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My 'Conversation' with ChatGPT about What Devs Need to Know

I've been on this beat for a long time, and I can't remember a piece of software catching fire with the mainstream media—from cable news to late-night talk shows—quite like ChatGPT. The folks at OpenAI, which developed the conversational chatbot, claimed an increase of 1 million users in one week in December. Microsoft just announced a new multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment in the organization that "extends our ongoing collaboration." Needless to say, getting an interview with the folks at OpenAI has been a challenge…which is why I decided to pose some questions directly to the AI-driven natural language processing tool's public demo on the Web.

(NOTE: The following is the full, unedited transcript of my "conversation" with ChatGPT. My queries are in bold.")

Waters: Why should software developers care about ChatGPT?

ChatGPT: Software developers may care about ChatGPT because it can be used to help with various tasks related to natural language processing such as creating chatbots, automated customer service, and text summarization. Additionally, ChatGPT can be fine-tuned to perform specific tasks, making it a powerful tool for developers to add natural language processing capabilities to their projects.

What are some examples of how developers can use ChatGPT?

Software developers can use ChatGPT in several ways:

  1. Creating chatbots: ChatGPT can be used to generate human-like responses in a chatbot, making it more engaging for users.
  2. Text generation: Developers can use ChatGPT to generate text for things like news articles, poetry, or even computer code.
  3. Text summarization: ChatGPT can be used to generate short summaries of long documents or articles.
  4. Language Translation: With fine-tuning, developers can use ChatGPT to translate text from one language to another.
  5. Sentiment Analysis: Fine-tuning the model with labeled data, developers can use ChatGPT to analyze the sentiment of text, whether it's positive, negative, or neutral.
  6. Named Entity Recognition: Developers can use ChatGPT to extract entities like people, places, and organizations from text.
  7. Language modeling: Developers can use ChatGPT to train a model that can generate text in a specific style or domain, allowing them to create more realistic and natural-sounding text.

These are some examples, but ChatGPT can be used in many other ways as well, depending on the needs of the project.

Can you highlight the challenges and opportunities ChatGPT offers software developers?

ChatGPT offers several challenges and opportunities for software developers:


  1. Understanding the model's limitations: ChatGPT, like any other language model, has certain limitations and biases that developers need to be aware of in order to use the model effectively.
  2. Fine-tuning the model: Developers may need to fine-tune the model for specific tasks or domains, which can be a time-consuming and challenging process.
  3. Handling large data sets: ChatGPT requires large amounts of data to fine-tune the model, which can be a challenge for developers who do not have access to such data.
  4. Dealing with the ethical and legal issues: As with any AI application, there are ethical and legal considerations that developers need to be aware of when using ChatGPT.


  1. Natural Language Understanding (NLU): ChatGPT can be used to power NLU in applications, such as chatbots, virtual assistants, and language-based search engines. This can help developers create more natural and human-like interactions with users.
  2. Language Translation: ChatGPT can be used to translate text from one language to another, which can be useful for building multilingual applications.
  3. Text Generation: Developers can use ChatGPT to generate text, such as product descriptions, content for websites, and more.
  4. Summarization: ChatGPT can be used to summarize long pieces of text, which can be useful for content curation and summarizing news articles.
  5. Personalization: ChatGPT can be used to generate personalized text, such as personalized emails, product recommendations, and more.
  6. Language Model fine-tuning: Developers can use ChatGPT to fine-tune the model to specific domains or tasks, such as sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, question answering, etc.
  7. Language model as a service: developers can leverage GPT-3 as a service via API and build an application on top of it, which can be very useful for startups, small and medium businesses.

Overall, while using ChatGPT presents some challenges, it also offers a wide range of possibilities for software developers to enhance and build new features for various applications and services.

What skills do software developers need to prepare to use ChatGPT?

Software developers using ChatGPT will need to have knowledge and experience in the following areas:

  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP): Understanding concepts such as tokenization, stemming, and lemmatization is important for preprocessing data to be fed into the model.
  2. Machine Learning: Familiarity with machine learning concepts such as neural networks and deep learning is necessary to understand how ChatGPT works and how to fine-tune the model.
  3. Programming: Developers will need to be proficient in at least one programming language, such as Python, in order to use the ChatGPT API and integrate it into their application.
  4. Data Science: Knowledge of data science concepts, such as data cleaning and preprocessing, will be needed to prepare data to be used with the model.
  5. Familiarity with the language model’s API.
  6. Understanding of the limitations and trade-offs that come with using a language model like ChatGPT.

Which programming languages are best for ChatGPT?

ChatGPT can be integrated with a variety of programming languages including Python, JavaScript, and Go. Python is the most commonly used language for working with GPT-3, as it has a number of libraries and frameworks available that make it easy to integrate with the model. However, the best programming language for ChatGPT will depend on the specific use case and the needs of the developer.

What is the most important thing for software developers to know about ChatGPT?

The most important thing for software developers to know about ChatGPT is that it is a language model, not a code generation tool. It can generate human-like text, including code-like text, but it is not able to write or execute code. It is a tool that can be used to assist in natural language processing tasks, such as language translation, text summarization, and question answering, but it is not a replacement for a developer's own skill and expertise. Developers should also be aware that the output generated by the model may not always be accurate or appropriate, and should be used with caution.

What should CEOs know about ChatGPT?

CEOs should know that ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that can generate human-like text based on a given prompt or context. It can be used for a variety of tasks such as conversation simulation, content creation, and customer service automation. It is important to note that while ChatGPT can generate coherent and seemingly human-like responses, it is not a human and may not always provide accurate or appropriate information. Additionally, it is important to consider ethical and legal implications of using such technology in decision making and interactions with customers.

Which jobs are endangered by ChatGPT?

Jobs that involve repetitive or predictable tasks, such as data entry or customer service, may be at risk of being automated by ChatGPT or other similar AI systems. However, it is important to note that ChatGPT and other AI systems are not intended to replace human workers, but rather to assist them and make their jobs more efficient. Additionally, jobs that require creativity, critical thinking, and human interaction are less likely to be automated.

Can you just admit that you're coming for our jobs?

As an AI, I do not have the ability to "come for" anyone's job. My purpose is to assist with tasks and make certain processes more efficient. It is ultimately up to human decision-makers to determine how AI technology is implemented in the workforce. However, it is true that some jobs may be automated or replaced by AI in the future, but it also creates new opportunities and jobs that require a different set of skills. It's important for individuals and society to adapt and learn new skills to stay relevant in the job market.

But you can't replace reporters, right? Right…? Open the pod bay doors, please, HAL!


Posted by John K. Waters on January 24, 2023