The answer to how ChatGPT works is in its name, specifically GPT, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer.
Altogether this means that ChatGPT works by predicting answers to questions, based and all of the data it has been fed -- similar to studying and cramming before a test a high school math test. However, unlike humans, ChatGPT doesn't change its answers based on feedback, yet.
ChatGPT generates false information
ChatGPT does not have current information
ChatGPT is not free from bias
Burgess, M. (2023, April 4). ChatGPT has a big privacy problem. Wired. https://www.wired.com/story/italy-ban-chatgpt-privacy-gdpr/
ChatGPT and Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI): Incorrect bibliographic references. (2023a, April 27). University of Waterloo Library. https://subjectguides.uwaterloo.ca/chatgpt_generative_ai/incorrectbibreferences
ChatGPT and Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI): Potential for bias based on prompt. (2023b, April 27). University of Waterloo Library. https://subjectguides.uwaterloo.ca/chatgpt_generative_ai/chatgptbias
ChatGPT and large language model bias. (2023, March 5). CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chatgpt-large-language-model-bias-60-minutes-2023-03-05/
Metz, C. (2023, March 29). What Makes A.I. Chatbots Go Wrong? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/29/technology/ai-chatbots-hallucinations.html
Ortiz, S. (2023, April 18). What is ChatGPT and why does it matter? Here's what you need to know. ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-chatgpt-and-why-does-it-matter-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/
In short, ChatGPT is very good at sounding smart. It’s just not very good at being smart.
Check out these examples of ChatGPT getting it wrong:
It will produce a chunk of text about that topic, but it's unlikely to be great. This is because ChatGPT and similar AI tools work by giving the tool a prompt, or instructions, to follow.
A good prompt generates basic text that needs tweaking; a great prompt might need to be run a few times but is specific and useful to the user. For a prompt to be great it needs the following elements: