Dec 5 (Reuters) - The use of artificial intelligence
(AI) in emerging technologies continues to advance rapidly. San
Francisco-based OpenAI made its latest creation, the ChatGPT
chatbot, available for free public testing on Nov. 30. A chatbot
is a software application designed to mimic human-like
conversation based on user prompts.
Within a week of ChatGPT being unveiled, over a million
users had tried to make the tool talk, according to Sam Altman,
co-founder and CEO of OpenAI.
WHO OWNS OPENAI AND IS ELON MUSK INVOLVED?
OpenAI, a research and development firm, was founded as a
nonprofit in 2015 by Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman and
billionaire Elon Musk and attracted funding from several others,
including venture capitalist Peter Thiel. In 2019, the group
created a related for-profit entity to take in outside
Musk, who remains engulfed in his overhaul of social
networking firm Twitter, left OpenAIs board in 2018, but chimed
in with his take on the viral phenomenon, calling it "scary
Musk later tweeted that he was pausing OpenAIs access to
Twitters database after learning that the firm was using it to
"train" the tool.
HOW OPENAI WORKS
OpenAI states that their ChatGPT model, trained using a
machine learning technique called Reinforcement Learning from
Human Feedback (RLHF), can simulate dialogue, answer follow-up
questions, admit mistakes, challenge incorrect premises and
reject inappropriate requests.
Initial development involved human AI trainers providing the
model with conversations in which they played both sides the
user and an AI assistant. The version of the bot available for
public testing attempts to understand questions posed by users
and responds with in-depth answers resembling human-written text
in a conversational format.
WHAT COULD IT BE USED FOR?
A tool like ChatGPT could be used in real-world applications
such as digital marketing, online content creation, answering
customer service queries or as some users have found, even to
help debug code.
The bot can respond to a large range of questions while
imitating human speaking styles.
IS IT PROBLEMATIC?
As with many AI-driven innovations, ChatGPT does not come
without misgivings. OpenAI has acknowledged the tools tendency
to respond with "plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical
answers", an issue it considers challenging to fix.
AI technology can also perpetuate societal biases like those
around race, gender and culture. Tech giants including Alphabet
Inc's Google and Amazon.com have previously
acknowledged that some of their projects that experimented with
AI were "ethically dicey" and had limitations. At several
companies, humans had to step in and fix AI havoc.
Despite these concerns, AI research remains attractive.
Venture capital investment in AI development and operations
companies rose last year to nearly $13 billion, and $6 billion
had poured in through October this year, according to data from
PitchBook, a Seattle company tracking financings.
(Reporting by Siddharth K in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa