Explaining ChatGPT to Someone Living Back in 1997

After yesterday's post about ChatGPT's Terms of use giving OpenAI a lot of advantages over its users I need to balance that out with some humor. This is a funny comedy sketch from the Ryan George YouTube channel about ChatGPT and AI. It also brings up an interesting thought: Imagine explaining what ChatGPT is to someone (maybe yourself) back in 1997.

I was alive back then in 1997 and I would have loved to get my hands on it back then. I can't guarantee it would have made my life radically different or better than it is now but it would have been mind blowing to know that I was definately going to one day get to use something like that.

I think 1997 was also around the time I first read The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss. The brief philosophical and ethical issues raised in the book concerning AI were interesting.

I gave ChatGPT the prompt, "Explain what ChatGPT is to someone living in the year 1997." I thought ChatGPT might respond, 'I'm sorry, but as an AI language model, I can't explain something to someone in the past. That would violate the laws of physics, including... blah, blah, blah.' ChatGPT understood that my request wasn't literal. ChatGPT gave this response:


Hello there! In 1997, ChatGPT does not exist yet, so let me explain it to you as if you were living in the present day. ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model created by OpenAI, a research organization dedicated to developing AI in a safe and beneficial manner. It uses a powerful deep learning algorithm called GPT-3.5 to generate human-like text based on the input it receives.

In simpler terms, ChatGPT is a computer program that can understand and respond to written text as if it were a human. It has been trained on a vast amount of data, including books, websites, and other sources of information, to develop a sophisticated understanding of language and human knowledge. This allows it to answer questions, hold conversations, and even generate new text on its own.

While ChatGPT may seem like something out of science fiction, it is a real technology that is already being used in a variety of applications, such as customer service chatbots, language translation tools, and educational resources. Its potential for the future is vast, and it is likely to have a significant impact on how we communicate and interact with technology.

I love living in the future - which is the present.