ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI that provides conversational responses to text prompts. It can answer questions, summarize articles, and provide creative prompts. While the chatbot can formulate humanlike responses, its algorithm is not error-proof and may produce inaccurate statements.

The ChatGPT language model analyzes large data sets across thousands of topics. Examples of input include news articles, fiction and non-fiction books, social media posts, chat logs, and text from various websites. The model uses machine learning to process the data and find patterns and relationships between words. Once it identifies patterns, it uses that data to create inferences and generate new text — similar to how a mobile device's autocomplete feature suggests words as you type. After some fine-tuning by its developers, the model is able to generate long, natural-language responses to text prompts.

Even though ChatGPT is more capable than older chatbots, it has its limitations. Any flaws in its data set, such as biased language or perspectives, can carry over into its responses. It also lacks the intuition, emotion, and contextual awareness of interpersonal conversation. Therefore, ChatGPT may not provide relevant or natural-sounding output in some instances.

NOTE: A chat bot like ChatGPT can "hallucinate" content — generating text that looks convincing on the surface but, upon closer inspection, is factually incorrect or contextually irrelevant. Because ChatGPT aggregates information and does not provide references for its sources, it may be difficult to determine how much of its output is factually sound.

Updated February 21, 2023 by Brian P.
Reviewed by Per C.

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