ChatGPT – the great disruptor

ChatGPT has been dominating technology headlines recently due to the impact it is likely to have on so many knowledge based sectors including professional services, education, technical support, customer service and more.

So what is ChatGPT and why is it so powerful?

ChatGPT is essentially a large language model developed by OpenAI, designed to understand natural language and generate human-like responses to an enormous range of questions and prompts. It was developed using cutting-edge AI research, innovative training techniques, massive amounts of computational resources and a huge volume of text data gathered from the internet, books and other sources.

While ChatGPT’s output is largely accurate, it has its detractors who claim it cannot be relied upon as it often includes a number of fundamental mistakes in its responses. The release of GPT-4, the latest iteration, however claims to have a 40% increase in factual accuracy and in fact, delivered a score in the 90th percentile in the law school Bar exams.

Where ChatGPT didn’t do so well was in medium to hard level coding skills which may be surprising as it has been marketed as a tool to assist developers. In the Leetcode platform (a leading tool for enhancing technical skills), it scored well on the easy level but only scored 21/80 and 3/45 respectively at the medium and hard levels. We can hear our developers breathing a sign of relief!

On the creative level, ChatGPT has a long way to go too. It scored well in maths and reading (80th and 90th percentile) but in writing, it only made the 54th percentile. At the Advanced Placement level, it only scored in the 44th percentile for AP English Language and only in the 22nd percentile in AP English Literature. Great news for our content creators, at least for the time being!

Other limitations that have been sited as concerns with ChatGPT are:

  • It can provide biased responses, depending on the data it has been fed
  • It lacks common sense so does not have the ability to understand human concepts that have not been explicitly stated
  • It is not able to reason or think critically
  • It may struggle to understand the emotional context of text or to be emotionally appropriate in responses
  • It may not have sufficient understanding of areas of deep, advanced learning.

There is no doubt however that ChatGPT is likely to become one of the most powerful disruptors of industry and education. From information retrieval, content generation and language translation to automatic text completion, voice-activated devices and even medical diagnosis, the applications for this technology are far-reaching. With improved accuracy and the ability to accept visual as well as text inputs, the impact of ChatGPT is only going to grow, despite the restrictions some governments around the world are now trying to impose on its usage.

Time will tell if it’s now too little too late. As with many AI applications, the potential implications are only explored after the horse has bolted.