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ChatGPT Tutorial for Beginners – Crash Course

ChatGPT has been out since November 30, 2022 and it has taken the world by storm. OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT made mainstream what was once the realm of programmers, developers, engineers, and code enthusiasts.

We’re getting to the point where knowledge of how to work with tools like ChatGPT, Bard and others, are going to be vital to your success in virtually any career you might have or enter.

I’ve been playing around with AI tools for the past year, and while it hasn’t completely taken over my workflow, it has definitely made me more productive. In this article, I’ll give you some tips I’ve learned along the way. I also previously wrote an article about ChatGPT and Blogging.

Before we dive into the ins and outs of how to use ChatGPT, let’s first go over some of the lingo, vocabulary and technologies that go into creating an advanced chat bot like ChatGPT.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence Chat Bot that enables users to type in a question (which is known as a prompt, more on that later) or a series of questions and based on what was ask, the Chat bot will generate a response.

It’s a conversational AI which means it can remember your line of thinking and questions you’ve asked it in the same conversation in order to better refine the responses and build upon previous questions in the same conversation.

Here’s the Walk Through Video to follow along

What does ChatGPT stand for?

Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer is the full name which is kind of a tongue twister. But the name makes perfect sense when you think about it.

  • Chat – it’s a chat bot so yeah, that fits
  • Generative – it generates responses based on user input, so that makes sense
  • Pre-Trained – it’s been pre-trained using machine learning algorithms along with millions of dollars worth of computer hardware, specifically advanced GPU’s from NVidia
  • Transformer – now you might be wondering what that means. It’s the type of algorithm that was created to analyze the vast amount of data from the open web. It’s what’s used for natural language processing which enables the bot to in a sense learn from the data and generate a it’s responses. There’s a lot more that go into Transformers such as tokens but that’s for a more advanced article.

Checkout my previous ChatGPT video where I spoke about it’s capabilities early on when it was first debuted.

What is a Large Language Model?

A large language model is a smart computer program that can understand and create human-like text. It has been trained on lots of different examples of text and can use that knowledge to respond to questions and generate new content based on the prompts.

These models are really good at understanding language and can help with tasks like writing essays, answering questions, and translating languages. They learn from a wide range of sources like books and websites, so they know a lot about different topics. However, they don’t have up-to-date information and may not know about recent events.

How Much did it Cost to Train ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is powered by GPT-3.5 and GPT-4. Now when we look at the costs to train the original GPT-3 model which had a total of 175 Billion Parameters, it required around 4 million dollars of computer resources.

The resources used were 285,000 processor cores and 10,000 graphics cards, and about 800 petaflops of processing power. But that was for the initial training of GPT-3 which was updated to GPT-3.5 and GPT-4.

So the training that went into the updates increased the costs and the fact that GPT-4 has over 200 Billion parameters, obviously the price tag has sky rocketed significantly.

Then there was the data that was used to train the large language model which as mentioned earlier, came from different sources. On top of all that, you also have the developer salaries which was not insignificant.

As we can see, getting ChatGPT up and running wasn’t cheap. It didn’t happen overnight. A lot of effort and resources have gone into creating this chat bot that has human like conversational capabilities.

How do you get started with ChatGPT

That is easy and the best part, it’s free to use. Mind you, when something is free, there’s usually some kind of gotcha. In the case of ChatGPT, it’s similar to social media sites, you pay with the data you provide it. You’re basically helping to train the AI and to make it better.

To get started with ChatGPT, you can head to their website and sign up for an account. ChatGPT login and Signup page.

Chatgpt Login

You would click the Sign Up button in order to sign up for an account. If you already have an account then you would just click the Log in button shown in the picture above.

Chatgpt Signup

You would then provide an email address or you can sign up using one of the social sign up options. If you decide to use your email, you will then need to create a password. Once you do that you will need to verify your email account as shown in the picture below.

Chatgpt Email Verify

Once you verify your email, you will then provide additional information about yourself like your first and last name along with your birthday as shown in the picture below.

Chatgpt More Info

Once you’ve provided them with your name and date of birth, you will need to give them your telephone number. Just a quick note, you need to provide a cell number and not one that is from a service like Google. You need to provide an actual number so they can verify you.

Chatgpt Telephone

Provide your number and it’ll send you a code that you need to input for verification purposes.

Chatgpt Verification Code

Once you do that, you will then be taken to the dashboard where you’ll be greeted with a few popups that give you some basic information about the platform like the fact that it’s a research project and how they collect data.

Chatgpt 1

Chatgpt 2

Chatgpt 3

You can basically just click next until you get to the final popup and then click done.

You will then be able to view the dashboard and see what’s possible with example prompts and information about the limitations ChatGPT has.

Chatgpt Dashboard Overview

You will see some example prompts that you can use to start off with and get a feel of what ChatGPT is capable of. Some of the example prompts it gives you as of this writing and the recording of the video are:

  • Explain quantum computing in simple terms
  • Got any creative ideas for a 10 year old’s birthday?
  • How do I make an HTTP request in JavaScript?

You will also see the capabilities and limitations that the platform has which give you an idea of what to expect with while using it.

What are ChatGPT Prompts?

Prompts as mentioned earlier are the questions you provide to the chat bot. You can provide a simple prompt and get a basic response, or you can provide a detailed prompt and get a more fine tuned response. I’ll provide you with a few example prompts from the very basic to the more advanced.

Basic Prompts

As mentioned above, you can provide a basic prompt such as “Explain quantum computing“. Now by proving that as a prompt, you will get a general explanation that might include some scientific language that you’d have to get more information about.

You can fine tune the prompt by adding in additional information such as “Explain quantum computing in simple terms“. Now you’re saying you want it in simple terms which will be easier to understand. Another approach is to ask it to explain it to you as if you were 5 years old. “Give me an explanation of quantum computing and explain it for a 5 year old to understand“.

I encourage you to try out some of these examples so you can get an idea of the difference in response you’ll get.

ChatGPT is Conversational AI

What does this actually mean?

A conversational AI chatbot is a computer program that can have text or voice-based conversations with users, mimicking human-like interactions. It uses artificial intelligence to understand user input and generate appropriate responses.

It basically means that you can have a back and forth dialogue with the chatbot in the same conversation and it’ll remember the context of the conversation. This is what makes it feel like a human in some cases.

This leads us into the next thing to learn about chatbot’s, and that’s priming,

Priming ChatGPT

Priming in AI is when a model’s previous exposure to information affects its future responses or predictions. It happens when the model learns patterns from a dataset, which can influence its understanding and biases.

Here’s an example of priming in AI:

Let’s imagine we have a language model trained on a large dataset of news articles. If we give the model a specific topic to focus on, like “technology advancements,” by providing a few sentences or keywords related to that topic, its subsequent responses or predictions will likely be biased towards technology-related content.

For example, if we ask the model to generate a sentence about the future, it might emphasize technological advancements rather than considering other aspects.

In this case, when we prime the AI with the topic of technology, it influences its subsequent output, reflecting the biases and patterns it learned from training on the news articles dataset.

You would use Priming kind of like warming up the chatbot with some key information and then with follow up questions.

ChatGPT can help you Cook

Well not in the physical sense, but it can help you come up with recipes and ingredients you would need, how to mix them together, the preparation and the cooking time. You can even ask it what would go well with the dish.

For example you can ask it for a recipe for chicken cutlet parmigiana which is one of my favorite dishes, and you can ask it what side dish is best with it, and even what appetizers would it recommend and what would be a good drink to have with it.

This can take some of the guess work out of preparing your meals. You can even download the free ChatGPT app in order to keep it by your side when you’re cooking or if you’re at the market buying the ingredients.

ChatGPT can Code

This part is interesting. I said it can code, but it’s not the greatest programmer (yet). There’s a distinction there. You can prompt the chatbot for some basic code snippets, and you might be able to cobble together a small program with it, but you will still need to put in a lot of work to verify the code works and if there are any missing pieces to the code, such as security features.

For now I’m using ChatGPT and I’m also using Github Copilot to help speed up my workflow which is what they’re currently best used for.

Are you interested in developing Custom WordPress themes? If so, checkout this video and article to learn more.

WordPress Theme Development Tutorial Video

WordPress Theme Development with DevWP

Here are a few example prompts when it comes to coding.

Prompt 1.

Act as a PHP developer. Write code that reads and prints duplicate records from the CSV file provided.

Prompt 2.

Act as a JavaScript developer. Write a password generator from user input.

Prompt 3.

Act as a Python developer. Write a script that prompts the user for their name and age and greets them with a personalized response.

Those are some very basic example prompts you can use. From there you can get more advanced in your prompting in order to get more complex responses.

ChatGPT can help you get in Better Physical Shape

You can use the chatbot to develop a fitness plan for you based on your requirements. Obviously it goes without saying that you should consult your doctor if you have any physical conditions that might need to be addressed before you start an exercise program.

Here’s an example prompt that you can use to start off with.

I want you to act as a personal trainer. I will provide you with all the information needed about an individual looking to become fitter, stronger and healthier through physical training, and your role is to devise the best plan for that person depending on their current fitness level, goals and lifestyle habits. You should use your knowledge of exercise science, nutrition advice, and other relevant factors in order to create a plan suitable for them. My first request is I need help designing an exercise program for someone who wants to lose body fat and gain muscle mass.

Now you can already see how detailed you can get when it comes to prompting the chatbot. Basically the more detailed information you give it, the better the response will be.

What about Privacy?

Privacy is always something we should be thinking about. You basically shouldn’t give it any personally identifiable information when prompting the chatbot. Definitely don’t give it your home address, social security number, telephone number, credit card information, or anything that is extremely private that you don’t want the AI model to use in training.

Remember, the information you give while prompting, is part of how the chatbot learns. That information is sent to a server and the AI might use that info as a response to someone else’s prompt. This is different from the signup process which is private.

Playing Chess with ChatGPT

You can even try playing chess with the chatbot. In the video I demonstrate a very quick game. Checkout the Chess Game vs ChatGPT. Mind you the chatbot might not have the best grasp of the game with the free version. I do have the premium version of the chatbot and I attempted a game with it but during the game I forgot that for the premium version of ChatGPT known as ChatGPT+, there’s a limitation of 25 prompts every 3 hours. So I ran out of prompts midgame SMH.

If you’re looking to learn how to play chess, you can prompt the chatbot for the rules of the game and to provide you with some chess openings.

Prompts for Chess

  • What are the rules of chess?
  • Teach me chess notation with all the possible symbols
  • Give me a few opening lines in a typical chess game

Those are some basic prompts to get you started. Try and get creative and continue chatting with the AI bot about chess or whatever topic you want to learn more about so you can really get a good feel for it.

ChatGPT can help with Legal Contracts, sort of

The reason why I say sort of is because contract law and law in general is a complex topic and there are different laws in different locations, So you can use the chatbot to get a general sense of what a contract should look like, but then make sure to have an actual lawyer review it to ensure it provides all the relevant details required for your jurisdiction and field.

In the video I created, I demonstrate ChatGPT writing a Freelance Contract so make sure to check it out.

Example Prompt for Legal Contracts

Write me a Freelance Contract for a Web Designer and make sure to put in the key parts of what a Freelance Contract should include.

ChatGPT for Blogging & Articles

You can use the chatbot to write articles and blog posts for you. Mind you, you will definitely want to treat the response as a very rough draft or as a starting point. I definitely don’t recommend just copying and pasting the response into your article and hitting publish. The response you will get is likely from another source or compilation of sources, might be dated, and could be wrong.

Checkout the article I wrote about WordPress and AI.

I definitely recommend doing much further research and formatting the response into something that’s more like how you would describe things.

In the video I show you a quick demonstration of how to prompt ChatGPT for blogging.

I also show you how you can prompt the AI bot to give you some titles for your articles. This can be a time savor.

Prompts for Blogging

Act as a Proofreader

I want you act as a proofreader. I will provide you texts and I would like you to review them for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Once you have finished reviewing the text, provide me with any necessary corrections or suggestions for improve the text.

Act as a Title Generator for written pieces

I want you to act as a title generator for written pieces. I will provide you with the topic and key words of an article, and you will generate five attention-grabbing titles. Please keep the title concise and under 20 words, and ensure that the meaning is maintained. Replies will utilize the language type of the topic. My first topic is “Programming for WordPress where I teach people how to create a custom WordPress theme.”

ChatGPT for Social Media

You can use the chatbot to help you write engaging social media content and to help you create a social media schedule. This can help you with the ideation process which can typically take a very long time. Checkout the part of the video where I share some ideas and prompts. ChatGPT and Social Media.

Social Media Prompts

Create a Social Media Calendar for the next 30 days. I want to post on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I’ll post to each platform once per day except for YouTube where I want to post twice per week.

From there you can take the conversation further.

What are Hallucinations with ChatGPT?

You probably heard the term hallucinations used with ChatGPT. This is basically when the chatbot may not have an answer for you but will generate a response that sounds legit. This is ChatGPT making it up as it goes along and demonstrates the creativity of ChatGPT. This also means that you still need to do your due diligence with the responses you get back.

ChatGPT+, Is it Worth It?

Basically everything I’ve spoken about in this article I did with the free version of ChatGPT which currently uses GPT-3.5. If you upgrade to ChatGPT+ for $20 per month, you’ll get some benefits like:

  • using GPT-4 which is more powerful
  • Plugins which give ChatGPT even more power
  • Priority access during busy times
  • Priority access to the latest features

Those are some compelling reasons to upgrade, but in reality, for the casual user, the free version is more than enough. Now if you’re a power user and need the absolute most powerful version of ChatGPT, then upgrading might be worth it. I recommend first playing around with the free version and then decide if upgrading makes sense for you.

Will ChatGPT and AI Take all our Jobs?

In this article I demonstrated some impressive capabilities the chatbot currently has. Mind you I just scratched the surface in this 3000+ word blog post. And remember, the AI is being improved with every prompt inputted by the millions of users who use it daily.

There is a concern about the future of all our jobs when the next generation of Generative AI models get released. I would love to say that we will all evolve along with AI, but in reality that’s not the case. Think about this, what type of job can a person get today without having any computer skills? Probably not a good one.

You might respond that manual labor jobs don’t require computer skills and you’re correct. But robotics is advancing rapidly. And when you combine robotics with AI, in time manual labor jobs will be impacted as well.

I can also finetune my first question by rephrasing it like this “What type of construction job would a person have if they didn’t know how to use a drill, crane, nail-gun, etc. ?”.

If you’ve been driving for a while, do you remember when we used to have toll-booth clerks? How many do you see nowadays?

If you’ve been to a big box store recently, you might have noticed how many self checkout stations have replaced cashiers.

If you’ve been to a fast food restaurant recently, you might have noticed the ordering stations that have replaced people.

People have already been replaced in a few areas either by automation, robotics, and AI. The trend is only going to increase as the technology advances. That’s why I believe we don’t have a choice when it comes to learning how to use tools like ChatGPT.

Even the co-creator of OpenAI and ChatGPT has told Congress that we desperately need regulation for AI. That should tell you something.

The Takeaway

ChatGPT is a very powerful tool that has taken the world by storm quickly becoming one of the fastest growing platforms. It can enhance your productivity and will definitely benefit you if you learn how to use it effectively. In this article I shared with you some of the basics, and in the video on ChatGPT for Beginners I go over these topics even further. Definitely check it out, both ChatGPT and my video.

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