What is ChatGPT? Benefits, Use Cases and Top Alternative

Just like 90s fashion, conversational AI is trending yet again.

Every few years a new AI program stirs up excitement and/or dread among the public. Sometimes it has a great, positive impact, like Eugenia Kuyda’s companion bot Replika; sometimes it leaves a sour taste in everyone’s mouth, like Microsoft’s controversial Tay.

ChatGPT is the latest, and truly greatest, chatbot to earn worldwide attention. LinkedIn and Twitter are aflame with posts and threads about how to use ChatGPT to make money and improve your daily life.

Twitter threads sharing ChatGPT content marketing tips

Meanwhile businesses are salivating over the idea of having advanced conversational AI on their website. ChatGPT seems like a good option for handling question overload and catching leads with near human-level competence.

It’s exciting to see a new “level” of AI, but that’s the thing — it’s an advanced concept that businesses need to understand better before using it.

  1. What is ChatGPT?
  2. How does ChatGPT work?
  3. What are ChatGPT’s limitations?
  4. How can businesses use ChatGPT and generative AI?
  5. Userlike: Top AI solution for customer service

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a large language model chatbot that interacts with users in a conversational way. It was developed and launched by OpenAI, an American research lab, in November 2022. OpenAI is best known for their DALL-E image generator, which uses a deep learning model to create digital images from natural language descriptions.

GPT stands for “generative pre-trained transformer,” which is OpenAI’s own lingo model. ChatGPT is a new “tool” but the technology itself is not. It just hasn’t been used a lot because of its complexity. Large language models are trained on massive amounts of data, and ChatGPT surpassed its predecessor by more than 100 times.

How does ChatGPT work?

ChatGPT uses its large data source to process text and learn to effectively perform natural language tasks. GPT-3 is the largest language model ever trained, making ChatGPT the first chatbot to produce such coherent, context-aware replies.

While its inner workings haven’t been shared (yet), AI professionals determined that it uses Supervised Learning (SL) and Reinforcement Learning (RL) to be fine-tuned.

Reinforcement Learning is where a system learns by being “rewarded” for good decisions. These rewards are often positive values assigned to favorable answers. They reinforce the right decisions and behaviors, so the machine repeats them the next time.

Over time, reinforcement learning allows ChatGPT to find the best possible decision or action to take in each situation. This detailed training increases ChatGPT’s ability to do more than the AI programs that came before it.

GPT-3 has an unusually large set of capabilities, including text summarization, chatbots, search, and code generation. Future users are likely to discover even more capabilities. This makes it difficult to characterize all possible uses (and misuses) of large language models in order to forecast the impact GPT-3 might have on society.

Stanford University

How to create a ChatGPT account

To use ChatGPT, you create an account on OpenAI using your email address and phone number — and then hope it’s not at full capacity. If not, you will see a plain chat window where you can start talking to ChatGPT about anything you want.

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What are ChatGPT’s limitations?

Here is some important information that is getting lost in the marketing hype.

It makes probabilistic guesses.

You can’t trust ChatGPT’s accuracy. This is its biggest downfall, especially since students attempt to use it for homework. Schools across the United States banned access to the chatbot on their school network and devices, and AI was even specifically developed to detect if ChatGPT was used for an assignment.

GPTZero, developed by Princeton University student Edward Tian, analyzes each sentence and word to determine if a real person or AI wrote it. However, Tian didn’t create this program to help end AI-assisted homework.

Teachers can, you know, make their own decision of, like, wow, this essay is 100% ChatGPT-written, or this essay uses ChatGPT where it really made sense to help influence thought. That works. Teachers can make their own informed decisions…Responsibility meets somewhere in the middle. It can't be, like, students don't write any homework anymore. But it also can't be, like, OK, we completely can't use these new technologies and will just ignore them.

Edward Tian

ChatGPT uses its data to make false assumptions and gives wrong but confident answers. Not every time, but enough to where it just creates more work for you if you’re a student, researcher or writer, for example. You need to cross check what it says.

ChatGPT misinformation warning shown before chat can begin
OpenAI’s popup warning before using ChatGPT.

If technology professionals such as Dr. Kate Darling, and even OpenAI themselves, are warning us about these data inaccuracies and risks of harmful language, we should listen.

It doesn’t keep up with news and trends

ChatGPT is stuck in 2021. That’s its data cut off year, and it’ll stay that way until OpenAI’s next release.

ChatGPT answering that the Queen is alive as of its data cut off date in 2021
The Queen is digitally immortalized.

Since 2021, Russia invaded Ukraine, Elon Musk became the CEO of Twitter and keywords replaced the hashtag.

Two years isn’t such a big deal when it comes to being “behind on the times,” but it may limit content creators and businesses' effort to stay competitive in a time where new SEO processes, memes and current events happen on a regular basis.

It’s still being tested

This is why the public is using it — ChatGPT is learning from its conversations.

ChatGPT shares how it collects data before the chat begins
OpenAI has a user base many companies dream of.

Though OpenAI attempts to cut down on its harmful biases and prevent racist, offensive outputs, there’s still a risk. Not a major risk, but users are finding loopholes.

This is the closest we’ve gotten to politically correct AI. We need to remember, as humans, that it’s a machine and lacks cognition.

Perhaps the planned GPT-4 release will be an AI evolution that users and businesses alike feel comfortable using and implementing. Until then, it’s up to us to show GPT-3 what’s right from wrong.

It’s unstable.

I’ve only been able to access ChatGPT twice, and just for about 20 minutes.

It’s often at full capacity, and will even time out during a conversation if you manage to log in.

ChatGPT over capacity message
I gave away my phone number for this?

OpenAI is using this instability to their advantage to monetize their product. They offer a free and pro version of ChatGPT, which only recently became available to early waitlisters.

The professional plan is $42 a month and promises more stability, faster response speeds and priority access to feature releases.

For a deep learning model, this honestly isn’t a bad price. But if you stop and think about the fact that OpenAI is using stability as their top selling point, why bother? There are many other specialized AI solutions already on the market designed for businesses with high support demands.

How can businesses use ChatGPT and generative AI?

I asked ChatGPT itself for business use cases and then asked it again for more specific examples. I cross-researched whether or not all of its given suggestions are possible. I also searched for examples of companies that have already successfully experimented with ChatGPT and similar conversational AI models.

Here’s the five smartest ways businesses can use ChatGPT.

Offer a chatbot on your website

ChatGPT can interact with users through OpenAI’s provided API key, and will improve and adapt its answers over time so it can handle more complex inquiries.

There are four GPT-3 models: Ada (fastest and cheapest), Babbage, Curie and Davinci (most powerful and expensive).

Pricing of OpenAI's four different API models
OpenAI’s API pricing overview.

To learn more about each model and how to calculate the price of each, here’s some quick links:

Building a chatbot using the GPT-3 API will allow it to have human-like conversations, perform live translations and improve the quality of its answers over time to better assist your customers. But there is already more reliable AI software out there that can do the exact same thing, like Userlike’s AI Automation Hub, which is actually designed for customer service.

AI chatbot assisting customers on popular messaging channels
Userlike offers GDPR-compliant conversational AI you can deploy across your website and messaging channels.

The biggest difference: the AI Automation Hub is 100% safe to use in business. GPT-3 uses open information, is heavily subject to bias and isn’t definitively data privacy-compliant.

Auto generate SEO content

Give ChatGPT a prompt for a blog post idea and it’ll spit a competent but uninspired text back to you in seconds. For many marketers, myself included, this is a valuable use case.

(For the record: This article is NOT written by ChatGPT. It’s 100% my own words inspired by information collected from ChatGPT.)

Doing keyword research and coming up with headlines, meta descriptions and social media posts can put you in a creative slump over time. Reworking a prewritten text is often easier than coming up with ideas on your own.

To find new keywords for SEO-dense content, try Twitter user Alex Garcia’s recommendation:

ChatGPT SEO advice in Twitter thread

Once you have your keywords, you can ask ChatGPT to write a headline and meta description about your topic.

This is just the tip of ChatGPT’s benefits in text generation. Try it with your landing pages, chatbot scripts and even condensing text to meet character limits.

Recruit new employees

Much like marketing content, you can ask ChatGPT to write job descriptions for specific roles at your company. These can then be edited to fit your brand, or you can give it examples of past job descriptions until it learns your company’s voice.

ChatGPT can then analyze an applicant’s cover letter or CV to find key job criteria to help narrow down your search.

Of course this means you’ll need to copy and paste the information into ChatGPT, so please do this responsibly; ChatGPT warns against sharing private information in the chat.

Improve audience engagement

ChatGPT is addictive. Cleverbot is better for short, sassy quips and Replika is better suited as a calm listening ear, but ChatGPT has an endless flow of ideas and responses.

You can use ChatGPT’s answers to improve your own chatbot’s script. Its ability to come up with original replies to prompts such as “will you marry me?” will help you with site visitors who often go off-topic. Asking ChatGPT for content will save you money and time spent writing original responses.

Here’s some audience engagement ideas you can generate for your chatbot:

  • Intriguing proactive messages. Imagine visiting a website and a chatbot triggers at the bottom of the page with the message, “I wrote a poem for you.” I would click. ChatGPT is known for its short stories and poetry, so consider generating brand-focused creative writing to get users’ attention.
  • “Funny” fallback responses. Humor is subjective, hence the quotations. If you haven’t asked a chatbot to tell you a joke, are you even human? No chatbot is safe from this question, so use ChatGPT to come up with jokes and clever responses that are appropriate for your business.
  • Create industry-specific quizzes. OpenAI offers a Playground that responds with a text completion that matches the context you provide. Interact, which specializes in quizzes, shows how to generate specific quiz content:

Write code and find bugs

ChatGPT can write code in any language. But much like its generated creative content, it needs to be reviewed by a human developer.

Though it did earn itself a fanbase on Reddit. And rightly so, since users can use ChatGPT to build an entire website in just minutes, from coding to content.

It can also detect and fix bugs, and explain how it did it in detail.

ChatGPT shows user how it found the bug in their code
Source: Twitter

Are customers complaining about a bug they found in your software that your developers can’t detect? Perhaps ChatGPT can help.

Userlike: Top AI solution for customer service

Though GPT-3 is impressive, it’s not suitable for businesses. There are too many risks involved with such a vast information source. Plus there’s a reason why large language models haven’t yet seeped into business automation: it’s incredibly expensive in costs and resources.

Not to mention the ethical and data privacy concerns. ChatGPT isn’t ready for everyday use, especially in customer service. But there are advanced, specialized AI solutions that are.

Userlike’s AI Automation Hub is secure, reliable self-learning software built for support. It uses a central knowledge base to power three modules: an AI chatbot, Smart FAQ and Contact Form Suggestions.

AI chatbot using button options and a WhatsApp catalog to interact with the user
Combine conversational AI with interactive features such as button options, carousels and WhatsApp promotional messages.

Over time, the AI learns from user conversations and inquiries to improve the quality and accuracy of its answers. The AI Automation Hub doesn’t require a developer to get started. It’s connected to our live chat solution, so you can monitor its conversations directly in the Message Center.

The AI Hub can go live immediately — there’s no need to import an existing knowledge base (adding your data and contacts is absolutely possible) or write a script. Our AI is ready to talk to your customers.

We are, however, using ChatGPT as inspiration for improving our AI chatbot’s conversation flow to make the messages sound even more natural.

Sign up for our free 14-day trial to see the AI Automation Hub for yourself. If it looks like a good fit for your business, email us at support@userlike.com or reach out to us in the chat on our website so we can discuss your automation plans.