ChatGPT: The Basics - AVID Open Access (2023)

ChatGPT has been a hot topic since its release in November 2022, and it’s the latest example of disruptive innovation to hit education. Because of its potential to impact, and possibly transform, multiple aspects of our world, including education, it’s helpful for educators to know at least a little bit about this technology as it becomes more mainstream. This article will serve as an introduction to ChatGPT that covers some of the basics.

What Is ChatGPT?

In simple terms, ChatGPT is a web-based, artificial intelligence tool developed by OpenAI that generates human-like text responses to questions and word prompts. You type in a question or request, and the program gives you a response in complete, well-crafted sentences. Each response is unique, so if you enter the same query five times, you’ll get five different responses.

Who Can Use ChatGPT?

The terms of use state that anyone 18 years of age or older who is “able to form a binding contract with OpenAI” can use ChatGPT. Users must agree to these terms and also set up a free account to use the site.

How Do I Use ChatGPT?

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Once you’ve created your account and logged in, you will be greeted by a simple interface. The home screen has a short menu of options on the left, including prompts to initiate a new chat and clear current conversations. The middle of the screen offers some helpful tips to get you started, and the bottom of the screen features the most important part of the page: a single search box that functions much like a Google search field.

ChatGPT: The Basics - AVID Open Access (1)

To begin, you can simply type your question or keyword prompts in the search box. The list of ideas on the landing page offers you three examples of what you can enter in the search field to help get you started:

  • ”Explain quantum computing in simple terms”
  • “Got any creative ideas for a 10 year old’s birthday?”
  • “How do I make an HTTP request in Javascript?”

Once you enter your prompt, simply click the enter key on your keyboard or click the send icon located to the right of the search field. ChatGPT will begin providing a response. If your query is complex, it may take a moment for the results to begin appearing. As ChatGPT processes its response, you can watch the application typing out your answer in real time while it’s being generated.

How Does ChatGPT Work?

ChatGPT is not connected to the live Internet. Rather, it relies on a massive database ofcontent that includes data and information curated from as recent as 2021. For example, a question about July 4, 2022, returned a response indicating that the program’s training only goes up to 2021.

ChatGPT: The Basics - AVID Open Access (2)

(Video) Q&A OpenAI (ChatGPT)

To begin a query, you must enter a question or command in the search field. Once you submit the query, ChatGPT analyzes its storehouse of information and finds content that its algorithms believe aligns to your request. In many ways, it feels like using a web search engine. One important difference, however, is that instead of providing you with a list of links that you would need to review and synthesize, ChatGPT makes the connections for you and provides you with an answer in complete sentences. It’s important to recognize that while ChatGPT provides you with a response, it does not indicate its sources or how it arrived at its answer.

To provide you with humanlike, narrative responses, the program uses artificial intelligence and predictive text algorithms. Essentially, when you ask a question, it sifts through the billions of articles, words, and sentences in its database, and then generates the most probable response to your query based on its learned examples. To make responses sound more human, it generates sentences based on the styles and formats of the human-composed writing samples found in its database.The artificial intelligence uses these samples to help ChatGPT learn how to write like a human.

What Are Some of ChatGPT's Capabilities and Limitations?

Users have already begun sharing countless examples of how they are using ChatGPT. Several examples have generated considerable publicity, including the writing of academic essays and college application letters. Teachers have shared how they have used the program to find lesson plan ideas or to generate writing examples to use in class. Others have used it as a way to get feedback on their own writing samples. A man in Minnesota even used it to write an entire online course about artificial intelligence. There have also been reports of people using it for nefarious purposes, such as generating malicious code and phishing emails.

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To help users better understand how the program works, ChatGPT lists three specific capabilities on its homepage.It notes the following:

  • “Remembers what user said earlier in the conversation”
  • “Allows users to provide follow-up corrections”
  • “Trained to decline inappropriate requests”

Because the program remembers earlier conversations, it can use its AI to learn from your queries and adapt to them over time. By intentionally providing follow-up corrections, the program can refine the answers it provides based on your feedback and input. For instance, you might ask the program to provide more specific examples than those included in a first answer. The program will then rewrite its response based on your feedback and include more examples in the next version. This capability of the program to revise its work based on user input creates a unique relationship between AI and human interaction.The human element becomes an important ingredient in refining AI-generated answers.

ChatGPT’s third stated capability claims that the program is trained to decline inappropriate requests. While this sounds reassuring, no definition is provided for what this means, and users have reported being able to get around this restriction by asking creative questions. Because of this ambiguity, this may be one of the claims to watch as the tool continues to develop.

The program also concedes that it has limitations. It lists three:

  • “May occasionally generate incorrect information”
  • “May occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content”
  • “Limited knowledge of world and events after 2021”

While ChatGPT is fast and convenient, its answers are not always accurate. In fact, sometimes when the program can’t find a good response to your question, it fabricates an answer. Multiple users have reported this happening when they asked for bibliography entries about a topic. Some of the entries were made up, even though they looked legitimate and were posted using official citation formatting. At times, the program will simply acknowledge that it cannot answer your question, as it did with the July 4th example mentioned previously.

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Finally, it’s also important to note that because responses are based on content created by humans, the biases and inaccuracies of those content creators will be reflected in the responses. Similarly, because the information is from 2021 and earlier, your results will be limited to content from that time period. ChatGPT is also clear about its inability to predict future events.

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Artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT are generating both excitement and concern, much like any disruptive technology has done in the past and will likely do in the future.

And this is just the beginning. AI is a rapidly evolving science. In fact, the details of this article are likely to become dated quite quickly as these tools are improved and refined. For that reason, it will be important to continually follow the developments of AI, and in this specific case, ChatGPT. While ChatGPT is the first AI program to hit the mainstream, it is not the only one in development. In fact, Google reportedly has an AI program that is even better than ChatGPT, but they have chosen to not yet release it.

Artificial intelligence will almost certainly be a dynamic field of study in the years ahead, and it has the potential to transform our world, much like electricity, the automobile, the personal computer, and the internet have done. Stay tuned.

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What are the basics of ChatGPT? ›

In simple terms, ChatGPT is a web-based, artificial intelligence tool developed by OpenAI that generates human-like text responses to questions and word prompts. You type in a question or request, and the program gives you a response in complete, well-crafted sentences.

Why are educators worried about ChatGPT? ›

The biggest concern is cheating. More than one-fourth of teachers have caught students using the chatbot to cheat, the survey found. An influx of ChatGPT generated work has left many educators spending more time checking for AI plagiarism and revamping lesson plans to be “AI-proof”.

How professors can use ChatGPT? ›

Teachers could use ChatGPT to improve assessment questions and generate multiple-choice items. They could also use it as an input to encourage higher-order thinking skills by providing prompts for the essay questions and practical tasks.

How students are using ChatGPT? ›

More from the survey: 48% of students admitted to using ChatGPT for an at-home test or quiz, 53% had it write an essay, and 22% had it write an outline for a paper. 72% of college students believe that ChatGPT should be banned from their college's network.

Will ChatGPT replace programmers? ›

The AI-based tool may help you build the code blocks faster, but you'll definitely require a skilled developer to connect those blocks in an organized way to get the desired results. Thus, ChatGPT or any other AI tool will not replace human developers; but can significantly increase their overall productivity.

Can ChatGPT be detected? ›

It is now completely possible for universities to detect ChatGPT and many other AI content generators. If work is submitted through a university's learning management system, such as Turnitin, AI, and plagiarism detection should happen.

Can professors tell if you use ChatGPT? ›

However, some professors on Reddit have even confessed they can sniff out a ChatGPT essay or the use of ai from a mile away. Many have reported that the AI bot produces mediocre responses that lack any critical analysis. Which may be an indicator to anyone assessing your assignment.

Will I get caught using ChatGPT? ›

Yes, you can get caught using ChatGPT for writing assignments. Your teacher or professor likely has one or more AI detection tools at their disposal, with options like TurnItIn, GPTZero, Gradescope, Copyleaks, and OriginalityAI being the most common.

How many students use ChatGPT to cheat? ›

Over half of college students (51%) believe that using artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT to complete assignments and exams is cheating. Two in ten (20%) disagreed, and the remainder were neutral.

Can you use ChatGPT to write college essays? ›

While it's not a good idea to use ChatGPT for college admissions materials, it's not the only tool available to help students with college essays and assignments. One of the best strategies students can use to write good essays is to make sure they give themselves plenty of time for the assignment.

Are teachers using ChatGPT more than students? ›

Teachers are using OpenAI's ChatGPT more frequently than their students, according to a new survey from the Walton Family Foundation. The survey found teachers are using ChatGPT for lesson planning and to generate creative ideas for classes.

What are universities doing about ChatGPT? ›

Across universities, professors have been looking into ways to engage students so cheating with ChatGPT is not as attractive, such as making assignments more personalized to students' interests and requiring students to complete brainstorming assignments and essay drafts instead of just one final paper.

What are the disadvantages of ChatGPT? ›

The Disadvantages of ChatGPT. One of the biggest cons of ChatGPT or any other AI chatbot is that it cannot be used as an authoritative source of information. At the time of writing (April 2023), the technology still relies on content from the internet, as in 2021.

Should I use ChatGPT? ›

ChatGPT can improve your writing

So, chatbots can't be your friend, but ChatGPT could be better than a friend when it comes to editing written work. If used properly, ChatGPT can make a paper shorter, rewrite some passages, check grammar, and improve or change the style of text.

Will ChatGPT replace Google? ›

ChatGPT is not replacing Google. OpenAI's chatbot is not designed to act as a search engine. It functions well as a question-answering chatbot and a personal assistant for a variety of tasks. So, if you were hoping to use ChatGPT to find your local bus schedule you may want to think again.

Which jobs can ChatGPT replace? ›

Jobs At Risk of Being Replaced by ChatGPT
  • Mathematicians.
  • Interpretators and Translators.
  • Poets, Lyricists, and Creative Writers.
  • Web Designers.
  • News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists.
  • Lawyers and Paralegals.
  • Accountants and Auditors.
  • Teachers.
May 2, 2023

What jobs will survive AI? ›

Below, we've rounded up the top fields for job stability in a world of rapid technological advancement.
  • Nursing. ...
  • Physical Therapy. ...
  • Teaching. ...
  • Human Resources Management. ...
  • Software Engineering. ...
  • Psychology. ...
  • Social Work. ...
  • Law.
Mar 27, 2023

Does ChatGPT give the same answers? ›

No, ChatGPT does not give the exact same answer and wording to everyone who asks the same question. While it may generate similar responses for identical or similar queries, it can also produce different responses based on the specific context, phrasing, and quality of input provided by each user.

How accurate are ChatGPT detectors? ›

Turnitin recently launched a new tool to detect language written with artificial intelligence. The company claims its tool is 98% accurate in detecting content created by AI. A test of the tool using various forms of ChatGPT-generated copy revealed remarkable accuracy.

Is ChatGPT not an AI? ›

Artificial intelligence has been a dream for centuries, but it only recently went “viral” because of enormous progress in computing power and data analysis. Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT are essentially a very sophisticated form of auto-complete.

How do teachers know if you self plagiarized? ›

Most institutions have an internal database of previously submitted student papers. Turnitin can check for self-plagiarism by comparing your paper against this database. If you've reused parts of an assignment you already submitted, it will flag any similarities as potential plagiarism.

How do teachers know if you plagiarize? ›

Every professor has different methods. Some professors use plagiarism checkers like Turnitin. Others might pull up a search engine and search for commonly used words and phrases in your paper. Some may look to see the check-lists found on academic databases.

How do professors detect cheating? ›

Plagiarism Websites

Websites like, and are favorites of professors who want to check sentences, phrases and whole documents. These sites compare what the professor enters with papers that are online and in the sites' databases.

How do I stop ChatGPT from being detected? ›

How to make ChatGPT text undetectable
  1. Rewrite the following text so that it's harder to detect as coming from ChatGPT by a ChatGPT detector.
  2. Rewrite the following text. Write like a human, more spoken language, more line breaks.
  3. Paraphrase the following, use random words and rare words. Write more like a human.
May 4, 2023

Can I get expelled for using ChatGPT? ›

While the advanced language model may seem like the perfect solution for writer's block, the consequences of getting caught using Chat GPT can be severe, like getting expelled from college.

How do I not get caught using AI? ›

4 ways to avoid detection
  1. Get the AI to output text less likely to detect.
  2. Use another tool to camouflage the text as AI generated.
  3. Use a tool with a more advanced AI engine.
  4. Mixing human and AI writing.
May 16, 2023

What percent of students get caught cheating in college? ›

95% of cheaters don't get caught

This is another motive for other students to break the established rules of academic integrity. According to U.S. News and World Report, 90% of polled college students are sure that they will not be caught cheating.

Is writing someone's college essay illegal? ›

It's pay someone to write your paper not legal to pay an individual to write your paper. It could make you appear unprofessional and put yourself at a disadvantage in comparison to other students. The use of plagiarism is also considered illegal.

How will ChatGPT affect education? ›

Advanced chatbots could be used as powerful classroom aids that make lessons more interactive, teach students media literacy, generate personalized lesson plans, save teachers time on admin, and more.

Can a college essay be 650 words? ›

If your institution doesn't provide a specific word count, it's best to keep your essay between the length established by the longer college admissions essay format: 250 to 650 words.

Can teachers tell if you use AI? ›

Yes. There are many tools that can detect AI-generated content. The most prominent is OpenAI AI Text Classifier. The “OpenAI AI Text Classifier” is a tool developed by OpenAI that is trained to distinguish between text written by humans and text written by artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

How many students sleep with their teachers? ›

While it might not be the majority, that's still 14 percent of students (and former students) who have been sexual with a professor, TA, or member of the academic staff. Respondents also told us that 45.5 percent of those entanglements were kicked off by the teacher or faculty member.

What is the age limit for ChatGPT? ›

There is no set minimum age restriction for using ChatGPT, but it requires you to sign in with an email address and to accept the site terms and conditions before you begin using it. On ChatGPT you can type in a question or topic that you'd like to learn more about.

What colleges do most storyboarders go to? ›

Best Colleges For Storyboard Artists
  1. University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, PA • Private. In-State Tuition. ...
  2. Northeastern University. Boston, MA • Private. In-State Tuition. ...
  3. Harvard University. Cambridge, MA • Private. ...
  4. New York University. New York, NY • Private. ...
  5. Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA • Private.

Why did chatbot stop writing? ›

Reasons Why ChatGPT Stops Suddenly

First, it could be that ChatGPT has reached its character or token limit for your account type. There is no solution here other than upgrading or asking it to shorten its response to X characters or break down your initial prompt into smaller sub prompts.

What is ChatGPT and how do you use it? ›

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that uses natural language processing to create humanlike conversational dialogue. The language model can respond to questions and compose various written content, including articles, social media posts, essays, code and emails.

How do I get the most out of ChatGPT? ›

10 ChatGPT Tips for The Best Results
  1. Be specific on word count and put higher than you need. ...
  2. Don't be afraid to ask it to add more. ...
  3. Understand its limitations. ...
  4. It's better at creating outlines rather than full pieces of content. ...
  5. Make sure your request is clear and concise. ...
  6. You can ask it to reformulate its response.

How is ChatGPT used in project management? ›

However, with so many tasks on your plate, it can be challenging to manage your workload. That's where ChatGPT comes in. This AI tool can help streamline many of the time-consuming tasks, from creating meeting summaries and action items to researching complex topics and rewriting status updates.

How do I interact with ChatGPT? ›

You can access ChatGPT by going to and logging in. If you're on OpenAI's website, you can log in to your account, then scroll down until you see ChatGTP on the bottom left corner of the page, and click on it to start chatting.

Is ChatGPT better than Google? ›

While both ChatGPT and Google have their own unique capabilities, they are used for different purposes. ChatGPT is a sophisticated AI chatbot that is capable of understanding and responding to natural language, while Google is a powerful search engine that is used for finding specific information on the Internet.

Can I use ChatGPT for free? ›

Is ChatGPT free to use? Yes, after you register on OpenAI's website. However, OpenAi also offers a premium version, ChatGPT Plus, that costs $20 a month and provides faster response speed, availability even during times of high demand, and priority access to new features.

What are some useful ChatGPT prompts? ›

The 14 Best ChatGPT Prompts on GitHub
  • Summarize Self-Help Books.
  • Translate Foreign Text.
  • Seek Medical Information.
  • Write Code Snippets.
  • Generate Text-to-Image Prompts.
  • Explain Complex Algorithms.
  • Draft Partnership Agreements.
  • Portray Fictional Characters.
Apr 16, 2023

Does ChatGPT have an app? ›

ChatGPT is available for iOS, with the Android version rolling out soon. Here's how you can use it: Download and install the official ChatGPT app from the App Store.

Is chat GPT plus worth it? ›

Faster response times: As mentioned earlier, ChatGPT Plus offers faster response times in comparison to the free access ChatGPT. This is especially true when using the GPT-3.5 version as a ChatGPT Plus member. This allows you to write code much faster with consistent access.

Will ChatGPT replace project managers? ›

ChatGPT can't replace the whole team, as it can't communicate with other members, managers, clients, and partners, as well as generate ideas on its own to help clients get the most out of their projects.

How does ChatGPT affect project management? ›

By automating many aspects of the project management process, ChatGPT can reduce the time and effort required to manage projects. This can help project managers focus on high-level tasks, such as strategy development and problem-solving.

How to do project monitoring? ›

How to implement project monitoring
  1. Create a plan or outline. It's important to begin with a plan or outline for how you can monitor the project. ...
  2. Set goals and expectations. ...
  3. Decide how to monitor project. ...
  4. Evaluate reports. ...
  5. Make necessary improvements. ...
  6. Collect and track data. ...
  7. Provide progress updates. ...
  8. Manage expectations.
Mar 10, 2023

How long is ChatGPT free? ›

Yes, ChatGPT is unlimited in use and free to use just as long as you can access it. This may be restricted by demand – like when the ChatGPT is at capacity – and you may experience slower response times. However, there appears no hard limit on use when in the application.

Does ChatGPT have an API? ›

The ChatGPT API is primarily optimized for chat but it also works well for text completion tasks. The gpt-3.5-turbo and gpt-4 models are more powerful and cheaper than the previous GPT-3 models.


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