What is ChatGPT? Everything You Need to Know

Adelina Karpenkova
May 30, 2023
min read
December 4, 2023
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Haven't used ChatGPT yet? Here's all you need to know to access ChatGPT and use it in your daily life (and work!).
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Before the release of ChatGPT, AI was more of a buzzword—everyone was talking about how it would change the world, but very few had a chance to interact with it. With ChatGPT on the scene, we have way more of a grasp of generative AI's capabilities. 

If you haven’t tried it yet, read on for an in-depth overview of ChatGPT.

What is ChatGPT: your questions answered

ChatGPT is a generative AI model built by OpenAI. Powered by a deep-learning language model, ChatGPT understands users’ questions and generates human-like text responses.

Here is how ChatGPT describes itself (go check it by yourself, it’s free):

How ChatGPT works
(Source: ChatGPT)

If you continue reading, you’ll discover the limitations of ChatGPT and see why this self-definition isn’t exactly correct. 

How does ChatGPT work?

At its core, ChatGPT uses a technique called deep learning, specifically a type of neural network called a transformer model. 

Deep learning is a type of machine learning where computers use data to produce accurate insights and predictions. In other words, they learn by example. The model is inspired by the structure and functioning of the human brain.

Here's a simplified explanation of how ChatGPT works:

  • ChatGPT is trained on a massive amount of data from the web. It gives the model a broad understanding of language and different topics.
  • The GPT architecture consists of many layers of interconnected processing units called neurons. These neurons work together to process and understand the text. The model predicts the likelihood of a word or phrase given its context in a sentence.
  • ChatGPT processes text and looks for patterns and context when you input a message or prompt. 
  • ChatGPT generates a response by predicting the most likely next word or phrase based on the context provided. It generates text that is coherent and relevant to the input it received.
  • OpenAI allows developers to apply fine-tuning to improve the accuracy of output. Fine-tuning is the practice of training ChatGPT on a new task or dataset and ranking different responses to demonstrate correct behavior.

It’s worth adding that ChatGPT is trained on data that was cut off in 2021. However smart the model is, it hasn’t heard about the UK’s new prime minister or the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk (or that GPT-3.5 isn’t the latest language model)

An example of ChatGPT providing a wrong response.
(Source: ChatGPT)

What is the difference between ChatGPT & chatbot?

There have been tons of conversational intelligence AI tools on the market before the release of ChatGPT. What’s the fuss about another AI chatbot?

The thing is, ChatGPT isn’t just another chatbot solution. One of the significant applications of this advanced AI model is 'ChatGPT for customer service,' which plays a vital role in enhancing customer interactions.

Here’s why:

  • ChatGPT uses a unique architecture: GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer). AI chatbots refer to a broader category of conversational agents that can use various approaches like rule-based systems, retrieval-based models or generative models.
  • Chatbots are usually trained on a range of topics in a business-controlled environment. On the contrary, ChatGPT is fed billions of records, not limited to any specific topic.
  • ChatGPT is multipurpose. You can use it to conduct research, summarize long content, translate texts or write a fiction story. Business chatbots usually serve one purpose—replying to relevant questions.

What is a ChatGPT prompt?

A ChatGPT prompt is what you enter to initiate the conversation with ChatGPT. The AI model only allowed for text input in older versions, but GPT-4 can accept images and links as inputs.

The content of your prompt defines the accuracy of the output provided by ChatGPT. A one-sentence question will usually result in a generic, robotic response. You should make it specific enough for a bot to pick up on your tone, question context and the expected action. 

Here are some best practices for writing ChatGPT prompts that drive accurate results:

  • Provide context. Say you want to get a template for an automated complaint-handling message. What’s your product? Who’s your target audience? What kind of issues do your users face most often? What’s your brand’s tone of voice? This information will help ChatGPT craft a message reflecting your brand’s voice.
  • Share your feedback. Didn’t like the response? Tell the bot about it. Soon, it will need fewer corrections to provide great output.
  • Allow ChatGPT to save your chat history. If you don’t use sensitive data in your prompts (read on to learn why we don’t recommend that you do so), allow ChatGPT to train on your conversations. 

What is ChatGPT used for?

There’s a wide variety of ways creative minds are applying ChatGPT in their daily lives:

  • Business. Companies use ChatGPT for brainstorming, customer support, writing and fixing code and creating content.
  • Writing. Using ChatGPT is an excellent way to fight writer’s block and generate ideas for any kind of content you can think of. It can assist users in drafting articles, blog posts or social media content. 
  • Education and research. Students, journalists and researchers can use ChatGPT to get a grasp of topics and explore different perspectives to support their work.
  • Entertainment. Never asked ChatGPT to come up with an artificial language? Just try it. 

A language invented by ChatGPT called Bubbleglish
A language invented by ChatGPT.
📌 Related resource: Real-Life AI Examples That Will Blow Your Mind

How can you access ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is free to use if you don’t intend to access the app’s latest versions or integrate it with your business tools via ChatGPT API.

To access ChatGPT, you need to register with your email and phone number, no credit card required. In a free plan, you can interact with the bot, view your chat history and send feedback to the OpenAI team on the quality of the answers. 

In a paid version, ChatGPT Plus, you get:

  • General access to all the features above.
  • Priority access to updates.
  • Faster response times.
  • Uninterrupted access to the tool, even during peak hours (which is an issue for free users). The plan costs $20/month.

ChatGPT API has its own pricing model. Users are charged based on the number of tokens used in prompts and responses, where tokens are pieces of words used in a natural language processing model. One token is approximately four characters. 

Every version and model has its own pricing. For instance, users of ChatGPT-4 API should expect to pay from $0.03 for 1,000 tokens in prompts and $0.06 for 1,000 tokens in output.

📌 Related resource: How Much Does AI Cost? What to Consider

Does ChatGPT store my data?

The short answer is: yes, ChatGPT stores your data. 

First, it stores your personal data, such as your name, email address, log data and credit card information, regardless of your subscription type. 

The OpenAI team also admits they can access your conversations to improve their systems. Moreover, they say you can’t delete specific prompts from your history. So be careful to avoid sharing sensitive information in your conversations.

You can choose to delete your chat history within 30 days by toggling a switch next to “Chat History & Training” in the Settings tab:

ChatGPT Data Controls menu
(Source: ChatGPT)

What are the disadvantages of ChatGPT?

ChatGPT brings enormous opportunities for businesses and individuals to make their lives easier. But there are a few drawbacks to consider before you get on board.

Data security concerns

Bank of America added ChatGPT to the list of unauthorized apps employees are prohibited from using at work. It’s one of the many huge companies banning ChatGPT from internal use. 

It’s not that these big names don’t want to improve internal process efficiency. But we still don’t know how sharing sensitive data with ChatGPT will affect businesses in the future. 

Moreover, the application is still prone to bugs that lead to accidental data breaches. So if you were wondering if it’s a good idea to use ChatGPT’s assistance in writing product code, the answer is: you’d rather refrain from it.

You need to fact-check

Not only does ChatGPT-3.5 use data from before 2021 (ChatGPT-4 is claimed to have access to the web) but also it “will occasionally make up facts or 'hallucinate' outputs,” according to the OpenAI team.

Maarten Dalmijn of Dalmijn Consulting has put it brilliantly:

When you take shortcuts by having AI write for you, please don't cut corners on checking the accuracy of the output.
You're putting crazy at the steering wheel when you don't provide oversight. Do not be surprised when AI claims America was discovered by Walt Disney together with Mickey Mouse in one of your articles. 

And remember we mentioned ChatGPT’s self-definition wasn’t correct? That’s because it only mentioned ChatGPT-3.5, the older technology version. These days, we already know about ChatGPT-4.

It doesn’t provide a unique opinion

ChatGPT's responses are generated based on patterns it has learned from its training data. It doesn't possess personal experiences or opinions of its own. 

While it can provide general advice, you won’t get it to provide innovative ideas. 

📌 Learn more about how to use the ChatGPT app

Are there alternatives to ChatGPT?

While the OpenAI team was working on ChatGPT, companies like Google and Microsoft were also running experiments with AI technology. These are a few AI tools that have the potential to become popular alternatives to ChatGPT:

Bard AI

Bard is Google's experimental conversational AI service powered by LaMDA. Aside from being powered by a different language model, Bard AI offers a slightly different conversation experience—it provides several response drafts for you to choose from.

(Source: Bard)

For now, Bard AI is only available for users residing in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). But who said you can’t use VPN to try it?

Bard is still in the experimental stage so it also tends to provide inaccurate and sometimes outrageous responses, but it’s worth trying it as an alternative (or addition) to Google search. The app has a “Google it” button, allowing users to search topics related to their prompt right from the Bard interface.

Bing AI

Bing AI is Microsoft’s AI chatbot powered by GPT-4 (which makes it the only way to try GPT-4 before it’s publicly accessible in ChatGPT)

Bing AI summarizing the plot of Cindarella
(Source: BingAI)

To access the chatbot, you'll need to download MicrosoftEdge first (in case you usually use a different browser). Bing AI is built into the MicrosoftEdge functionality to improve users’ search experience. 

Microsoft has also introduced Bing Chat, an AI-powered chat widget accessible from the browser sidebar. The bot can search the pages you’re viewing to find answers to your questions.

AI for business: 4 best ChatGPT Chrome extensions

The tool’s free version is rather limited compared to what you can do by integrating it with your business toolkit. The good news is, you don’t have to hire a developer and pay for ChatGPT API to enjoy AI features while performing daily tasks.

Here are four ChatGPT Chrome extensions are here to improve the effectiveness of your business processes:

Scribe AI

Scribe AI is a ChatGPT-powered text generator for your company’s documentation.


Say you’ve just used Scribe’s ChatGPT Chrome extension to capture account management processes in Salesforce. You have several guides (aka Scribes) on creating contacts, accounts and opportunities in Salesforce, filled with images and short captions that the tool generated for you. 

Now, you want to combine those Scribes into a single document (aka Scribe Page) and add more context.

Previously, you had to type the text manually. With AI, Scribe generates it for you. You just need to enter your request and let Scribe write up content to introduce any topic—in this case, account management in Salesforce.

Sign up for Scribe and create high-quality content with the help of ChatGPT.

Engage AI

Engage AI is a LinkedIn engagement tool that generates comments for you.

Aside from publishing posts, engaging with other users’ content is essential to building a strong LinkedIn presence. Engage AI helps you do it at scale. The tool analyzes LinkedIn posts and generates relevant comments following the specified brand voice.

Engage AI analyzes LinkedIn posts and generates a comment
(Source: Engage AI)

ChatGPT Writer

ChatGPT Writer is basically ChatGPT that’s always with you. The extension works on all sites, but it looks like it was developed for Gmail in the first place.

You can use it as an ai writing assistant whenever you need to write an email, summarize page content or access information on a topic without leaving the page.

ChatGPT Writer browser extension
(Source: ChatGPT Writer)

ChatGPT Prompt Genius

ChatGPT Prompt Genius is an extension that allows you to save and manage your prompts in ways ChatGPT doesn’t let you. It’s a great add-on if you use a free version of ChatGPT and need a way to bookmark and re-use specific prompts.

📌 Related resource: The Top 7 Best AI Software to Fast Track Your Team’s Growth in 2023

Do more in less time with ChatGPT-powered tools

ChatGPT made AI accessible to everyone. This is your chance to gain an advantage over your competition and improve your internal processes before everyone does it.

Scribe AI will write your process documentation for you, saving you time to do the actual work. Automatically create any process document you could ever need: SOP, help center, getting started guide, onboarding guide and more. 

Just tell Scribe AI what you need ("help me create a SOP for how to analyze data with Google Sheets"), select which Scribes you want to include, and voila! Your SOP will be automatically created.

Sign up today. It’s free.

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