Data & Analytics

AI Language Tools Hit the Books ... and Technical Content?

ChatGPT and its derivative artificial intelligence chatbots are fulfilling the needs and satisfying the curiosity of novices and more experienced AI users. Have you gotten your feet wet or dove right in?

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Getty Images.

Are you among the millions of ChatGPT users/experimenters around the world? Or impatiently parked on the waitlist?

OpenAI launched ChatGPT in late November 2022 with little fanfare. Within a week, the company reported 1 million users. Within the first month, it exceeded 57 million users. Since then, it has been updated several times and a UBS analyst estimated in February that the artificial intelligence (AI) language tool reached 100 million users. The website exceeded 13 million daily visitors as of January. On 1 February, OpenAI announced a ChatGPT Plus monthly subscription plan to give priority access to the chatbot.

Clearly, AI language tools are fulfilling the needs and/or satisfying the curiosity of novices and more experienced AI users. Microsoft took notice and in January confirmed the extension of its partnership with OpenAI, an investment rumored to be $10 billion (not confirmed by Microsoft). Microsoft Azure will also continue as the exclusive cloud provider for the tool since OpenAI uses Azure to train its models.

ChatGPT (generative pretrained transformer) is not the only AI tool available. Microsoft upgraded its Bing AI search engine, which is powered by an upgraded model of ChatGPT. ChatSonic, also built on top of ChatGPT, can access the internet. Jasper Chat, based on GPT 3.5 with OpenAI as its partner, was built for advertising and marketing businesses. Google Bard is an experimental conversational AI service powered by Google’s own next-generation language model. Character AI revolves around the concept of personas, trained with conversations in mind. Users choose from various personalities (e.g., Elon Musk, Tony Stark, Socrates, US President Biden, Kayne West, etc.) vs. interacting with a single AI chatbot. YouChat is built into a search engine and trained on a ChatGPT model. It holds conversations with full access to the internet. Caktus AI, not available as a free service, is aimed toward students and touted by the company as “the first-ever educational AI tool.” It helps with student content ranging from essays to writing paragraphs and extends to discussions, questions, and coding. There’s also a bot for programmers, GitHub Copilot X, which suggests and completes code and functions in real time.

There are many more options and sure to be plenty more developed with specific user types in mind (e.g., technical specialties, business communications, conversational, special interests). All will have their own pros and cons.

A retired systems engineer, formerly with General Dynamics Canada, Rob Miller, wrote a column inCanada’s National Observerabout his experience using ChatGPT as a research tool for a story about carbon capture and storage—he gave a mixed review.

As AI tools gain attention and provide assistance to a wide range of authors and researchers, SPE recently announced its policy for authors who use the tools to generate content for their papers. AI-generated content may be used within SPE publications, but under specific conditions.

Open-source libraries, such as those used in ChatGPT and others, are not fail-safe solutions, as evidenced on 20 March when OpenAI took the chatbot offline due to a bug “which allowed some users to see titles from another active user’s chat history,” according to the company. “It’s also possible that the first message of a newly created conversation was visible in someone else’s chat history if both users were active around the same time.”

OpenAI also discovered that “the same bug may have caused the unintentional visibility of payment-related information of 1.2% of the ChatGPT Plus subscribers who were active during a specific 9-hour window. … it was possible for some users to see another active user’s first and last name, email address, payment address, the last four digits (only) of a credit card number, and credit card expiration date.”

I’d like to hear about your experience with ChatGPT or any of the other options. How did you use it? What type of content were you generating? If you were aiming for assistance with technical content related to oil/gas/energy, how useful was the chatbot? Share your comments and pros and cons at JPTComments.