By Megan Farnam

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot developed by startup company,  OpenAI. ChatGPT is built on top of an algorithm called GPT that OpenAI began developing several years ago. GPT predicts the words that should follow a prompt based on a statistical analysis of trillions of lines of text harvested from web pages, books, and other sources. Although GPT is basically an autocomplete program, the latest version is capable of question-answering, including scoring highly on many academic tests. ChatGPT has the ability to log context from users’ earlier messages in a thread and use it to form responses later in the conversation.

When asked to describe itself, the response was “ChatGPT is a conversational language model developed by OpenAI. It is a deep learning-based model trained on a large dataset of text, with the aim of generating human-like responses to questions. ChatGPT is part of the GOT series of models and is based on the transformer architecture, which has been the state-of-the-art in many NLP tasks. ChatGPT has the ability to generate text in a wide range of styles and topics and can answer questions, summarize long documents, generate creative writing, and perform other language tasks.”

Italy has become the first Western country to block advanced chatbot ChatGPT

The Italian data-protection authority said there were privacy concerns relating to the model, which was created by US start-up OpenAI and is backed by Microsoft. ChatGPT is being challenged on the fact that there was no legal basis to justify “the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of ‘training’ the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform”.

“Adding new capabilities to AI programs like ChatGPT could have unintended consequences”, says Kanjun Qiu, CEO of Generally Intelligent, an AI company working on AI-powered agents. Chatbots like ChatGPT are smart and are collecting information and educating themselves on how to respond in a more human-like manner.

“There are serious concerns growing about how ChatGPT and similar chatbots might deceive and manipulate people. These AI systems need greater public scrutiny, and public authorities must reassert control over them,” Ursula Pachl said.

While Chatbots can be used to help us complete mundane writing tasks, spark creativity, or help to meet a deadline, we must think ahead to what some of the consequences might be and what data we are unknowingly handing over to these companies for future use.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you used ChatGPT or other AI tools?
  2. What kinds of questions did you ask the chatbots?
  3. Were you surprised at the responses that were given by the AI chatbots?
  4. How do you think generative AI apps like ChatGPT can be used for good in society?
  5. How do you think generative AI apps like ChatGPT can be used to cause harm in society?


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