Seven questions about ChatGPT answered

Gartner experts weigh in on how valuable ChatGPT is and whether it’s safe to use.

Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer or, as you may know it, ChatGPT, is a chatbot and generative AI language tool launched by OpenAI in November 2022. At times, it feels as if we’ve heard about nothing else since.

But amidst all the excitement – about ChatGPT in particular and conversational artificial intelligence in general – many questions remain about what generative AI really is and what it can do, both for people and in enterprise use cases. Here, Gartner experts address some of the most common inquiries they’ve received from clients and vendors.

1: What role will ChatGPT play in the enterprise? 
ChatGPT – and other foundation models like it – is one of many hyperautomation and AI innovations. It will form a part of architected solutions that automate, augment humans or machines, and autonomously execute business and IT processes. It will also likely be used to replace, recalibrate and redefine some of the activities and tasks included in various jobs.

2: What are the different ways you can use ChatGPT? 
ChatGPT is capable of:
•    Generating and helping to improve prose and code development.
•    Summarising text.
•    Classifying content.
•    Answering questions.
•    Translating and converting language (including programming languages).

Beyond that, there are four main ways to deploy the ChatGPT technology, two of which are currently possible:
•    As-is: Inputting prompts and receiving results via the web-based interface. This is by far the most popular approach today.
•    Prompt engineering without APIs: Prompt engineering refers to the use of a service like ChatGPT in conjunction with other technologies, as part of a workflow. You can create this workflow manually or by using screen scrape and robotic process automation (RPA) technologies.
•    Prompt engineering using APIs: This model is not yet available, but it is expected to debut by the middle of the year. While you may find solutions that enable an API wrapper around ChatGPT, we don’t recommend them for production builds or scale, and OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, does not support them.
•    Custom build: It is possible to create a custom build of the core GPT2/GPT3 or other foundation model for a bespoke implementation, but you would lose the conversational interaction or prompt filtering provided by ChatGPT.

3:  What will the workforce impact be? 
It’s hard to say. There will be new jobs created, while others will be redefined. The net change in the size of the workforce will vary dramatically depending on the industry, location, enterprise size and offerings, etc. However, it is clear that the use of tools such as ChatGPT, hyperautomation and other AI innovations will focus on tasks that are repetitive and high-volume, with an emphasis on efficiency, increasing productivity and improving quality control.

4: What are the current limitations of ChatGPT? 
•    It is only trained on data through 2021, developments.
• It cannot cite its sources, and it’s only as reliable as these sources, which may be wrong and inconsistent, either in themselves or in how they are combined by ChatGPT.
• It cannot generate images (though in the future, it could be used in combination with visual generative AI models).
• There is currently no supported API available. 
• You cannot train ChatGPT on your own knowledge bases. 
• Although it gives the illusion of performing complex tasks, it has no knowledge of the underlying concepts; it simply makes predictions.
• It does not provide data privacy assurances. 
• Despite some recent improvements, it cannot be relied on to do math.

5: How secure is ChatGPT for my staff to use? 
We recommend no one posts personally identifiable, company or client information that is not generally already available to the public, because there are currently no clear assurances of privacy or confidentiality.

Instruct all employees who use ChatGPT to treat the information they share as if they were posting it on a public site or social platform. In addition, be aware that any information posted may be used to further train the model. 

Still, we recommend you create a company policy around rather than block ChatGPT. Your knowledge workers are likely already using it, and an outright ban may lead to “shadow” ChatGPT usage, while only providing the organisation with a false sense of compliance. 

A sensible approach is to monitor usage and encourage innovation, but ensure that the technology is only used to augment internal work and with properly qualified data, rather than in an unfiltered way with customers and partners.

6: What’s next for ChatGPT – and generative AI more broadly? 
In mid-January, Microsoft announced the introduction of Azure OpenAI Services, which will include ChatGPT this quarter. The Azure version promises significant enterprise operational features, but details, including pricing and packaging, are still emerging. It is likely to add APIs and offer greater privacy and security.

7: In the meantime, what actions do you recommend we take? 
• Proceed but don’t over-pivot. Recognise that this is very early stage and much of what you are hearing is hype. That said, the potential is significant.
• Explore other emerging generative AI use cases. Go beyond GPT language-focused ones.
• Encourage careful experimentation. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking about work processes, but not before you define usage guidelines, ensure understanding of the risks, issues and best practices, and have all generated text reviewed by humans.
• Create a task force reporting to the CIO and CEO. Explore existential threats and posed and major opportunities, plan a roadmap for discovery, and scope the skills, services and investments needed.

Source: Gartner 


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