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ChatGPT is More than a Machine


ChatGPT is a big topic in the tech world. There is a big shift with generative AI, and 2023 is expected to be remembered as the birth of a new era. 

Here is a little background on generative AI for those unfamiliar with the term. Generative AI is a type of AI that creates new and original content with machine learning techniques. As with everything that is new, there are many questions that surround it. But probably the main concern people have with it right now is if AI platforms like ChatGPT are soulless machines not yet ready for prime time or if people are correctly using it.  

West McDonald, founder/chief noise maker, West McDonald Co./Tigerpaw Software, provided more insight on the questions that surround ChatGPT during a session at ITEXPO 2023 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. 

McDonald asked who used ChatGPT in the past, and about 60% of the room said they have used it. To give more insight on the numbers with ChatGPT worldwide, the user count reached over 100 million in what seems like a few months. This number continues to rise, too. 

“To put that into perspective, it took Facebook five years to reach that mark,” said McDonald.  

In 2023, it is important to know the engine, especially when it gained popularity, for better or worse, in a short amount of time. McDonald used humans as a comparison. Humans, for example, are probabilistic. McDonald says that ChaGPT works the same way except through prompting. A good analogy of it is that ChatGPT and similar technologies are like electric bikes for the mind. The pedaling is the prompts. 

McDonald interacted with an audience member as an example of prompting. He learned the individual’s name and favorite hobby by asking questions, like what ChatGPT can do. 

ChatGPT also needs to be used responsibly and ethically. This prompted McDonald to dive into a use case – education.  

It should be known that AI is a slippery slope to bring into education. Students need to be taught how to responsibly use AI tools. If not, they are at risk of being outperformed by those that do. 

“And same goes for companies,” said McDonald. “If they do not use AI tools responsibly, they are at risk of damaging their brand, ultimately falling behind competitors.” 

AI tools are there to help people generate information in a short amount of time as well as create content. So yes, it is ready for prime time. 

However, AI tools need to be used ethically, no matter if used in schools, businesses or healthcare. To do this, strict guidelines need to be implemented to ensure how it is used within the organization or classroom.  

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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