Introduction to chatGPT: Basics

Emanuel

Dec 27, 2022

5 min read

chatGPT netted 1 million users in 5 days. For comparison, it took Netflix 3.5 years, Spotify 5 months, and Instagram 2.5 months to reach the same amount of users. Pretty wild!

So what’s so cool about it? Stick with me for 5 min and you’ll leave with

  • An understanding of chatGPT

  • How to unleash its power through creative prompts

  • A bunch of challenges you can complete — no code options included!

ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is a chatbot by OpenAI in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI's GPT-3.5 family of large-language models and is fine-tuned with both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. (from Wikipedia)

Alright, what does that mean though?

ELI5: It's basically a bot that can write virtually anything.

Its responses are 10x better than a chatbot sitting in the bottom-right corner of a website you may visit. It carries conversations longer than a virtual assistant like Siri or Alexa. It shows you exactly what you’re looking for — unlike a Google search leading you to scroll through the SEO jungle.

The model has been fine-tuned from the larger GPT-3 model from OpenAI. What they are referring to as GPT-3.5. GPT-3 was trained on a massive dataset of human-generated text from the internet. Being trained on that much data, makes chatGPT extremely capable.


In order to benefit from these capabilities you just need to know how to write good prompts. Let's walk through some examples.[9:17 PM]

Unleash chatGPT’s power through creative prompts

To begin, you’ll need an OpenAI account which can be made at chat.openai.com for free. Once you’ve finished signing up, you’ll see a few examples on the left showing what we can do with chatGPT.

Let’s begin by asking why people love dogs.

Looking good! This could make for a strong essay or blog post.

Let's step it up a notch!

Imagine you’re a student petitioning for pets to be brought to your campus.

Copy and paste the prompt below.

I'm a college student petitioning why pets should be on campus. Write a short email to my dean of students.

Sound convincing enough? 🥸

Feel free to change the verbiage around by inserting adjectives like “passionate college student”, “write a detailed email”, or even “why pets shouldn’t be on campus”.

You’re in complete control of the input here. And as you can see, the output changes based on how general or specific you tailor the prompt.

Let’s try another example - this time with food. chatGPT can give you any recipe you can think of in seconds. Even cooler though, is getting an entire syllabus for a college level course on Creme Brulee. Check it out.

Pro-tip: you can actually ask chatGPT for a 10-day comic-writing curriculum

Create a syllabus for baking creme brûlée as a recipe that a beginner can follow. Title it Baking 101, with the course being a semester long.

I’ve got one more example for you to show you how diverse this model is.

chatGPT can actually simulate conversations between public figures. That’s because there is a lot of existing, public data to pull from.

Check out the prompt below asking for a podcast between LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Yup 🤯. This has the potential to completely change the way we learn new skills. You can also ask it for recommended resources, art styles, and much more.

Alright, once you had a cool story that you can resonate with, change it to add your own flavor and spices, and move on to the next part!

I want you to write a podcast script between Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James called the Quarter Life Crisis, where the host asks questions about pursuing your passion. I'm the host, and I ask both players if it's ever too late to pick up and practice a new craft.

Not bad, right? Keep going if you want — chatGPT can take the context from the initial prompt and learn in order to keep going. Copy and paste the prompt below to continue our podcast conversation.

Yup 🤯. This has the potential to completely change the way we learn new skills. You can also ask it for recommended resources, art styles, and much more.

Alright, once you had a cool story that you can resonate with, change it to add your own flavor and spices, and move on to the next part!

Let's continue the conversation. Host: LeBron and Giannis, what are some factual examples of when you picked up something new later in life?

Some limitations to keep in mind:

  1. chatGPT can currently reference about 3000 words from the current conversation.

  2. chatGPT can't travel back to previous chats or closed session to help you with a response. For example, if you were chatting about Steve Jobs, you can't come back a few days later and/or after a whole bunch of chats and refer to that conversation. Updated: Since the December 15th update, chatGPT can automatically saves sessions and assigns it a name! Please note that it still doesn't share context between the saved sessions. Aka it won't be able to reference context from one saved conversation to another.

The more you play around with it, you'll better understand the current limitations. So, go have fun!

Some limitations to keep in mind:

  1. chatGPT can currently reference about 3000 words from the current conversation.

  2. chatGPT can't travel back to previous chats or closed session to help you with a response. For example, if you were chatting about Steve Jobs, you can't come back a few days later and/or after a whole bunch of chats and refer to that conversation. Updated: Since the December 15th update, chatGPT can automatically saves sessions and assigns it a name! Please note that it still doesn't share context between the saved sessions. Aka it won't be able to reference context from one saved conversation to another.

The more you play around with it, you'll better understand the current limitations. So, go have fun!

Some limitations to keep in mind:

  1. chatGPT can currently reference about 3000 words from the current conversation.

  2. chatGPT can't travel back to previous chats or closed session to help you with a response. For example, if you were chatting about Steve Jobs, you can't come back a few days later and/or after a whole bunch of chats and refer to that conversation. Updated: Since the December 15th update, chatGPT can automatically saves sessions and assigns it a name! Please note that it still doesn't share context between the saved sessions. Aka it won't be able to reference context from one saved conversation to another.

The more you play around with it, you'll better understand the current limitations. So, go have fun!

Yup 🤯. This has the potential to completely change the way we learn new skills. You can also ask it for recommended resources, art styles, and much more.

Alright, once you had a cool story that you can resonate with, change it to add your own flavor and spices, and move on to the next part!

Alright, time to get your hands dirty.

By now, I bet you’ve got some of your own ideas to test out writing prompts. Let’s put that to the test by seeing how creative chatGPT’s responses can get with your own prompts!

A few prompt ideas to get you started:

  • Write a rap battle between the periodic table of elements about their functions

  • Give descriptive feedback on what my code does in the style of a pirate {insert code here}

  • Build a choice based RPG game with a super creative story for me to play with you. Offer me 4 choices to choose from, listed as 1. 2. 3. and 4. I can only choose one choice every time the story progresses one section at a time. Stop each time to wait for my input. Begin!

Yup 🤯. This has the potential to completely change the way we learn new skills. You can also ask it for recommended resources, art styles, and much more.

Alright, once you had a cool story that you can resonate with, change it to add your own flavor and spices, and move on to the next part!

Creative challenges for all levels

chatGPT isn't about replacing human intelligence or trying to take over creative tasks. Just like a hammer is a tool for building - so is chatGPT. Writing and adjusting prompts is a creative task in itself. The outputs are incredibly varied depending on who is holding the steering wheel, or writing the prompts.

Try out some of these challenges below to go deeper than just writing prompts. You have the power to create whole products that can bring value to the world.

Pick one of the challenges below and get started! Which one will you choose?

🛶

LVL 1: No-code Newcomer

DETAILS
Beginner builders familiarizing themselves with integrations and API keys.

TECH
Gmail, GPT-3, Zapier

LINK
Build a GPT-3 Business Email Generator

🚤

LVL 2: Experience Explorer

DETAILS
Intermediate builders comfortable with reading and writing a little bit of code.

TECH
Telegram, Github, chatGPT

LINK
Build a chatGPT Telegram bot

🚢

LVL 3: GTFOL GrandMaster

DETAILS
Advanced builders accustomed to building and trying out new things in public.

TECH
Google Chrome Extension, Javascript, OpenAI Playground

LINK
Build your own AI writer w/ GPT-3

💡 Additional info

  1. Read this article on turning chatGPT into a LinuxOS

  2. Check out Aarya's note for more info about prompting

  3. Subscribe to Ben’s Bites for daily updates in the world of AI

🦾 Note: Intro to GPT-3 and Prompts

That's all for this note, folks!

There’s a lot of noise out there. I encourage you to keep learning, stay imaginative, and to tune in to signal wherever you find it.

Freestyle to your heart’s content, my friend.

– Emanuel

Pro-tip: you can actually ask chatGPT for a 10-day comic-writing curriculum