If someone asked you if you knew what Artificial Intelligence or AI was, you might think of a sci-fi movie you once saw where robots become more human-like and try to take over the world. Usually, it doesn’t end well for the humans in the film, but as a busy professional in 2023, it could work really well. There are many different AI tools out there currently, but I am talking about the AI known as ChatGPT. In this article, I will give you some basic information on how it works and the pros and cons. You don’t need a software engineering degree to understand or use it, either. If you can text or email someone, you can use ChatGPT.

So what actually is ChatGPT? Basically, it is AI technology that allows you to have a human-like conversation with a chatbot. I know we have all been frustrated when we call a company and get an automated voice asking us to press one for yes and two for no. This is different. ChatGPT searches the web, everywhere, to give you an answer in the form of a friendly human-like chat. This powerful technology is easy to use and can help you with a wide variety of tasks, personal and professional. It can help you plan vacations and parties, write an email or short story, or give feedback on an article you already wrote. Are you looking for a new book? Ask ChatGPT for recommendations. It can also do language translation and help with pronunciation. Anything you would type into a search engine, you can look for in ChatGPT, only your answer comes back in conversation form rather than multiple pages of blue links. ChatGPT does the searching for you.

The first thing you do is create your free account at chat.openai.com. ChatGPT Default 3.5 or Legacy 3.5 are free. The more advanced version, GhatGPT Plus, has a monthly fee. Once you create your account, it will take you to a dashboard where you can start your first chat. After that, you simply ask a question. ChatGPT will keep your conversations in the panel on the left the same way you have different text strands in your phone. You begin a new chat when you want to start a new topic or ask a new question. That being said, your output is only as good as your input. So make sure you ask clear and detailed questions. The more information you give in your question, the better your answer will be.

ChatGPT can help you the most when you know some basic command prompts. Some command prompts are details and facts, suggestions, language translation, comparisons, creative writing, brainstorming, feedback, and role play, and that is just scratching the surface. I found an online tutorial that is easy to follow and perfect for beginners on Youtube that even provides a link for easy sign-up. 

As great as all of this sounds, there is always a downside. First, not all of your information will be correct or current. Anyone who has searched the internet looking for information and spent more time than they wanted clicking blue links understands that. Also, ChatGPT is only current through September 2021, so you won’t get information on any current topic after that timeframe. Another thing it won’t do is give recommendations for medical or health-related issues, which is probably a good thing. So, check your information and regenerate answers until you get the desired outcome. You can also give feedback on each answer which will help drive your information.

The great thing about ChatGPT is it can help with so many things and save you time in the process. If you are up on the latest tech gadgets out there, then you are probably already using it, and it may have even helped a teenager you know, do their homework recently. You just need to double-check your answers and ensure you aren’t plagiarizing. Talking to a robot probably wasn’t something you dreamt of doing, but it is here, and it is the future.