3 Things to Remember when using ChatGPT

ChatGPT has become increasingly popular as a tool for various tasks, and with the latest plug-ins, it is now even stronger. However, while helpful, it is not infallible, and over-relying on it can have negative consequences.

Here’re some ways to avoid potential pitfalls.

1) Grow in AI literacy

Ever since its launch, ChatGPT has been used for writing, text summarizing, idea generation, an interactive search engine, language translation and more.

It’s convenient and useful, so what’s not to love?

The thing is, users have to understand ChatGPT’s current limitations. It may not get the nuances of a particular question or be able to provide a completely accurate answer. In fact, it’s provided me with incorrect information a few times. It may not be able to provide the level of detail or context required, too (elaborated on below).

It’s also important to remember that it uses data generated by humans, which will contain inaccuracies and bias. While it’s impossible for any answer to be 100% objective, that’s a topic for another day.

This is where knowing more about AI comes in! AI literacy helps you better understand its technologies, applications, and potential use cases. For starters, AI Singapore has free courses you can explore.

Here are a few courses you can take to learn more about AI.

  • AI for Everyone
    • A course offered by DeepLearning.AI, an education technology company, on Coursera
  • AI for Everyone (AI4E)®
    • For non-technical learners and offered by AI Singapore. This is a free online course.
  • Elements of AI Introduction to AI course
    • A course created by MinnaLearn and the University of Helsinki (Finland). It can be taken at your own pace.

For courses that teach you AI as a skill or career path, check out this article instead.

You can also read OpenAI’s blog posts, where ChatGPT’s developers share about AI and clearly state the language model’s limitations as well as why they arise. Who better to consult than actual AI practitioners?

2) Engage in Critical Thinking

When using ChatGPT, treat it as a guide! It’s a great kickstarter, but relying on it too much may reduce your creativity and innovation. ChatGPT is quite literally in a box — don’t forget to think out of it!

Use it in conjunction with other tools and resources, and always make sure to fact-check what it generates if it’s a subject you’re unfamiliar with. Make sure to tweak everything it produces, no matter how coherent an answer sounds. If you’re using it for assignments, never use it to copy: ethics aside, your professors or lecturers are likely able to tell that your work was AI-generated.

Try conveying what is expressed in your own thoughts or words. Alternatively, make it such that ChatGPT only offers you prompts, not fully-scripted answers.

3) Remember that ChatGPT isn’t Human

These are some limitations to bear in mind as you use ChatGPT:

  • As mentioned above, ChatGPT has a harder time understanding context and nuance. You will need to fine-tune the model or “train” it to get it to better predict the information or answers you need. This can be pretty time-consuming for a short assignment.
  • It will fill in answers with inaccurate information instead of doing more research like you would if there is insufficient information on a certain topic. This is because it currently doesn’t have access to real-time data. For example, it told me that Singaporean actress and host, Munah Bagharib, founded a local skincare brand.
  • The language model lacks emotional intelligence, no matter how sentient its responses make it appear, and this highlights why you shouldn’t rely on it for mental or emotional support. Recently, a man committed suicide after an AI chatbot “encouraged” him to do so. Remember: ChatGPT’s coherence does not equate to understanding!
  • It is also unable to generate unique and personalized responses for users. This adds to the risk of plagiarism and also produces answers that can sound really droll and uninspiring. Rely on it too much, and you will compromise your ability to write creatively.

Whenever you use the model, remember that it Is neither your friend nor your teacher. Consider it a tool or perhaps something fun to play around with. Understand what it can and cannot do; you’ll do just fine.



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