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What communication professionals should know about AI chatbots

Rarely did a global technology hype grow so quickly as ChatGPT. Within five days, this chatbot already had one million users, something that took Spotify 150 days. All over the news and the internet, we read about its opportunities and dangers. Time for a reality check: is this the end of human content production for marketing and PR?

Have you already experimented with ChatGPT from the company OpenAI? Then you know that this chatbot is a kind of Google search engine on steroids that can understand and execute commands in natural language. It can help writing texts, translating or summarising existing texts, answering questions, having conversations and even generating programming code. ChatGPT can do very impressive things and has single-handedly accelerated the AI hype. But what about the quality of  the output?

Large Language Model
ChatGPT is based on GPT-3, a so-called Large Language Model (LLM), which was created by applying deep learning to a huge amount of text from the internet. This allows the chatbot to say meaningful things based on the 175 billion parameters this language model contains. It names facts, makes connections and reproduces opinions and writing styles, all in a very believable way. But the question is: can you actually call this an artificially intelligent system?

Oracle or remix machine
We will immediately answer the question of whether ChatGPT is an intelligent system: no, it certainly is not. This language model is mostly very good at understanding and generating natural language. The results are often correct in content, but it also makes plenty of mistakes. Sometimes ChatGPT makes wrong connections or it says things that are too simple or incorrect. You can therefore best think of it as using an able remix machine for information and texts. But as with translation tools like Google Translate and Deepl, these texts still have to be fact-checked and edited for language by humans afterwards.

Human creativity
ChatGPT is definitely a useful tool for quickly generating raw texts on specific topics. But it is certainly not an oracle that can produce brilliant texts by itself. The quality depends heavily on how good and comprehensive the instruction is. And besides, this language model does not understand all the nuances of human language. As with computer translation, you could therefore say that ChatGPT is an interesting new tool in the virtual toolbox of marketing and PR professionals. Above all, it helps to get results faster. Because instead of using Google to search for information on the internet yourself and use it to write a text, ChatGPT does it all for you based on a simple instruction. But as impressive as that is, ChatGPT is clearly not yet a substitute for human knowledge and creativity. It remixes and reproduces information from the internet into natural language, but the quality is still determined by human instruction and control.

AI revolution
AI chatbots are capable of particularly impressive things. Yet we are only at the beginning of the AI revolution. ChatGPT is wildly popular at the moment, but new AI tools and services are constantly emerging. And all these tools will become increasingly intelligent and versatile in the coming years. Artificial intelligence is going to help us automate and accelerate our work in more and more areas in the near future. That is why it is imperative to delve into using these kinds of tools now. Otherwise, you risk missing out on the AI revolution and being overtaken left and right by your competition.