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‘The future of communication?’ The stunning power of ChatGPT, an Artificial Intelligence chatbot

By Matt Redley
06 December 2022

By Matt Redley

What you are about to read has not been written by a human, but by a new tool called ChatGPT released by Artificial Intelligence (AI) research company OpenAI. The chatbot, powered by AI and machine learning, has set the Twittersphere alight since its release last week, having been described by leading online commentators as ‘the first actually good Chat AI that humanity has ever seen.’

ChatGPT can understand human dialogue and generates detailed human-life text as if you were typing to a friend, can simplify difficult concepts, and can even write code and fix bugs in Python, a programming language. At present, there have been 49 potential applications discovered for the tool.

But what about its capacity for writing, and how could this affect journalism and other copy intensive professions? Matt Redley put the tool to the test, asking it to perform the following task: ‘Write an article for a newsletter on the power of ChatGPT, and how it will affect the future of journalism. Make it around 500 words’.

Here was the result:

By ChatGPT

‘The future of journalism is one that is increasingly intertwined with technology, and ChatGPT is at the forefront of this trend.

For those who may not be familiar, ChatGPT is a large language model trained by OpenAI. It is able to generate human-like text based on the input it receives, making it a powerful tool for a wide range of applications.

One of the most exciting potential uses for ChatGPT is in journalism. As more and more people consume their news online, the demand for timely and accurate information is greater than ever. ChatGPT can help journalists to quickly and easily generate high-quality content, freeing them up to focus on more important tasks like research and analysis.

But ChatGPT is not just a tool for journalists; it has the potential to revolutionize the way we consume news as well. Imagine being able to have a conversation with your favorite news source, asking it questions and getting real-time updates on the stories you care about. ChatGPT makes this kind of interaction possible, making it easier than ever to stay informed.

Another area where ChatGPT could have a big impact is in the realm of data journalism. With its ability to process large amounts of data and generate human-like text, ChatGPT could help journalists to quickly and easily uncover insights and trends that would otherwise be hidden. This could be particularly useful for investigative journalists, who often have to sift through vast amounts of information to uncover the truth.

Of course, like any technology, ChatGPT also has its limitations. It is not yet able to fully replace human journalists, and it is important for journalists to use their critical thinking skills to verify the information generated by ChatGPT. Additionally, there are concerns about the potential for ChatGPT to be used to spread misinformation.

Overall, however, the power of ChatGPT is undeniable, and it has the potential to greatly enhance the field of journalism. As it continues to evolve and improve, it will undoubtedly play an increasingly important role in the way we consume and create news.’

Did that sound plausible? As these tools continue to develop, the implications for communications, journalism, coding, and performing basic tasks online, could be huge.

This is not a perfect tool, however. OpenAI says that ChatGPT regularly writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers, and that it can regularly use overly wordy phases. The model also depends on what the model knows, rather than what a human demonstrator knows, meaning that information which has not been inputted into the model will not be accounted for.

These factors all underline that ChatGPT remains limited in its ability to produce entirely human-like material at the moment, and that human oversight remains crucial to effectively moderated material, which is of the utmost importance in journalism, for example. However, it’s clear that we’re getting close to something that could transform written communication forever.