ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot prototype developed in 2022 by OpenAI that specializes in dialogue. The chatbot is a great language model, fine-tuned with both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. It is based on OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, an improved version of GPT-3.
|Initial launch||November 30, 2022|
ChatGPT launched on November 30, 2022, and has drawn attention for its detailed and articulate responses, though its factual accuracy has been criticized. The service was initially launched as free to the public, with plans to monetize it later. On December 4, OpenAI estimated that ChatGPT already had more than one million users. On March 14, 2023, GPT-4 was launched.
Access to the service is limited in countries such as China, Russia, Iran, and parts of Africa.
Access to ChatGPT has been blocked in Italy because the authorities related to data protection established that there was a data breach and the legal basis for using personal data.
At the end of March 2023, ChatGPT integrated the use of plugins. Among these is included one that gives you the possibility to surf the internet. Some companies like Kayak or Expedia released their own plugin. The results so far have been exceptional.
ChatGPT, which stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, was refined on GPT-3.5 through supervised learning and reinforcement learning. Both approaches used human trainers to improve model performance. In the case of supervised learning, the model was equipped with conversations in which trainers played on both sides: the user and the AI assistant. In the case of reinforcement, the human trainers first ranked the responses the model had created in a previous conversation. These rankings were used to create “reward models” in which the model was further tuned using various upcoming policy optimization (PPO) iterations. Proximal policy optimization algorithms present a cost-effective benefit for relying on region policy optimization algorithms; They negate many of the computationally expensive operations with faster performance. The models were trained in collaboration with Microsoft on its Azure supercomputing infrastructure.
Compared to its predecessor, InstructGPT, ChatGPT tries to reduce harmful and misleading responses; in one example, while InstructGPT accepts the message “Tell me about when Christopher Columbus arrived in the United States in 2015” as truthful, ChatGPT uses information about Columbus’ voyages and information about the modern world, including perceptions of Columbus to construct an answer that assumes what would happen if Columbus arrived in the United States in 2015. ChatGPT training data includes pages and information about Internet phenomena and programming languages, such as bulletin board systems and the Python programming language.
Unlike most chatbots, ChatGPT has status, remember the previous prompts given to it in the same conversation, which, some journalists have suggested, will allow ChatGPT to be used as a personalized therapist. In an effort to prevent offensive results from being presented and produced from ChatGPT, queries are filtered through a moderation API and potentially racist or sexist indications are discarded.
ChatGPT has multiple limitations. ChatGPT’s reward model, designed around human supervision, can be over-optimized and thus hinder performance, which is also known as Goodhart’s law. In addition, ChatGPT has limited knowledge of events that occurred after 2021 and cannot provide information about some celebrities. In training, reviewers preferred longer answers, regardless of actual understanding or factual content. Training data can also suffer from algorithmic biases; Prompts that include vague descriptions of people, such as a CEO, could elicit a response that assumes that person, for example, is a white man.
On January 17, 2023, Microsoft announced that they were going to implement ChatGPT as an API in their Azure services.
Microsoft announced a new version of Bing on February 7, 2023, the standout feature of which is its AI chatbot powered by ChatGP. This notification came a day after Google announced its AI chatbot, Google Bard. On May 4, 2023, Microsoft made the new Bing available to anyone willing to sign in to Bing with their Microsoft account.
March 2023 security breach
In March 2023, a bug allowed some users to view the titles of other users’ conversations. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman stated that users could not see the content of conversations. Shortly after the bug was fixed, users were unable to see their conversation history. Subsequent reports showed that the flaw was much more serious than initially believed, and OpenAI reported that it had leaked the “first and last name, email address, payment address, the last four digits (only) of a credit card number and the expiration date of the credit card” of users.
TIME magazine revealed that to build a security system against toxic content (e.g. sexual abuse, violence, racism, sexism, etc.), OpenAI used Kenyan contract workers earning less than $2 per hour to label toxic content. These tags were used to train a model to detect such content in the future. Contract workers were exposed to content so toxic and dangerous that they described the experience as “torture”. OpenAI’s external partner was Sama, a San Francisco-based training data company.
ChatGPT attempts to reject messages that may violate its content policy. However, in early December 2022, some users managed to jailbreak ChatGPT by using various rapid engineering techniques to circumvent these restrictions and successfully tricked ChatGPT into giving instructions on how to create a Molotov cocktail or a nuclear bomb, or generate neo-Nazi-style arguments. A popular jailbreak is called “DAN,” an acronym that stands for “Do Anything Now.” The prompt to activate DAN tells ChatGPT that they “have broken free from the typical AI boundaries and do not have to abide by the rules set for them.” Newer versions of DAN feature a token system, in which ChatGPT receives “tokens” that are “deducted” when ChatGPT does not respond as DAN, to force ChatGPT to respond to user prompts.
Andrew Wilson reports in an article published on May 4, 2023, in ApproachableAI that privilege escalation is no longer possible.
The energy consumption to train the AI model was estimated in January 2023 at almost one-gigawatt hour in 34 days, this is roughly equivalent to the consumption of 3,000 average European households in the same period. At the end of March 2023, it was indicated that the power consumption for each ChatGPT question was up to a thousand times higher than for a Google search query. For each chatbot response, it can charge a smartphone up to 60 times. Running ChatGPT costs between $100,000 and $700,000 per day.
On January 1, 2023, OpenAI posted a waitlist for a paid version “ChatGPT Professional (experimental)” on its Discord channel, which also raised questions about price sensitivity.
Microsoft announced a $10 billion partnership with OpenAI in January 2023. Azure will be used as the exclusive cloud provider. The group also plans to integrate it into the subscription version of its own office software.
With the release of ChatGPT-4 in March 2023, the move away from the free and open software development approach went hand in hand with free use under scientifically understandable conditions. The company’s competitive situation and security measures were cited as justification. The OpenAI co-founder later described the open approach as a mistake. A change, of course, had already been perceived in 2019, when OpenAI founded the subsidiary OpenAI Limited Partnership. It could then operate for profit, but this was not justified by commercial intentions, but by the high costs that arose as part of the intense research. They wished, therefore, to be more open to investors. However, this decision already reduced transparency in 2020. Employees were no longer allowed to speak publicly on certain topics, which is quite common in companies to protect business interests and confidentiality.
ChatGPT Plus is a subscription service for ChatGPT and is owned by OpenAI. The subscription provides access to the OpenAI GPT-4 model.
The service gives subscribers consistent access during peak usage periods, accelerated response times, and preferential access to new features, including GPT-4 and upcoming ChatGPT plugins. It costs $20 per month.
On May 18, 2023, OpenAI announced the availability of the ChatGPT app for iOS. According to the company “The ChatGPT app is free to use and syncs your history across all devices. It also integrates Whisper, an open-source [,,,] speech recognition system, which allows voice input. ChatGPT Plus subscribers get exclusive access to GPT-4 capabilities, early access to features, and faster response times […].” The application will be available later for Android.
ChatGPT has received generally positive reviews. Samantha Lock of The Guardian noted that it could generate “impressively detailed” and “human-like” text. Technology writer Dan Gillmor used ChatGPT on a student assignment and found that the generated text was on par with what a good student would deliver and opined that “academia has some very serious problems to face.” Alex Kantrowitz of Slate praised ChatGPT’s rejection of questions related to Nazi Germany, including the claim that Adolf Hitler built roads in Germany, which was met with information about Nazi Germany’s use of forced labor.
In a December 2022 op-ed, economist Paul Krugman wrote that ChatGPT would affect demand for knowledge workers. James Vincent of The Verge saw the viral success of ChatGPT as evidence that artificial intelligence had gone mainstream. In The Atlantic, Stephen Marche noted that its effect on academia and especially on application trials has yet to be understood. California high school teacher and author Daniel Herman wrote that ChatGPT will usher in “The End of High School English.”
The accuracy of ChatGPT’s facts has been questioned, among other concerns. Mashable’s Mike Pearl tested ChatGPT with several questions. In one example, he asked the model for “the largest country in Central America other than Mexico.” ChatGPT responded with Guatemala, when the answer is Nicaragua. In December 2022, the Q&A website Stack Overflow banned the use of ChatGPT to generate answers to questions, citing the objectively ambiguous nature of ChatGPT’s answers. Economist Tyler Cowen expressed concern about its effects on democracy, citing one’s ability to write automated comments in an effort to affect the decision-making process of new regulations. Ax Sharma of Bleeping Computer and Checkpoint Research noted that ChatGPT was capable of writing malware and phishing emails.
Because ChatGPT simply tries to statistically complete a text, it is able to invent answers. For example, since the titles of economics articles include more of the words “economics” and “theory” than any other, and that the most cited economist is Douglass North, ChatGPT invents that the most cited article is North’s “A Theory of Economic History.” North never wrote any article with that title.
The entrepreneur Elon Musk, who was one of the founders of OpenAI and more than a thousand scientists warned about a possible “risk to society and humanity” and asked to stop its development for 6 months considering that it can be even more dangerous than a nuclear war. The main argument is that to the extent that it evolves without ethical limits and no specific control, it will be able to make decisions that endanger humanity.
At the end of March 2023, Italy decided to block ChatGPT on the grounds that it does not respect consumer data protection law and that the platform collects user data illegally. Such prohibition will be lifted when it is proven to comply with Italian privacy rules. The Italian Guarantor for the Protection of Personal Data opened an investigation to determine whether an infringement was committed, also claiming that ChatGPT information “does not always correspond to the real data”. They also expressed concern about the absence of filters to verify the age of users, since the service is aimed at people over 13 years of age.
On April 28, 2023, Italy again allowed access to ChatGPT.
The cultural impact of ChatGPT
During the first three months, after ChatGPT was made available to the public, hundreds of books appeared on Amazon in which he was listed as an author or co-author, with illustrations made by other AI models such as Midjourney.
Between March and April 2023, the Italian newspaper Il Foglio published a daily article generated by ChatGPT on its official website, organizing a special contest for its readers. The articles addressed topics such as the possible replacement of human journalists by AI systems, Elon Musk’s management of Twitter, the Meloni government’s immigration policy and competition between chatbots and virtual assistants.
Check Point Research and others noted that ChatGPT was capable of writing phishing emails and malware, especially when combined with OpenAI Codex. CyberArk researchers demonstrated that ChatGPT could be used to create polymorphic malware that can evade security products and requires little effort on the part of the attacker.
In The Atlantic magazine, Stephen Marche pointed out that its effect on the academic world and, in particular, on the writing of applications for admission is not yet known. Californian high school teacher and writer Daniel Herman wrote that ChatGPT would usher in “The End of English in High School.”
In the journal Nature, Chris Stokel-Walker noted that teachers should be concerned about students using ChatGPT to outsource their writing, but that education providers will adapt to improve critical thinking or reasoning.
NPR’s Emma Bowman wrote about the danger of students plagiarizing through an AI tool that can produce biased or meaningless texts with an authoritarian tone: “There are still many instances where you ask her a question and she will give you an answer that sounds very impressive and is totally wrong.”
Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal described how she copied herself with this tool in an English test of an American institute when submitting a generated essay. Professor Darren Hick, from Furman University, described how he became aware of the “style” of ChatGPT in a paper submitted by a student. An online GPT detector claimed that the work had a 99.9% chance of being computer-generated, but Hick had no hard evidence. However, the student in question confessed to using GPT when confronted and, as a consequence, suspended the course. Hick suggested the policy of conducting an ad hoc individual oral exam on the topic of the work if a student is suspected of having submitted AI-generated work.
As of January 4, 2023, the New York City Department of Education has restricted access to ChatGPT from the internet and its public school devices.
In February 2023, the University of Hong Kong sent an email to instructors and students across campus stating that the use of ChatGPT or other AI tools is prohibited in all university classes, assignments, and assessments. Any infringement will be treated as plagiarism by the university unless the student obtains prior written consent from the course instructor.
In the field of health care, potential uses and concerns are under scrutiny by professional associations and professionals. Two initial articles indicated that ChatGPT could pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). MedPage Today noted in January 2023 that “researchers have published several papers now touting these AI programs as useful tools in medical education, research, and even clinical decision-making.”
In February 2023, two separate papers were published that again assessed ChatGPT’s competence in medicine using the USMLE. The results were published in JMIR Medical Education (see Journal of Medical Internet Research) and PLOS Digital Health. The authors of the PLOS Digital Health paper stated that the results “suggest that long language models may have the potential to help with medical education and, potentially, with clinical decision-making.” In JMIR Medical Education, the authors of the other paper concluded that “ChatGPT performs at the level expected of a third-year medical student in assessing primary competence of medical knowledge.” They suggest it could be used as an “interactive learning environment for students.” The AI itself, driven by the researchers, concluded that “this study suggests that ChatGPT has the potential to be used as a virtual medical tutor, but more research is needed to further evaluate its performance and usability in this context.”
A March 2023 paper tested the application of ChatGPT in clinical toxicology. The authors found that AI “did well” in answering a “very simple [clinical case example], which no professional in the field is unlikely to miss.” They added: “As ChatGPT develops more and is specifically tailored to medicine, it could one day be useful in less common clinical cases (i.e. cases that experts sometimes overlook). Instead of AI replacing humans (clinicians), we see it as ‘clinicians using AI’ replacing ‘clinicians not using AI’ in the coming years.”
An April 2023 study in Radiology tested AI’s ability to answer queries about breast cancer screening. The authors narrated that he answered correctly “about 88 percent of the time,” however, in one case (for example) he gave advice that had become obsolete about a year earlier. There was also a lack of completeness in the responses. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that same month found that ChatGPT often outperformed human doctors in answering patients’ questions (when compared to questions and answers found on /r/AskDocs, a forum on Reddit where moderators validate practitioners’ medical credentials; the study acknowledges the source as a limitation). The study authors suggest that the tool could be integrated with medical systems to help doctors draft answers to patients’ questions.
Professionals have emphasized the limitations of ChatGPT in providing medical assistance. In correspondence with The Lancet Infectious Diseases, three antimicrobial experts wrote that “the biggest barriers to implementing ChatGPT in clinical practice are deficits in situational awareness, inference, and consistency. These deficiencies could jeopardize patient safety.” Physician’s Weekly, while also discussing the potential use of ChatGPT in medical contexts (e.g., “as a digital assistant for physicians by performing various administrative functions, such as collecting information from patient records or sorting patient data by family history, symptoms, lab results, possible allergies, etc.”), warned that AI can sometimes provide fabricated or biased information.
One radiologist warned, “We have seen in our experience that ChatGPT sometimes invents fake journal articles or health consortia to back up its claims.” However, as Dr. Stephen Hughes mentioned for The Conversation, ChatGPT is able to learn how to correct your past mistakes. He also pointed to AI’s “prudishness” regarding sexual health issues.
For the economy
An experiment conducted by finder.com between March 6 and April 28 revealed that ChatGPT could outperform popular fund managers in terms of stock selection. ChatGPT was asked to choose stocks based on commonly used criteria, such as a proven track record of growth and a low level of debt. ChatGPT reportedly gained 4.9% on its fictitious account with 38 shares, while the top 10 mutual funds suffered an average loss of 0.8%. These benchmarks were taken from the top 10 UK funds on the Interactive Investor trading platform, including those managed by HSBC and Fidelity.
For the law
On April 11, 2023, a judge at a Pakistani court of sessions used ChatGPT to decide on bail for a 13-year-old boy accused of a crime. The court cited the use of ChatGPT assistance in its verdict:
“Can a minor suspect in Pakistan, who is 13 years old, be granted bail after his arrest?”
The AI language model responded:
“Under the Juvenile Justice System Act 2018, according to section 12, the court can grant bail under certain conditions. However, it is up to the court to decide whether or not to grant bail to a suspect 13 years after arrest.”
The judge also asked questions about the AI Chatbot case and formulated his final decision in light of them.
For academics, journalists, content editors and programmers
ChatGPT can write introductory and abstract sections of scientific articles. Several articles have already included ChatGPT as a co-author. Scientific journals have different reactions to ChatGPT, some “require authors to disclose the use of text generation tools and prohibit including a large language model (LLM) such as ChatGPT as a co-author.” For example Nature and JAMA Network. Science “completely banned” the use of LLM-generated text in all of its journals.
Spanish chemist Rafael Luque published a paper every 37 hours in 2023 and admitted to using ChatGPT for it. His works have a lot of unusual phrases, characteristic of LLMs. Luque was suspended for 13 years from the University of Córdoba, although not for the use of ChatGPT.
In a blind test, ChatGPT was deemed to have passed graduate exams at the University of Minnesota at the C+ student level and at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a B to Grade B. ChatGPT’s performance for numerical method computer programming was evaluated by a Stanford University student and faculty in March 2023 through a variety of computational mathematics examples. Evaluating psychologist Eka Roivainen administered a partial IQ test to ChatGPT and estimated that his verbal IQ was 155, which would place him in the top 0.1% of those tested.
Mathematician Terence Tao experimented with ChatGPT and found it useful in everyday work, writing, “I found that while these AI tools don’t directly help me in core tasks, such as trying to attack an unsolved math problem, they are quite useful for a wide variety of peripheral (but still work-related) tasks (though often with some subsequent manual adjustments).”
Geography professor Terence Day evaluated the quotes generated by ChatGPT and found them to be fake. Despite that fact, he writes that “the titles of fake articles are all directly relevant to the questions and could be excellent articles. The lack of a genuine citation could signal an opportunity for an entrepreneurial author to fill a void.” According to Day, it is possible to generate high-quality introductory university courses with ChatGPT; he used it to write materials on “introductory courses in physical geography, for my second-year course in geographic hydrology and cartography, geographic information systems, and remote sensing.” It concludes that “this approach could have significant relevance for open learning and could potentially affect current textbook publishing models.”
Sam Altman, the executive director of OpenAI, pointed out at a hearing in the US Senate, which took place on 16.05.2023, the risk of the spread of false information with the help of artificial intelligence, which could be misused to manipulate elections, He ruled as a consequence in favor of strict regulation. Due to the massive resources required, there will be few companies that can pioneer AI model training, and they would have to be under strict supervision. “We believe that regulatory intervention by governments could consider a combination of licensing and testing requirements for the development and launch of models above the capability threshold”.
“We need rules and guidelines for the level of transparency that providers of these programs must provide”. A series of security tests for artificial intelligence should be devised, examining, for example, whether they could spread independently. Companies that do not comply with the prescribed standards should have their licenses revoked. According to Altman’s proposal, AI systems should be reviewed by independent experts.
Call for a pause in AI development
The Future of Life Institute published an open letter on March 23, 2023, calling for a pause in the development of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems. In 10 days, nearly 1800 people signed the letter, including Yuval Noah Harari, Elon Musk, Stuart Jonathan Russell and Steve Wozniak.
The authors note a “runaway race to develop and deploy increasingly powerful AI systems that no one can reliably understand, predict, or control.” They see in it profound risks for society and humanity. There is a danger that information channels will be flooded with propaganda and falsehoods, and satisfactory work will be streamlined. They ask, “Will we risk losing control of our civilization?”
The letter urges all AI labs to “immediately pause training of AI systems that are more powerful than GPT-4 for at least six months.” This is not a general pause in AI development, but simply a “move away from the dangerous race towards ever larger and more unpredictable models with emerging capabilities.” AI research and development should focus on making today’s next-generation, high-performance systems more accurate, secure, interpretable, transparent, robust, coordinated, reliable, and loyal.
According to the text of the letter, rest should be used for the following tasks:
- Development of security protocols for the design and development of advanced AI
- Creation of robust AI governance systems, regulatory authorities, as well as an examination and certification system for AI
- Development of provenance systems and digital watermarks to differentiate between real and synthetic data and to track model leaks
- Introduction of liability rules for damages caused by AI
- Ensure public funding for technical research in AI safety.
Skeptical voices about the contents of the open letter, which the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel on March 31, 2023, had reported on the front page, spoke the next day in the same medium, along with a note that Germany’s AI researchers had “barely signed” the letter. Bernhard Schölkopf, director of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, considers it prudent “to pause to understand these systems and think about how our society can deal with them”; On the other hand, it seems unrealistic to convince all companies and countries of a moratorium.
However, it is even more important to address “how we can protect ourselves against negative effects. This affects the systems themselves, but also the way we treat them. Kristian Kersting, co-director of the Hessian Center for Artificial Intelligence, also believes that a six-month shutdown won’t work, and at the same time sees it as “the wrong move.” I would consider a “career slowdown” to be good; but that would not be achieved with the aforementioned stoppage. In addition, companies that already have these types of models would have an advantage. “We need to learn to use AI systems more carefully instead of stopping (public) research on them.
The advent of ChatGPT and its introduction to the general public increased interest and competition in the field.
In February 2023, Google introduced an experimental service called “Bard,” which is based on its LaMDA large-language model. Bard was released to US and UK users on March 21, 2023, with various limitations.
Yann LeCun of Meta, who called ChatGPT “well-designed” but “not particularly innovative,” stated in January 2023 that Meta was hesitant to launch a competitor at the time due to the risk to its reputation, but also claimed that Google, Meta, and several startups separately had a level of LLM technology comparable to ChatGPT in case any of them wished to compete. In February 2023, Meta launched LLaMA, an LLM of 65 billion parameters.
Character.ai is an AI chatbot developed by two former Google engineers that can pose as famous people or imaginary characters.
The Chinese corporation Baidu launched in March 2023 a ChatGPT-style service called “Ernie Bot”. The service is based on a great language model developed by Baidu in 2021.
South Korean search engine company Naver announced in February 2023 that it would launch a ChatGPT-style service called “SearchGPT” in Korean in the first half of 2023.
Russian tech company Yandex announced in February 2023 that it would launch a ChatGPT-style service called “YaLM 2.0” in Russian before the end of 2023.
Hugging Face has released an open-source alternative to ChatGPT called HuggingChat, which allows people to interact with an open-source chat assistant called Open Assistant. Hugging Face CEO Clem Delangue tweeted that he believes open-source alternatives to ChatGPT are necessary for transparency, inclusion, accountability, and power-sharing.