Will ChatGPT revolutionise the chat bot industry?

US AI company OpenAI has the tech world buzzing with its latest natural-language conversational model.

It’s called ChatGPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) and is based on the latest in AI-based language processing. The ultimate aim of any such technology is to allow people to interact with it using the kind of language they would use with other human beings and to provide accurate and useful responses. Judging by some of the initial reactions, ChatGPT may have significantly raised the chat bot bar.

There are already plenty of pieces explaining and analysing the technology behind Chat GPT (this one from the beeb isn’t bad), so we won’t even attempt to get into the weeds in this report. Instead we encourage you to try it out for yourself through the link in the tweet from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman below. You just need to create an account and then can start writing questions and getting responses immediately.

We gave it a go and started by asking “How is Chat GPT different from other chat bots?” Here was the response, delivered in a few seconds: “Chat GPT is different from other chat bots because it uses a natural language processing technique called Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT). This technique allows Chat GPT to generate more natural and human-like conversations than other chat bots. Additionally, Chat GPT is able to learn from conversations and adapt to different contexts, making it more interactive and engaging.

So far so good, but that was a fairly predictable question, so we followed up with “Will ChatGPT replace journalists?” The response was: “No, ChatGPT will not replace journalists. ChatGPT is a natural language processing (NLP) technology that can generate text based on a given prompt. It is not capable of the same level of analysis and research that a journalist can provide.

To put that to the test we made one more request “Write a short article introducing ChatGPT.” This is what we got: “ChatGPT is a new artificial intelligence (AI) technology that enables users to have natural conversations with a virtual assistant. It is powered by a powerful natural language processing (NLP) engine that can understand and respond to user queries in a conversational manner. ChatGPT is designed to be an intuitive and easy-to-use conversational AI platform that can be used for a variety of applications, such as customer service, virtual assistants, and more.

It might not be the most exciting prose but would be a perfectly acceptable paragraph in a report such as this, so it looks like us writers probably do have something to worry about. Perhaps not right now, but it’s not difficult to imagine a future in which a lot of written work, be it journalism, legal work, or even academia can be at least partially automated. This sort of thing already looks like a nightmare for teachers to police.

The main relevance to the telecoms industry, however, would be the ability to further automate customer interactions. Due to the complex, technical nature of communications services, operators get a lot of incoming customer service queries, which are very expensive to manage. Most of them use some kind of chat bot technology to do the initial filtering before escalating to a human being if necessary. The more queries can be adequately handled by bots, the lower the overhead on the operator.

The link above is essentially an invitation to participate in public beta testing of ChatGPT and it has clearly piqued the interest of a lot of people. Not everyone is unconditionally keen on it, however, with the ubiquitous Elon Musk, one of the founders of OpenAI but not currently involved, expressing reservations via his new toy.


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