In just one week since OpenAI made ChatGPT public, the generative artificial intelligence tool has accumulated more than a million users who have flooded the service, rendering it frequently unavailable to others.
While it’s almost frustrating having to stand in a queue just to spend some time with ChatGPT, it speaks volumes about OpenAI’s latest achievement. Knowing that millions of people are recognizing the immeasurable potential of a tool such as this one sparks joy with the writer of this news piece.
I’m almost unbothered by the “we’re experiencing exceptionally high demand” message and by the fact that I was hoping to have ChatGPT write this article all by itself. Almost. But that’s definitely coming in the following days, along with (fingers crossed) a word from the creators of the AI tool themselves.
So, why is ChatGPT taking over the internet by storm?
It’s certainly not the first tool of its kind, and not the first chat AI to impress its audience so profoundly. Its predecessors, especially the ones running on GPT-3 and Codex models, were jaw-dropping at times (and a bit untruthful at others).
According to a blog post OpenAI published for the release of ChatGPT, the harmful and untruthful outputs have been reduced using reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF). But enough about that.
The reasons why ChatGPT is such an overnight success are twofold. The first one is technical — ChatGPT is, simply put, better than its predecessors because it’s a more advanced model than GPT-3.
“ChatGPT is fine-tuned from a model in the GPT-3.5 series, which finished training in early 2022,” according to OpenAI. “ChatGPT and GPT 3.5 were trained on an Azure AI supercomputing infrastructure.”
The other reason, and perhaps the more important one, is quite subjective, but unanimously positive. ChatGPT feels ethereal. It feels like not just a stepping stone in the evolutionary path of generative AI, but a significant milestone that we will remember in the years to come.
It’s impressing academics with its essay writing skills, matching the bards with poetic verses and solving coding conundrums for developers. It is also inexplicably fun to use, which is always a crucial factor.
An entire essay can be written about ChatGPT’s abilities and limitations, but it’s probably something I’ll let it do by itself. Hopefully, OpenAI decides to weigh in with an insight or two of its own to help us steer ChatGPT in one of a million possible directions.