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What is ChatGPT: Everything you need to know

Currently, ChatGPT is one of the most popular chatbots online, able to answer a wide range of questions and deal with various assignments in a human-like manner. In this article, you’ll find out what ChatGPT is in more detail, how it’s trained, and how it works. We will also dive deeper into its abilities and limitations.

What is ChatGPT: Everything you need to know

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) driven chatbot that can produce natural-sounding text and let people engage in human-like conversations with the bot. This is probably the most popular AI search engine in the world. ChatGPT works on the basis of dialogue: it can accurately understand the questioner’s intent, grasp the context, and answer questions of varied nature, drawing information from a large pool of data.

ChatGPT runs on a large language model (LLM) — a machine learning technique that helps AI develop a deep understanding of language through the analysis of language patterns. ChatGPT is built using a new LLM architecture called the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT). “Generative” means that the chatbot was trained to produce text based on examples. “Pre-trained” signifies that the bot was first trained on a large database of textual resources to learn patterns and the inner structure of language.

Who created ChatGPT?

ChatGPT was created by the AI research company OpenAI. The San Francisco-based AI startup was founded in December 2015 with its initial board members being Sam Altman and Elon Musk, the latter leaving the company in 2018. OpenAI’s core achievement is the developed GPT — an AI language model — and its now famous chatbot ChatGPT that was launched in November, 2022. OpenAI is backed by some well-known investors, including Microsoft, which in February 2022 released its own AI chatbot, based on the GPT system, called Bing Chat.

ChatGPT rose to fame because of its functionality and accessibility. Though chatbots have been around for a while, ChatGPT revolutionized the interaction between humans and AI, making it more natural and fruitful.

The ChatGPT chatbot can understand the specific details of your query, differentiate contexts and learn from its own mistakes, providing more informed and accurate answers as you delve deeper into the subject. Due to its intuitive AI operating system, ChatGPT can be used for a variety of cases: it can process complex data and code, build your travel itinerary, write essays in different tones of voices, and do many other things — its functionality stretches as far as your imagination.

The ChatGPT bot is especially appealing because, currently, OpenAI lets the general public use it for free. ChatGPT is still in its research and feedback collection stage and is learning from its interaction with human users — the more people it talks to, the smarter it gets.

How does ChatGPT work?

ChatGPT works using an algorithm of predictions: the bot tries to understand your question by comparing it to its training data. Then the bot transforms it into a sequence of words that best match an answer to your question.

GPT’s AI language model uses deep learning technique, which means it’s learning by example and aims to match human response as accurately as possible. ChatGPT can detect bonds even among remote elements of language or data as it processes the information in sequences and long-range dependencies.

How do you use ChatGPT?

In order to use ChatGPT, you need to go through three basic steps:

  1. Access ChatGPT at, sign up with your Google or Microsoft account or email address and create an account.
  2. Read and accept the terms and conditions.
  3. Go ahead and ask ChatGPT your first question.

While communicating with ChatGPT, keep in mind to be specific and clear, ask one question at a time, and form your queries in a way that requires a direct answer. Vague inquiries or multiple questions might lead to irrelevant or misleading responses. Grammatically correct and complete sentences, avoiding slang or informal language, will also make ChatGPT understand you better.

How was ChatGPT trained?

ChatGPT was trained using a technique called reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF), which means that the bot was developed using both reward models and human guidance.

In most cases, reinforcement learning is considered to be a sufficient technique to train an AI machine. It starts with feeding the AI with generic data and evaluating its performance while it interacts with the data, issuing either a reward or a penalty. Moving forward, the AI is fed more complex information and asked to do specific tasks that are evaluated with the same reward model. However, in more complex cases, it might be hard to determine if the reward or a penalty would steer the AI toward the desired behavior. That’s where human feedback steps in for ultimate optimization.

In the case of ChatGPT, human AI trainers engaged in a conversation with the bot, playing the parts of the user and the AI assistant, and ranked the AI’s responses. This way, trainers provided guidance and hints to the AI, teaching it to be more flexible and intuitive and quickening its learning process.

The RLHF training model makes ChatGPT stand out, helping the bot to challenge false assumptions, answer follow-up questions, and admit and learn from its mistakes while producing natural language.

ChatGPT can be used in various ways — it’s only a question of your imagination. Below are some of the most common uses of ChatGPT:

  • Content writing. ChatGPT can write human-sounding texts in almost any possible form and topic. The bot can generate ideas, help with keywords, and improve content by adapting it to the target audience. Many people now use it to write articles, social media posts, and even academic essays. However, bear in mind that ChatGPT is still in its improvement stage, and the texts it writes can be excessively wordy and overuse certain phrases.
  • Code writing. ChatGPT can write a code for you as long as you provide the necessary information: the programming language you aim at and a clear description of the code you’d like to generate. The important thing is to be as precise with your query as possible.
  • Resume and cover letter writing. You can make your job search easier by asking ChatGPT to generate your resume and cover letter according to the responsibilities and requirements of the position.
  • Apps creation. Though ChatGPT cannot create apps itself, it can explain the app creation process in steps and provide codes for required functionalities.
  • Translations. You can use ChatGPT to translate text from different languages in a way similar to Google Translate. However, the quality of the translation may vary depending on the popularity of the language you want to translate.
  • Summarizing. You can copy-paste your text into ChatGPT or copy a URL of the article online and prompt the bot to write a summary of the text. You can choose the tone of voice and ask ChatGPT to generate multiple summary versions for the same text.

Is ChatGPT trustworthy?

ChatGPT is not considered a trustworthy enough tool to use in a professional environment. As mentioned before, ChatGPT’s responses are based on patterns, meaning that the bot is searching for the best match for your query in its database. So, if ChatGPT is asked a question worded in a peculiar way, it might wrongly guess the intention of your query and provide an incorrect or random response.

Users also noticed that ChatGPT sometimes focuses on the wrong part of the question and is unable to steer in another direction. Even though the chatbot can mimic human language, its responses still seem machine-like and unnatural due to excessively wordy answers and overuse of particular words.

It’s important to note that ChatGPT works with data produced prior to September 2021 and has no knowledge of later events. Because of that, it can produce nonsensical responses when asked about the latest affairs. Learning to prevent AI hallucinations might be helpful if you want to avoid receiving false information.

Another thing that makes users doubt ChatGPT’s trustworthiness is its inability to provide sources or give commentary on the provided information or data. For instance, if ChatGPT pulls an answer from a biased or incorrect source, this would reflect in the bot’s response without any indication or possibility of retracing the source.

Is ChatGPT safe?

ChatGPT is a safe tool, subject mainly to the threat of data breach — a common threat to all online tool accounts. However, many countries are now considering implementing regulations over the use of AI-run tools and platforms. Italy went as far as banning ChatGPT for almost a month, claiming that OpenAI illicitly collected personal data. Italian officials also expressed concerns that OpenAI didn’t have any age requirements for using ChatGPT. The ban was lifted when OpenAI added privacy disclosures, controls, and age restrictions. OpenAI recently made it possible to disable the “chat history and training” setting, which means that your chat with ChatGPT will be deleted after 30 days. For those not taking this step, your conversations with the bot will be saved and reviewed by OpenAI for training purposes.

The major concern that remains is that people using ChatGPT can unwittingly leak sensitive information about themselves and others. What makes it even more complicated is that ChatGPT collects the provided information and learns from it. With large amounts of private data leaked, ChatGPT could track and profile people and associate the information it collected with phone numbers or email addresses.

There’s yet another side to ChatGPT security — the AI bot’s ability to create malicious content. Due to ChatGPT’s vast capabilities and easy access, hackers may use it to create more sophisticated phishing attacks and malware and even develop their own AI models. ChatGPT can be trained to impersonate a person, making it easier for hackers to steal sensitive information. ChatGPT’s responses can also be offensive, sexist, racist, or breed misinformation if the data it collected is inadequate. However, OpenAI is working on resolving this issue by trying to detect and block certain types of unsafe content.

What are ChatGPT-4 and ChatGPT-5?

ChatGPT-4 and ChatGPT-5 are advanced GPT models of the current ChatGPT bot, which runs the GPT-3.5 version.

While ChatGPT (aka GPT-3.5) takes textual input and produces textual output, the GPT-4 model can also handle images as input. GPT-4’s ability to work with both text and image is called multimodal functionality and can be exceedingly helpful when uploading graphs, worksheets, or other visual material that needs to be analyzed. GPT-4 is also more powerful and can process information faster. The GPT-4 model is already accessible to subscribers of ChatGPT Plus — a paid subscription model of the chatbot, as well as to developers using ChatGPT API (GPT’s app extension) and Bing AI Chat users.

Meanwhile, GPT-5 is only a rumored future version. Guesses are that it would reach a point of artificial general intelligence (AGI) and would be able to pass the Turing test, meaning that the AI would be able to communicate in a way indistinguishable from humans. However, OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman has denied rumors of GPT-5 being developed and said that the company is currently focused on improving the GPT-4 model.

How does ChatGPT make money?

Though ChatGPT is entirely free of charge, OpenAI makes money out of its advanced version of GPT— GPT-4. It is integrated into ChatGPT Plus, an improved chatbot accessible through a paid premium subscription. Launched in March 2022, it costs $20 per month. Subscribers of ChatGPT Plus are guaranteed priority access to the bot, its latest features, faster service and response times.

In addition to ChatGPT online, OpenAI developed a ChatGPT application programming interface (API). It’s a tool developers can integrate into their own apps to use ChatGPT’s AI model in their services. ChatGPT API is currently more powerful than the web version of ChatGPT as it also runs on GPT-4. OpenAI charges developers using ChatGPT API depending on the word count in the queries and answers produced by the AI.

Will ChatGPT replace Google?

ChatGPT is not likely to replace Google because these engines work differently. ChatGPT is a language model, the purpose of which is to answer users’ queries, whereas a search engine like Google indexes webpages online to help people find the information they need.

ChatGPT cannot search for information on the internet and is only able to draw information it learned during its training with data. As mentioned, ChatGPT is currently working based on information produced prior to September 2021, leaving much room for the AI bot to err and give faulty answers to queries about recent events and innovations. Meanwhile, Google can access the latest information up to the minute you read this article.

ChatGPT alternatives

OpenAI is not the only company developing an AI language model, and ChatGPT is not the only AI chatbot available in the tech scene. Here are some alternatives to ChatGPT:

  • Bing AI. A chatbot developed by Microsoft and built on OpenAI’s GPT-4 version. Bing AI’s main competitive advantage is that it can access the Bing search engine and use the latest information, which turns it into a GPT-powered search engine. Bing AI can also provide the sources for information the bot pulls from the web.
  • Google Bard. The Bard AI chatbot runs on Google’s LLM — Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA). Similarly to ChatGPT, Bard works on a question-answer basis but can also draw information from the web directly through Google search and provide up-to-date information.
  • ChatSonic. Writesonic’s AI chatbot that can also access information on the web. Built on GPT-4, ChatSonic enables search by voice and can create AI-generated art based on text input. However, its conversational abilities allegedly are not as good as ChatGPT-4’s.
  • Jasper Chat. Developed by Jasper AI, Jasper Chat uses the same AI language model as ChatGPT — GPT-3.5. Jasper Chat is designed specifically for businesses in different industries to generate texts for posts for marketing, sales, and social media campaigns.
  • YouChat. A chatbot-search assistant created by It uses an older version of GPT (GPT-3), making it a little less capable of creating content and coding than ChatGPT. However, as a multimodal search engine (able to process both text and image), YouChat can surf the internet and provide more accurate and wide-ranging results.


OpenAI’s ChatGPT is one of the leading AI systems in the tech industry because of its ability to lead natural-sounding conversations with users while assisting them with an extensive range of tasks and queries. The chatbot can distinguish different contexts and learn from its own mistakes, making communication between the AI and a person more fluid and human-like.

However, ChatGPT databases are not up to date because they only contain information produced prior to September 2021. The bot is also incapable of using search engines to update its data. ChatGPT answers queries by making predictions from the patterns in its database. This means that the AI is not conscious of the ethics, adequacy, or truthfulness of the information it stores and provides, which can lead to it providing misleading information and possibly offensive content.

Overall, ChatGPT is a safe and beneficial tool to work with if you’re aware of its limitations.