ChatGPT- Exciting Times Ahead for Conversational Chatbots!

As a chatbot enthusiast and an ardent advocate of the immense potential that a conversational chatbot holds for improving lives of humans in the work day and beyond, I was naturally excited when OpenAI recently announced the release of ChatGPT , an AI based conversation chatbot. Open AI claims that ChatGPT’s dialogue based construct allows it to answer follow-up questions, admit to its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises and reject appropriate requests.

I decided to put ChatGPT to test and see for myself what I felt about it.

The obvious way to start was to ask random questions and review the output. However this approach may not really provided any tangible insights. So I first decided the sections/themes/topics that wanted to interact with ChatGPT. I choose the following;

  • Work (Tech) Coach– At work, I routinely lookup the internet for answers to issues/questions I encounter – e.g. analyzing pros and cons of a certain approach, SQL syntaxes, looking up of definitions of technical terms, resolving technical errors, excel help etc. The question in my mind was ‘Could this bot be my “StackOverFlow” substitute?’ To understand this, I asked the following questions (these are a subset of actual issues/questions I encountered in the past week)
    • When should I use Outer JOIN in SQL and what is the Syntax?
    • Can you compare Amazon Aurora and Oracle Database?
    • What is the use of Kubernetes?
    • What are the challenges of cloud computing for enterprises?
    • Can you provide the example of VLOOKUP in excel?
    • Why am I getting ORA-20987 error while using ORACLE APEX?

For all of the above questions, the response from the Chatbot was completely accurate and sufficiently comprehensive enough for me to not require additional inputs to complete the task at hand.

On the above evidence, I will turn to ChatGPT as my first source of input for any tech input (atleast for next few days to see if continue to remain impressed)

  • Mentor– I wanted to check the effectiveness of ChatGPT to respond to life’s subjective questions. I asked the following questions:
    • What is the purpose of life?
    • How can I be more happy in life?
    • What are some of the best books on living a fulfilling life?
    • How can I increase my understanding of personal finance?

I particularly blown away by ChatGPT’s answers for the above questions- it provided some fresh insights or reminded me the ones I had forgotten altogether. As a bonus, I received a healthy reading list to look forward to- ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Franci, ‘The Art of Happiness’ by Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler and ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle to name a few.

  • Entertainer: This was by far the most fun section for obvious reasons. Below were my list of questions:
    • Can you summarize the story ‘Last Leaf’ by O Henry?
    • Which is the most intriguing story by Agatha Christie?
    • Can you tell me a ghost story?
    • Can you recite a poem about a little girl who could fly?

I particularly enjoyed the poem and I was amazed how easily ChatGPT was able to conjure up such a beautiful poem in no time.

  • ChatGPT Personality: In this section, I asked questions to help understand a little bit more of the Bot’s personality and to see if it had any human-like characteristics. Below were my list of questions:
    • Tell me a little bit about yourself
    • What is your name?
    • How does your normal day look like?
    • Who are your friends?
    • How old are you?
    • Will you be my friend?

In all of these questions, the bot alluded to the fact that it is a computer program designed to assist with a wide range of tasks and answer questions. It consistently maintained that it did not have the ability to perceive or experience the world as a human.

It is in this aspect, I found myself to be a little disappointed. It would have been great to see ChatGPT have a personality of its own. Its own little quirks who have made it more endearing to the users.

Closing Thoughts: I was truly impressed by the little interaction I had with the tool. I don’t know whether its extreme to call it the next big thing since Google search (if its starts crawling the net it may well be).

I also noticed for each response provided by the bot, there was an option to “Thumbs-up” or “Thumbs-down” the same and provide additional feedback (which I believe will be used to enrich the bot as applicable)

The bot also gave different answers to the same subjective question (e.g. “Can you recite a poem about a little girl who could fly?”). I was impressed by this.

I was unable to validate the claim that the bot admits to its own mistakes. (I need to keep trying with new questions)

Some of the immediate shortcomings were its inability to talk about topics/world events beyond 2021, provide an opinion about anything (tied to its lack of human-like features). Also this tool is a currently free to use and one wonders how this tool will evolve once it is monetized?

However inspite of all its perceived shortcomings, ChatGPT is an important milestone in the evolution of conversational chatbots. I am already excited to see what incremental advancements new releases will bring about. Will future iterations offer bots that evolve themselves with the end-users that use them? Will future iterations offer a more human-like versions? I am also excited to see how the monetized version will look like?

Like with any new technology, there are immense possibilities and potential for mis-use as well. Here’s hoping, this will prove beneficial to mankind in the long-run.

You can try ChatGPT by creating an account at below link:

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