ChatGPT chatbot

Released: November 2022

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ChatGPT (or 'Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer') is an AI chatbot that is capable of understanding natural human language and generating detailed human-like written text and that provides information and answers questions through a conversational interface.

Built on a version of Open AI's GPT-3 large language model, ChatGPT was released as a prototype for general public use in November 2022. 


ChatGPT's ability to produce cogent, plausible responses on a huge range of topics, together with its ease of use, has been met with widespread acclaim. It has also proved popular; according to Open AI CEO Sam Altman, the bot attracted over one million registered users in five days and over one billion users by the end of March 2023, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history.

On the other hand, ChatGPT is seen to suffer from multiple technical limitations, notably its tendency to produce inaccurate, untrue, and offensive responses. It also seen to pose risks to jobs, education, academics and research organisations, and to social cohesion, as well as to the reputation of organisations using it and their compliance with government regulations.




OpenAI may have been open about some of ChatGPT's limitations, but its governance and algorithms are - and appear likely to remain - carefully concealed, commercially-driven black boxes. Little public information about how ChatGPT works is available, and access to its data, model, and algorithm are jealously guarded. 

Furthermore, it appears to have been made deliberately difficult to find privacy-related information and to make complaints and request personal information is removed, as pointed out by Italy's privacy regulator.

ChatGPT's visibility has also led to accusations that OpenAI is highly opaque on many aspects of its corporate governance, from its funding, financial performance, and supply chain management, including the amount of energy required to train and run its systems.

Operator: OpenAI
Developer: OpenAI

Country: USA; Global

Sector: Multiple

Purpose: Provide information, communicate

Technology: Chatbot; NLP/text analysis; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning; Reinforcement learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination; Confidentiality; Copyright; Dual-multi-use; Employment; Mis/disinformation; Privacy; Safety; Security

Transparency: Governance; Black box; Complaints/appeals; Marketing; Privacy


Legal, regulatory

Research, advocacy

News, commentary, analysis

Page info
Type: System
Published: December 2022
Last updated: May 2023