In November, artificial intelligence startup OpenAI launched a chatbot named ChatGPT. The future of education, the internet, and the tech industry have felt somewhat uncertain since. WIRED has spent the past few weeks exploring the eloquent bot’s power—and shortcomings.
Bots are nothing new, but ChatGPT is unusually slick with language thanks to a training process that included digesting billions of words scraped from the web and other sources. Its ability to generate short essays, literary parodies, and even functional computer code made it a social media sensation and the tech industry’s newest obsession.
ChatGPT is free for now, but investors are convinced the technology will become the basis of many new companies and products, perhaps including a new form of web search. At the same time, it has a tendency to fabricate facts and repeat slurs or biases from its online training data. That has led to proposals to regulate the barely-launched technology. The bot’s power has also prompted reflections on how humans are far from perfect and can spew bot-like BS of their own. Furthermore, some schoolteachers have concluded that ChatGPT and other bots like it are here to stay; instead of trying to ban the technology, they’re embracing ChatGPT as a classroom tool to foster a more human-centric kind of learning.
Whether you’ve already chatted with the bot or aren’t yet acquainted, explore our coverage below to learn more about the promises and perils of ChatGPT.
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