What's all the chat about ChatGPT?

What is ChatGPT, and how to get started with it

ChatGPT intro screen

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a chatbot that uses the GPT-3 language model to generate responses to user input in a conversational manner.

GPT-3 (short for “Generative Pretrained Transformer 3”) is a state-of-the-art language processing model developed by OpenAI, capable of generating human-like text.

But wait. Everything you read above was generated by ChatGPT itself!

ChatGPT’s capabilities, as listed on the intro page, are:

  • Remembers what user said earlier in the conversation
  • Allows user to provide follow-up corrections
  • Trained to decline inappropriate requests

And ChatGPT’s limitations, also listed on the intro page, are:

  • May occasionally generate incorrect information
  • May occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content
  • Limited knowledge of world and events after 2021

This means there are lots of requests you can submit, and it’s very interesting seeing ChatGPT’s responses!

To try it out yourself, follow the instructions in the next section.

How to Get Started with ChatGPT

  1. In a web browser (I’m using Google Chrome), navigate to https://chat.openai.com:
ChatGPT login screen
  1. Click the Sign up button and create an account using one of the options available:
ChatGPT Create your account screen
  1. You should now see the ChatGPT intro screen:
ChatGPT intro screen
  1. Either click one of the example buttons (for example, “How do I make an HTTP request in Javascript?” →) or type in a request:
ChatGPT with request entered
  1. Click the submit button and wait for your response:
ChatGPT with submit button highlighted
  1. Your response will then be displayed:
ChatGPT showing how to make an HTTP request in Javascript

Some example requests:

  • Write a Hello World program in C#
  • If I like the Seinfeld show, what other shows will I like?
  • What is the best strategy for Wordle?
  • Write a tweet about the weather in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • What software development podcasts are available?
  • What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
  • What is the meaning of life?