It has an answer for just about everything… to the point where Google and its search engine have been obsolete since its launch in late 2022. ChatGPT is the name of the latest conversational robot developed by California-based startup OpenAI. Ask him about anything, he will do it in the blink of an eye.
Explain a scientific concept, solve a mathematical equation, write a play, write a dissertation… To do this, this super-complex computer program, enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, has been trained using an artificial neural network that mimics, in general, the functioning of the human brain.
“It’s really amazing, if not traumatic for a person”comments with TF1info Jean-Gabriel Ganacha, professor of computer science at the Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris VII) and researcher in the field of artificial intelligence. “When you use it, it really seems like the machine has reasoning and thinking”, adds this expert. But in reality it is just an illusion. When ChatGPT creates text, the program simply embroiders one word after another without any predetermined purpose. The machine simply makes sure that each word has a statistical agreement with the words that precede it. But the result is no less impressive and marks a technological leap in the development of conversational robots, which previously had the vocabulary of a dictionary and the memory of a goldfish.
“The monstrous size of this technology is due both to the gigantism of the machines required for its operation, and the phenomenal amount of information that its developers forced to swallow. It’s just dizzy”continues Jean-Gabriel Ganacha. Dizzy, to say the least. ChatGPT contains no less than 175 billion parameters optimized for the text of university web pages, blogs, books and Wikipedia, which is a total of 750,000 times the size of the Bible. “For comparison, there are 100 to 200 billion neurons in the human brain. Obviously, the number of neural connections is incomparable, but this gives you an order of magnitude gigantism of technology, ” notes an AI specialist.
Precautions to avoid drifting
Of course, all this has a price! The setup required to learn this automatic language model has not been disclosed by OpenAI. However, according to Time, the cost will be about 5 million dollars. As for the techno spin machine, after completing the training, it will cost around $200,000, according to a Swiss newspaper. “with significant environmental impact”, notes Jean-Gabriel Gashian. Thus, the production of twenty pages of text will require as much energy as boiling 1 liter of water. Gluttony, which did not prevent ChatGPT from polling more than a million users at the end of December. But aside from the environmental implications, its impact on society could be as significant as robotization in the early 2000s.
Especially since the recent excesses – like the students who are already using it to cheat – are, of course, only the beginning. So should we be afraid of this? “It is always difficult to place limits on what we can do with artificial intelligence. However, even if this technology can give the impression that it behaves like a human, it has no conscience and only reproduces what its creators taught it.”, reminds a researcher in the field of artificial intelligence. In addition, to avoid abuse, OpenAI has implemented security measures. So, on the main page, the company indicates that the chatbot can generate “wrong information” Where “create dangerous instructions or biased content”. And ChatGPT refuses to take sides. Anyway, until…
Now at the forefront of AI technology, OpenAI was founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Elon Musk (who left the company in 2018) and businessman Sam Altman. The goal of the startup, as its name suggests, is to make artificial intelligence technologies available to the general public. It is especially known for two auto-generating programs: GPT, which generates text, and DALL-E, which generates an image (from the description). The technology is available online for free, but the California-based startup is already considering a paid version of its conversational robot with additional features.