No consumer application has grown quite as rapidly as ChatGPT. If you aren’t familiar with ChatGPT, it’s an artificial intelligence chatbot that’s far more advanced than the average customer service chatbot. It was created by OpenAI using natural language processing to imitate a human as best as possible. The outcome is pretty impressive.
The AI chatbot reached 100 million monthly users in the first two months since its launch in November 2022. Even the largest and most profitable apps (Google, Facebook, YouTube) weren’t adopted at such a high rate.
It interacts in a conversational, humanlike way and has the ability to write and debug code, solve math equations, write full essays and articles, answer questions and follow-up questions, give instructions, and much more.
Common Questions About ChatGPT
The app has garnered some strong reactions—excitement, fear, skepticism. Will ChatGPT replace Google? Will ChatGPT replace employees? Can you trick ChatGPT into learning incorrect information? Some aspects of the app remain a little mysterious. Below, we address a few common questions people are asking.
How does it work?
While the exact ins and outs aren’t published, we asked ChatGPT itself where it gets its information. Here’s what it said: “ChatGPT has been trained on a diverse range of internet text to generate human-like responses to questions and prompts. This includes a wide variety of topics, such as news articles, scientific papers, historical documents, and fiction, among others. The model’s training data is sourced from the web, and its training process uses deep learning techniques to learn patterns in the text and generate responses based on that knowledge.”
It’s answer is a bit vague, but we know it’s doing more than just pulling responses from Google. It’s trained on a variety of sources, and it’s also continually learning from interactions with users.
Will ChatGPT replace Google search?
The app is currently intended to interact with people and learn, not serve as a search platform, although it does have similar capabilities. We don’t suspect it will completely replace Google search, at least not any time soon. However, Google will inevitably lose some traffic to ChatGPT as people figure out what it can do.
Think of it this way: Suppose you ask both Google and ChatGPT, “What is lease accounting?” Google will give you a list of sources on where to find that information. You’ll click the source that seems reputable and offers a digestible explanation. ChatGPT will give you one understandable explanation and answer follow-up questions. What ChatGPT doesn’t currently do is provide the most up-to-date information or offer insight from multiple sources, so it’s not a true replacement for Google.
In fact, the real competition against ChatGPT isn’t Google. It seems to be specialty sites and forums, some of which prohibit the use of ChatGPT altogether. These are places where people can get the back-and-forth interaction needed to solve problems and have actual conversations with people who know what they’re talking about.
Can you trick ChatGPT into learning incorrect information?
There’s not a solid answer for this, but if we had to guess, there’s probably not enough momentum to steer it. It would likely require millions of interactions. It’s not like trying to influence one person—it’s more like trying to influence hundreds of thousands of people at a time. ChatGPT gets it’s information from a large variety of sources, so to completely misdirect it would be difficult.
Will ChatGPT replace employees?
Most jobs require some level of human intervention, so it’s not likely to replace jobs. After all, ChatGPT has to have an input.
It does supplement and make some jobs easier. Take microblogging, for instance. Marketers and writers are already using ChatGPT to write or draft blogs and articles that require minimal edits. The job still requires a human to maintain and distribute articles.
ChatGPT also has the potential to make programming and developer jobs easier by writing complete source code. What it can’t do is peer review code. Developers can use the app to augment their work and remove some of the frustration and repetition. But anything ChatGPT produces still requires validation.
In short, it won’t entirely replace employees. It will just help them be more efficient and solve problems quickly.
The Future of ChatGPT
There’s a lot of room to grow with ChatGPT. Right now, we would classify it as a supplement—not a replacement—for your job or organization. Like any new tool, there are lots of possibilities and pitfalls, but it will likely become part of every organization’s technology arsenal in the next couple of decades.
For an even deeper dive into ChatGPT, listen to our podcast episode, ChatGPT: Implications for Business & Beyond, featuring Trenegy’s Technology Lead, Todd Boutte.