Dixon clarifies how one of the most popular AI tools, ChatGPT, works:
ChatGPT is a robot that you can ask questions to, and it will send you written answers. But it’s important to know how it works to understand what those answers mean.
ChatGPT is NOT a chatty Google. We ask a search engine a question and it sends us back lists of websites that will most likely match what we’re looking for. Then it’s up to us to read those websites and decide if we trust them.
ChatGPT is NOT doing this. ChatGPT is hunting through millions of sentences and paragraphs and data points, and constructing a sentence which is statistically likely to look like the answer we want.
This difference is important – ChatGPT is NOT sending you back factual information. It is making educated guesses on what is most likely to follow the previous word and the previous sentence.
ChatGPT can sound very confident in what it’s telling you.
Sometimes, it is right. Sometimes, it is not.