When people start using ChatGPT, they tend to ask simple questions like they would in a Google search query.
However, we’re in a whole new ballgame. You don’t ask ChatGPT simple questions.
You need to provide it with a great deal of information that might be relevant and you need to be prepared to have follow-up questions. If you don’t like the answer, you can ask it to come up with another answer and you don’t need ChatGPT to figure out the complete answer right away but build on a series of prompts that unlock further information and insight – much like having a real “conversation” with it.
Professor Christian Terwiesch of the Wharton School took this conversation with ChatGPT even further by rephrasing some questions that caused ChatGPT to respond differently. For example, Terwiesch asked a series of research-based questions that were relatively straightforward for the tool, but there was one question that he found ChatGPT answered completely incorrect. At this point, Terwiesch rephrased the question as an expert in operations research. Bingo! ChatGPT delivered the correct answer.
This suggests that, in the right circumstances, you can ask the tool questions based on specific expertise. Simply name the level of knowledge in a particular subject. You could ask ChatGPT a question as if you were an expert in nutrition to get a specific answer on nutrition. Or as a property assessor. Or divorce lawyer.
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ChatGPT may not help you advance your deep, highly specialized knowledge, but it can provide insight into new areas you may need to become more familiar with. And if you can feed it as much of a primer of information as possible in your questions, the odds are that the answers will be more accurate and detailed.
For example: On a podcast, LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman asked ChatGPT to describe a scenario in which the tool could help a senior salesperson improve her performance. Hoffman proceeded to have a 15-minute conversation with the tool as ChatGPT first provided the function and description of the type of salesperson it would be helping – even without getting all the details of what the salesperson would be selling. Nonetheless, ChatGPT offered helpful suggestions on how to improve customer relationships, presentations, communication and more.
Then Hoffman asked ChatGPT which of his podcast episodes were the tool’s “favorites.” ChatGPT proceeded to describe three different episodes. This time, ChatGPT failed miserably, describing people that Hoffman would have loved to interview but never actually did.
The bottom line is this: Let’s have some perspective before looking for perfection from ChatGPT or similar AI iterations.
Before this moment, what was your alternative to finding detailed answers to your questions? An expert? That’s not the easiest person to access. A Google search? Good luck, considering you’ll be sifting through hundreds or even thousands of results.
As we learn how best to guide ChatGPT, the more it should continue to astound us with some of its replies. This is the first time you have had a conversation with a machine like this.
There is a line: “If you can imagine it, you can do it.” In the case of ChatGPT, we can go a very long way when we imagine what we would like the tool to do and convey it in the most explicit terms possible.
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