6 exciting ways to use ChatGPT – from coding to poetry

If you’ve flicked through Twitter at any point in the last few weeks – and let’s face it, recent events have meant that’s no longer a given – you’ve likely come across OpenAI’s latest chatbot, ChatGPT (opens in new tab).

This new language-based computer program – known in full as Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer – is raising the bar for artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, it’s become so popular, so quickly, that its parent company has asked users to “hang tight” while it “scales up” the system to accommodate so many newcomers.

So, what’s all the fuss about? Well, per ChatGPT’s own AI-generated description, the software “can be used for a variety of tasks, including language translation, summarization, and chatbot responses.” But that’s being modest, to say the least.

ChatGPT is different from other chatbots because it uses natural language techniques to answer user-generated questions in a genuinely conversational way. Its presentation of information is cohesive – even human-like – where other chatbots read as patently robotic. Despite a few kinks, the system could genuinely prove a game changer for the way we consume information in 2023 – and below, we’ve highlighted six reasons why.

ChatGPT could reinvent the search engine

Let’s kick off with the big gun. ChatGPT’s ability to quickly and succinctly answer questions has led many – including us, in this very article – to suggest that it could eventually replace traditional search engines like Google and Bing.

Where Google responds to queries with pages (and pages) of blue links ranked by search engine optimization (SEO), ChatGPT’s AI collates information from thousands of sources to provide direct answers in a conversational manner. Take a look at the examples in the tweet thread below to see the software in action:

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ChatGPT has proven capable of answering more than just fact-based queries, too. Need some advice on how to deal with a breakup? Or last-minute Christmas gift ideas for those hard-to-buy-for-in-laws? Say no more: ChatGPT can help.

The software does, however, have drawbacks in its current beta form that mean it won’t replace Google et al. just enough. For instance, its library of sources isn’t updated in real time – at present, ChatGPT’s answers are based on information correct as of 2021.

Another red flag is the software’s lack of source disclosure. ChatGPT doesn’t tell users where it gets its answers from (primarily because they’re generated from thousands of sources), which makes the information it imparts hard to verify.

Both limitations, though, could conceivably be rectified in a full-scale, audience-tested version of the software – which may well have Google quaking in its boots.

ChatGPT can write computer code

Another benefit of ChatGPT is its ability to both write complex computer code (to a user’s specifications) and find mistakes in existing code.

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Business analyst Sun Kim’s Medium tutorial article (opens in new tab) is a good place to start if you’re looking to try out ChatGPT’s code-generating skills for yourself.

ChatGPT can draft business letters and contracts

Legal departments, look away now. If you enter the terms of an agreement between two parties, ChatGPT is capable of drawing up a watertight contract, regardless of subject matter.

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Disclaimer: we’re not suggesting you turn to AI for all your contract-writing needs just yet – but there’s no reason to doubt that the software could smoothen lengthy administrative processes in the near future.

ChatGPT can create and adapt fiction

This one is pretty mind-blowing. Using those aforementioned language skills, ChatGPT can create, adapt and analyze all types of fiction. For instance, TechRadar’s US Editor in Chief, Lance Ulanoffrecently asked the chatbot to write a Christmas story based on a few narrative specifications, and the result was pretty darn impressive.

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Even more impressive, though, is the example below, which shows ChatGPT responding to the following query: “Write a biblical verse in the style of the King James bible explaining how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR.”

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Simply incredible stuff.

ChatGPT can compose college-level essays

Here’s one for the kids. ChatGPT has proven capable of producing academic essays to a passable standard. Admittedly, the software’s multi-source method of gathering information leaves little room for nuance or opinion, and risks the occasional factual inaccuracy (in its current state, at least) – but if you’re looking to take it easy next semester…

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ChatGPT can get you out of a bind

Have you ever found yourself needing to craft a polite email to call in sick, reject an advance or answer an exceedingly awkward question? ChatGPT can help you navigate these situations with competence. Check out the below tweet – from Lance again – to see these people skills in action:

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