Harvard University, the first AI program was presented to the world in 1956.

At this point, computers went from being able to execute commands to being able to execute and store them. In other words, computers could remember what they had been told to do. Over the following decades, computers were able to store more and more information—which increased their capabilities (and usefulness.)

Although there were an equal number of successes and setbacks over the decades, we’ve eventually made it here: to the 2022 release of a fine-tuned version of ChatGPT 3.

So, why should you care?

Well, whether we like it or not, ChatGPT is here and it’s making a big impact on the world. It’s a natural language processing tool that acts like an assistant and allows you to have seemingly human conversations with its chatbot. You can ask it questions, give it prompts, or assign tasks to it. And it will provide responses that are dependent on the information you’ve provided.

According to Elon Musk, this tool is “scary good.” But what exactly does that mean for you?

Well, in terms of the big picture, there’s a lot to know. To begin with, it’s the fastest-growing app of all time. It was released in November 2022 and by the following January, it had 100 million active users. (That means it exploded even faster than TikTok.)

In other words, it’s officially gone mainstream. And people all over the world have begun to use the tool to make their daily tasks easier.

Some examples of the tasks that people are using ChatGPT to complete include:

  • Writing resumes and cover letters
  • Designing worksheets for classrooms
  • Writing code snippets
  • Simplifying complex subjects
  • Solving math problems

For now, it’s best to think of ChatGPT as a tool that can get simple tasks done very quickly. Odds are, you’ll have to do at least some editing and rewriting to polish whatever to-do item you’ve given to the app. But once you’ve learned how to use it, you’ll find that it has the potential to save you quite a bit of time.

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that acts like an assistant and allows you to have seemingly human conversations with its chatbot.

Is ChatGPT Safe to Use?

One of the bigger concerns people have regarding ChatGPT is whether the app is safe and secure enough to use. Thankfully, the app seems to be perfectly safe…at least in a general sense. You can ask it to create content, translate texts, write codes, etc. without any cause for concern.

That said, there are some best practices for online safety that are always a good idea to follow, especially when you’re using an app that is new to the scene:

  1. Refrain from using any personal identifying information when interacting with the app, including names, phone numbers, addresses, SSNs, etc.
  2. Avoid sharing sensitive information with the app that you would not want to be exposed in the event of a security breach.
  3. Stay up to date with the latest developments regarding AI, ChatGPT, and machine learning.
  4. Regularly clear your browser history and cookies.
  5. Use privacy-focused browser extensions to enhance your privacy and block trackers.

As with all internet-based tools, it’s best to tread cautiously when you are interacting with the technology if you want to protect your privacy.

How Should I Get Started with ChatGPT?

Right now, the success of your experience with ChatGPT depends entirely on you: the user. Some day, it may be “smart” enough to tackle your tasks without much engagement and provide super polished and natural-sounding responses no matter what you ask it to do. But the technology is not quite there yet.

That’s not to say that you can’t get good responses from the app today. Odds are, there’s something AI could be doing for you right now to make your daily life easier. You just have to discover what that task is and how to best prompt the app to give you what you need.

How do you do that?

You practice. Like anything, using ChatGPT is a skill you can develop over time. Eventually, you’ll discover how to be more clear and descriptive with your prompts to garner the best results.

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