New Audio Available for Media Use: What is ChatGPT and What’s it All About?

BALTIMORE, MD, March 30, 2023 – New audio is available for media use featuring Soroush Saghafian of Harvard University. He is the founder and director of the Public Impact Analytics Science Lab (PIAS-Lab). His current teaching focuses on machine learning and big data analytics tools for solving societal problems. Saghafian speaks about ChatGPT and breaks down what is it and how it’s being used. This content is provided by INFORMS, the largest association for the decision and data sciences. What follows are four questions and responses. These responses were provided on March 29, 2023.



Question 1: What is ChatGPT?

Time Cue: 0:30, Soundbite Duration: :24

“ChatGPT, where GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a chat bot that was developed by OpenAI that is based on analytic science models that we call them Large Language Models, or LLMs. So, these models offer many benefits, including answering questions, having conversations with users, translating between languages and even producing codes.”  



Question 2: What are ChatGPT’s most popular initial applications and why?

Time Cue: :59, Soundbite Duration: :48

“Well, one is for using it for work productivity. So, writing an email or a letter for you, drafting content or creating outline for an article, drafting a blog post, writing a piece of code, etc. Second is using it for customer support, so it can provide immediate and efficient customer support by handling a large volume of inquiries. Third is in using it for educational purposes, so summarizing an article or a book chapter, for instance, answering some questions for students or educators, helping students in learning by providing examples and explanations. And fourth is in translation. So, it has interesting capabilities in translating between languages, and its applications have gained popularity, mainly because they address common needs across various industries and users.”



Question 3: How would you describe the potential for ChatGPT and other similar platforms?

Time Cue: 01:55, Soundbite Duration: :27

“Well, I think the potentials are huge. So, examples include enhancing productivity specifically by automating repetitive tasks, revolutionizing search engines, which is very important, enhancing education. So, many startups are now integrating it with their educational products, and also in facilitating innovation and cross-cultural communication, again, because of the translational capabilities that I mentioned.”



Question 4: What are the ethical implications and responsibilities of the developers of AI platforms like ChatGPT?

Time Cue: 2:31, Soundbite Duration: 1:10

“Well, a lyric in Leonard Cohen's Anthem reminds us that there is a crack in everything, and that's how the light gets in. I think it's important to see the light that gets in, inform others about it, and also try to fix it. So, tools like ChatGPT are being widely used, so obviously there are various important ethical and societal implications for their wider spread use. So, I hope that the developers can quickly correct or at least warn the public about their critical shortcomings. In case of ChatGPT, for instance, people are using it for medical advice, and I'm worried about it because it provides wrong and sometimes harmful medical advice, generating misinformation in answering a variety of questions. And if you ask for a reference, it confidently makes up one for you. Third is in terms of algorithmic bias, it's trained over existing texts that are generated by humans who by nature are biased, and ChatGPT can increase such biases. Fourth is the fact that it's not trained over recent events and makes mistakes in answering questions that are related to such events. And finally, it's sensitive to small tweaks and prompts, which can sometimes be harmful.”


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With more than 12,000 members from around the world, INFORMS is the largest association for the decision and data sciences, made up of professionals and students. INFORMS members support organizations and governments at all levels as they work to transform data into information, and information into insights that lead to more efficient, effective, equitable and impactful results.

New Audio Available for Media Use: What is ChatGPT and What’s it All About?

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