As the field of generative artificial intelligence heats up, consumer-facing chatbots are asking business strategy questions, designing math tutorials, offering salary negotiation tips and even writing wedding vows. And the matter is just beginning.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, Microsoft’s Bing, and Anthropic’s Claude are some of the leading chatbots today, but next year we’re likely to see even more: in the venture capital space, generative deals related to with artificial intelligence, totaled $1.69 billion worldwide in the first quarter of this year, up 130% from last quarter’s $0.73 billion — with another $10.68 billion in deals announced , but not yet completed in Q1, according to Pitchbook.

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Two months after ChatGPT’s launch, ChatGPT surpassed 100 million monthly active users, breaking the record as the fastest-growing consumer app in history: “phenomenal uptake – we’ve honestly never seen anything like it, and interest has grown ever since,” Brian Burke , research vice president at Gartner, told CNBC. “Since the release on November 30 until now, the volume of our requests has increased like a hockey stick; every customer wants to know about generative artificial intelligence and ChatGPT.”

These types of chatbots are built around large-scale language models, or LLMs, a machine learning tool that uses large amounts of internet data to recognize patterns and produce human-sounding language. If you’re new, many of the sources we spoke to agreed that the best way to get started with a chatbot is to dig in and try things out.

“People spend too much time trying to find the perfect prompt — 80% just use it interactively,” Ethan Mollick, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who studies the impact of AI on work and education, told CNBC.

Here are some tips from the pros:

Keep data privacy in mind.

When you use a chatbot like ChatGPT or Bard, the information you enter—what you type, what you get back, and the changes you request—can be used to train future models. OpenAI says this in its terms. Although some companies offer opt-out methods – OpenAI allows this in the “data control” section of ChatGPT’s settings – it’s still best to refrain from sharing sensitive or private data in chatbot conversations, especially while companies are still perfecting their measures in particular. For example, a ChatGPT bug in March allowed users to briefly see parts of each other’s chat history.

“If you don’t want to put it on Facebook, don’t put it on ChatGPT,” Burke said. “Think of what you post on ChatGPT as public information.”

Offer context.

To get the best value for your time, give your chatbot context about how it should act in this situation and who it’s serving this information to. For example, you can write the persona you want the chatbot to assume in this scenario: “You are a [marketer, teacher, philosopher, etc.].” You can also add context, such as: “I [client, student, beginner, etc.].” This could save time by directly telling the chatbot what role to play and through which “lens” to convey information in a way that is useful to you.

For example, if you’re a creative consultant and you’re looking for a chatbot to help you analyze company logos, you might write something like, “Act like a graphic designer learning to design logos for companies. I am a client who owns a company and wants to know which logos work best and why. Create an analysis of the “best” company logos for publicly listed companies and why they are considered good choices.”

“If you ask the Bard to write an inspirational speech, the Bard’s response might be a little more generic, but if you ask the Bard to write a speech in a specific style, tone, or format, you’re likely to get a much better response.” — Sissy. Xiao, Google’s vice president, told CNBC.

Make the chatbot do all the work.

Sometimes the best way to get what you want is to ask the chatbot itself for advice – whether you’re asking about what’s possible as a user or the best way to phrase a prompt.

“Ask him a simple question, what can you do? And you get a list of things that would surprise most people,” Burke said.

You can also game the system by asking something like, “What’s the best way to ask you for help writing a shopping list?” or even assign the chatbot the task of writing tips, such as: “Your job is to create the best and most effective tips for ChatGPT. Create a list of top tips to ask ChatGPT for healthy one-pot dinner recipes.”

Ask for help brainstorming.

Whether you’re looking for vacation destinations, date ideas, poetry prompts, or content strategies to go viral on social media, many people use chatbots as a starting point for brainstorming.

“The biggest thing I think they’re useful for is inspiring me as a user and helping me learn things I wouldn’t have thought of on my own,” Josh Albrecht, CTO of Generally Intelligent, an AI research startup. , told CNBC. “Maybe that’s why they’re called generative AI — they’re really useful for the generative part, the brainstorming part.”

Create a crash course.

Let’s say you’re trying to learn geometry and you consider yourself a beginner. You can start the tutorial by asking the chatbot something like, “Explain the basics of geometry as if I’m a beginner” or “Explain the Pythagorean theorem as if I’m a five-year-old.”

If you’re looking for something more extensive, you can ask the chatbot to create a “crash course” for you by specifying how much time you have (three days, a week, a month) or how many hours you want to spend learning a new skill. You can write something like, “I’m a beginner who wants to learn to skateboard. Create a two-week plan on how I can learn to skateboard and kickflip.”

To expand your learning plan beyond the chatbot, you can also request a list of the most important books on the topic, some of the most influential people in the field, and any other resources that can help you improve your skill set.

Don’t be afraid to take notes and ask for changes.

“The worst thing you can do if you’re actually trying to use the ChatGPT output is this [to] just ask one thing and then walk away,” Mollick said. “You’re going to get a very generic result. You have to interact with it.”

Sometimes you don’t choose the perfect prompt, or the chatbot doesn’t generate the result you were looking for – and that’s okay. You can still make changes to make the information more useful, such as asking follow-up questions like, “Can you make this sound less generic?” or “Can you make the first paragraph more interesting?” or even repeat your original request in a different way.

Take everything with a large grain of salt.

Chatbots have a documented tendency to falsify information, especially if their training data doesn’t fully cover the area you’re asking about, so it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt. Let’s say you ask for a biography of Albert Einstein: the chatbot might tell you that the famous scientist wrote a book called “How to be Smart”, but unfortunately he never did. Also, because large language models are trained on large areas of the Internet, they are better at pattern recognition, which means they can generate biased results or misinformation based on their training data.

“Where there’s less information, it’s just making things up,” Burke said, adding, “These hallucinations are extraordinarily convincing … You can’t trust these models to give you accurate information all the time.”

Experiment and try different approaches.

Whether you’re asking a chatbot to create an action list from a meeting transcript or translate something from English to Tagalog, there are countless uses for generative AI. So if you’re using a chatbot, it’s worth thinking about what you want to learn or need help with, and experiment with how well the system works.

“Artificial intelligence is a general purpose technology; it does a lot of things, so the idea is that whatever field you’re in and whatever job you’re doing, it’s going to affect aspects of your work differently than anyone else on the planet. “, Molick said. “It’s about thinking about how you want to use it… You have to figure out how to work with the system… and the only way to do that is through experimentation.”

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