Searching for ChatGPT

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Artificial Intelligence is making headlines worldwide. Now it’s overtaken the search engines, and “ChatGPT” is one of the top 100 search terms in the United States, with more searches than “TikTok” or “McDonald’s.”

Millions and Millions of Searches

Digital Adoption, a financial services site, reports ChatGPT has easily overtaken searches since its November 2022 release. The June search numbers show “ChatGPT” and “Chat GPT” has been searched over 7.1 million times in the U.S.; two-thirds more than the number of searches for “McDonald’s” and 1.37 million more searches than the ones for “MLB,” or Major League Baseball.

TikTok, the selfie filming app introduced in 2017, has over 100 million users but 1 million fewer searches than for ChatGPT. Even during the summer vacation months, people are still looking for ChatGPT more often than they are “flights” and “maps.”

What Is ChatGPT, Anyway?

So what is ChatGPT, and why has it taken over a lot of dialogs in the media and online? According to Wikipedia, it’s an artificial intelligence chatbot, and Reuters says it’s the fastest-growing consumer application in history. TikTok, in contrast, took nine months to reach the 100-million-subscriber mark.

The software can be trained in the use of language and can generate different types of written materials, including essays, articles, jokes, and even poetry. It’s also getting better at its job, leading to concerns about whether it can completely replace humans at their jobs.

Even so, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said this version of ChatGPT is “…good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness. It’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now.”

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Searching for ChatGPT
Searching for ChatGPT

Finding AI Everywhere

ChatGPT may not be ready for prime time yet, but AI is increasingly visible in other art forms, including video and music. British rockers Duran Duran called on AI to create the video for their 2021 release “Invisible.”

Keyboardist Nick Rhodes told the Belfast Telegraph he considers the use of AI in music a “new frontier” and “it’s an exciting time because machines will dictate some of the things we do and help us with many more.”

Even The Beatles are getting into the AI act, with the technology helping Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr produce a new single from demo tapes by the late John Lennon. The AI program will extract Lennon’s voice from a tape, and McCartney will complete the song verses for release in late 2023 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Anthology set. McCartney told the BBC this will be the Beatles’ “last record.”

In the grand tradition of humans monetizing everything possible, artists use AI to create visual art and sell their work online. The platforms still need work, but they’re constantly improving, and artists are jumping at the opportunity to work in a new medium.

But Is It Safe?

Numerous security concerns surround Artificial Intelligence, including the opportunity for amateurs to create “deepfakes” that may be virtually indistinguishable from the actual person or event. In fact, Meta has put its new AI app, Voicebox, on hold because of possible voice scam concerns.

Like every other technology in the world, ChatGPT is not hacker-proof.

SecurityIntelligence reports a ChatGPT data breach was discovered that allowed threat actors to access users’ personal information. The breach was caught and repaired, but underlines the threat widespread use of the platform could pose to companies. In response to that threat, says SecurityIntelligence, companies, including JPMorgan Chase, have restricted employee use of ChatGPT.

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Get Used To AI

With all the hoopla surrounding ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence in general, it’s not surprising people are searching online to see what it’s all about. Despite concerns about it taking jobs from humans, it’s also likely not going away. Or, as Nick Rhodes speculates, “… so art, film, other areas will increase dramatically with AI. It will be very interesting to watch.”

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