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ChatGPT: What is ChatGPT?

Artificially Intelligent Software

Chat GPT, created by OpenAI, is just one generative AI tool.  Others are Bing Chat from Microsoft, which uses the same technology as ChatGPT and Google's Bard, which uses Google's own technology. As of late March 2023 ChatGPT is the most well-known so that's the title of this guide.

If you're interested in reading a comparison of all three tools, this is a helpful, recent article:

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that uses natural language processing techniques to respond to user-generated prompts. The "GPT" initials stand for generative pretrained transformer.

Put simply: You ask ChatGPT a question or provide a prompt, it replies using natural language. [1]

Open AI is the creator of ChatGPT. It says, "We’ve trained a model called ChatGPT which interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests. ChatGPT is a sibling model to InstructGPT, which is trained to follow an instruction in a prompt and provide a detailed response." [2]

  • ChatGPT was trained with language data pulled from all across the internet.
  • Misinformation and bias are also replicated by the AI. It may even manufacture information entirely.
  • All information sent to Chat GPT is kept, reviewed, and used for training the AI. It may be sold or shared.[3]
  • It requires a free account, but it is otherwise free to use the research preview.

ChatGPT runs on a trained version of GPT-3 known as GPT-3.5, the most powerful version of this Generative Pre-trained Transformer to date. GPT-3 is a product sold by OpenAI and used in many other applications. [4]  Prior to GPT-3, there was GPT-2 and GPT. GPT-4 is expected to be released soon, perhaps in 2023.

Major tech companies are taking notice of this technology. Google is working on its own AI chatbot, Bard. [5]  Microsoft has invested in Open AI and announced a new search engine using ChatGPT and GPT-3.5. [6]

1. Chatgpt and education: Center for innovative teaching and learning by Northern Illinois University's Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0/ Edited

 2. Open AI. (2022, November 30). ChatGPT: Optimizing language models for dialogue. OpenAI. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from

 3. Open AI. (2022, September 21). Privacy policy. OpenAI. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from

 4. OpenAI. (2022, May 23). GPT-3 powers the next generation of apps. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from

 5. Ghaffary, S. (2023, February 6). Here comes bard, Google's version of chatgpt. Vox. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from public#:~:text=Here%20comes%20Bard%2C%20Google's%20version%20of%20ChatGPT 

 6. Sundar, S; Stewart, A. (2023, February 7). What's under the hood of Microsoft's 'new bing'? openai CEO says it's powered by CHATGPT and GPT-3.5. Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from 

How does ChatGPT describe itself?

In a February 3, 2023  conversation with  a librarian, ChatGPT responded to the following prompts about itself.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a state-of-the-art language generation model developed by OpenAI. It uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like text based on the input it receives. ChatGPT is trained on a massive amount of data and can respond to various types of questions, from answering trivia to providing advice, with impressive coherence and accuracy.

What can ChatGPT do?

As a language model, I can perform a variety of tasks such as answering questions, generating text, summarizing information, translating text, and more. I have been trained on a diverse range of topics and can respond to questions on various subjects such as history, science, arts, and technology, among others. However, it's important to note that I do not have access to the Internet and can only provide information that was present in my training data, which has a cutoff date of 2021.

What can ChatGPT not do?

ChatGPT is a language model and not a sentient AI, so there are several things it can't do:

  1. Make decisions or take actions: ChatGPT cannot make decisions or take actions in the real world. It can only generate text based on the input it receives.

  2. Experience emotions: ChatGPT is not capable of experiencing emotions or empathy. It only generates text based on patterns in the data it was trained on.

  3. Access the Internet: ChatGPT does not have access to the Internet and can only provide information that was present in its training data, which has a cutoff date of 2021.

  4. Guarantee the accuracy of the information provided: Although ChatGPT is trained on a large amount of data, it is not always possible to guarantee the accuracy of the information it provides. It's always a good idea to verify information from multiple sources.

Can I share the text from a ChatGPT conversation?

Yes, you can share the text from this conversation, but please be aware of the following:

  1. Copyright: The text generated by ChatGPT is owned by OpenAI, and you may need to obtain permission from OpenAI to use the text for certain purposes.

  2. Accuracy: While ChatGPT is trained on a large amount of data, it's important to verify the information it provides as it may not always be accurate.

  3. Representation: If you choose to share the text generated by ChatGPT, please make it clear that it was generated by an AI language model and not a human.

  4. Responsibility: You are responsible for the use of the text generated by ChatGPT and any consequences that may result from its use.

Please also note that OpenAI may use the conversations for research and development purposes.

Attribution: ChatGPT, AI, and Implications for Higher Education © 2023 by Evangeline Reid, Jake Bailey, and Aurora University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0