Latest chatbot from Elon Musk-founded OpenAI can identify incorrect premises and refuse to answer inappropriate requests
Professors, programmers and journalists could all be out of a job in just a few years, after the latest chatbot from the Elon Musk-founded OpenAI foundation stunned onlookers with its writing ability, proficiency at complex tasks, and ease of use.
The system, called ChatGPT, is the latest evolution of the GPT family of text-generating AIs. Two years ago, the team’s previous AI, GPT3, was able to generate an opinion piece for the Guardian, and ChatGPT has significant further capabilities.
In the days since it was released, academics have generated responses to exam queries that they say would result in full marks if submitted by an undergraduate, and programmers have used the tool to solve coding challenges in obscure programming languages in a matter of seconds – before writing limericks explaining the functionality.
Dan Gillmor, a journalism professor at Arizona State University, asked the AI to handle one of the assignments he gives his students: writing a letter to a relative giving advice regarding online security and privacy. “If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a website or email, you can do a quick search to see if others have reported it as being a scam,” the AI advised in part.
“I would have given this a good grade,” Gillmor said. “Academia has some very serious issues to confront.”
OpenAI said the new AI was created with a focus on ease of use. “The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests,” OpenAI said in a post announcing the release.
Unlike previous AI from the company, ChatGPT has been released for anyone to use, for free, during a “feedback” period. The company hopes to use this feedback to improve the final version of the tool.