What’s all this about ChatGPT?
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ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022. (via Wikipedia).
Basically, it’s all the rage lately and I’ve done extensive testing on it to determine (1) its usefulness and (2) its pitfalls. And no, I didn’t use it to come up with the text of this post. This is really just a very quick, very broad overview and introduction to what this is and how it’s being used.
First, I’ll give you the Tl;Dr (that’s Too Long, Didn’t Read) version, then I’ll follow that up with links to 2 really helpful (and longer) articles that really get down to brass tacks with it.
How it can be helpful:
- It can be a useful tool if you’re stuck on something like trying to come up with a topic for a blog post, or even a title. Take its output as suggestions and rewrite to make it your own.
- You can actually sort-of use it as a search engine if you can’t immediately find what you need on Google. The caveat, make sure to fact check what you find.
- It can extract data from text in input into it (example: copy+paste your text and specifically ask it to extract the data you want). It can also categorize data and create tables of data.
- Use it as a brainstorming tool – put in questions around what you’re trying to brainstorm and see what it comes up with.
- Create summaries of more lengthy texts.
- Use it to help you compose emails.
- Use it to create outlines or talking points.
If you want to give it a whirl for things like the above, you can sign up for an account at: https://chat.openai.com/ I think it’s definitely worth experimenting with. I just wouldn’t recommend relying on it without heavy fact checking or using it to generate all of your website content.
What are the pitfalls?
There’s always a catch, isn’t there?
The “Artificial Intelligence” thing, at this point, is a bit of a stretch. There is a lot of programming involved, but in the truest sense of the word, this isn’t a “thinking” type thing. What it does, is scrape the web to generate answers.
Scraping the web for answers means there is absolutely a possibility that some of the text it spits out for you is plagiarized from other sources (and there are already existing cases and examples of this).
The AI does no fact-checking. I’ve gotten flat out wrong information when playing around with it. If someone were to just take what it spits out at face value and it’s wrong info, it’s you, not ChatGPT that’s going to not look like you know what you’re talking about.
It can spit out the same answers over and over for questions input into it. Meaning, other people could be asking the same questions and getting the same answers. Besides being unoriginal content, do you really want questionably sourced, possibly plagiarized, duplicate content on your website? That answer should be a big, fat NO.
Read on …
Here are 2 great articles (one posted by a PR consultant and copy writer I know and one by the lawyer who was consulted for the first article) that go into more depth about the topic.
If you’ve got 15 minutes to spare, I highly recommend taking the time to read them so you can be aware of what’s going on with all this AI stuff.
“The Realities of Using ChatGPT to Write for You – What to Consider When It Comes to Legalities, Reputation, Search and Originality”
“ChatGPT: What’s in the Fine Print”
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