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How to Use ChatGPT: Working With Generative AI

To call ChatGPT a large language model (LLM) chatbot barely describes its vast importance as a marketing, communications and PR tool. Its generative AI model is not a panacea that will replace humans on your creative team. Rather, ChatGPT serves as a robust tool that can increase personal and team efficiency and even assist in creative brainstorming.

7 things you can do with ChatGPT

ChatGPT can help you grow your business or even help make you money as a beginning solopreneur. It’s like having your very own collaborator and personal assistant who never–or rarely–sleeps. It can assist you by:

  1. Answering questions: Use ChatGPT like a search engine but with immediate, natural language responses.
  2. Helping with professional documents: Ideate and write resume drafts, cover letters and other documents.
  3. Editing and spell-checking: ChatGPT will gladly check your text for errors.
  4. Generating content: Create outlines or drafts of articles, blogs, essays, social media posts plus other content marketing and personal branding materials.
  5. Summarizing text: Summarize lengthy texts in as few words or sentences as you desire.
  6. Translating: ChatGPT can translate text into Spanish, Turkish, Japanese and many other languages for your diverse audience.
  7. Optimizing SEO: Find popular digital keywords and phrases on any topic with a simple query.

ChatGPT can even help you create images, write and edit code and write music!

How to use ChatGPT

Signing up for ChatGPT is simpler to set up than a social media account and easier to use than a search engine. The most important thing is that you approach it less like a technical skill and more like meeting a whimsical, yet highly intelligent, new friend.

As with any relationship, some tips will help you get the most from your experience.

1. Sign up for an OpenAI account

First, visit ChatGPT at chat.openai.com and click the “Sign up” bar under “Get started.” All you need then is an email and password, or you can enroll through your existing Google, Microsoft or Apple accounts. If you use an email address, you’ll promptly receive a verification to get started. Then, it’s just you alone in the room with ChatGPT. The interface is as simple as it gets with a prompt to “Message ChatGPT.”

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The only other thing to consider is whether you want a paid account or if you prefer to remain with the free one. I recommend using the free version for a day or two to get used to it and see if it suits your needs. Many people find it worthwhile to move onto a paid account after testing the tool. It offers benefits including:

  • An updated model of 4.0, rather than 3.5, that better understands prompts and replies with more information and better-trained natural language
  • Stronger access to live data from Bing rather than relying on the last training date (currently April 2023)
  • Access to DALL-E for image generation that can be really fun
  • Priority access to ChatGPT when servers become overloaded and others must wait

2. Enter a prompt

Type your prompt as you would in any search engine. This can be a question like “Who was the 16th president of the United States?” or a command such as “Write a four-line poem about springtime.” Take your time, and don’t be afraid to play and experiment by asking silly, mundane or even “deep thought” questions.

Tips for writing helpful ChatGPT prompts

Think of ChatGPT as a 7-year-old with encyclopedic knowledge. That is, it knows a lot but does not have wisdom or yet fully understand nuances of human interaction. Tips for making the most of this powerful tool include:

  • Be specific and detailed. Phrase your requests clearly with as much detail as possible to guide ChatGPT toward the desired outcome.
  • Break down complex requests. For intricate tasks, divide them into smaller, more manageable steps for more focused outputs.
  • Try open-ended questions, too. Broader questions are particularly helpful for ideation, and can help you explore areas you had not previously considered.

3. Interact with the AI to refine your answer

No response ChatGPT gives will be exactly what you’re looking for. Feel free to ask it to refine its responses. That can mean requesting a shorter answer or telling it to make its tone more professional.

Likewise, you can tell it to include data you felt was missing or, in the paid version, provide online references so you can check the information and context yourself. Unlike a human, it won’t become bored or frustrated by your attempts to get the response you need. Plus, you can refer back to earlier responses to include the best from each iteration.

Using ChatGPT to create images

Another benefit of the paid ChatGPT model is that it provides access to DALL-E, a generative AI model for creating graphic images. Like its language chat, it won’t give you exactly what you need for a major design campaign. It instead provides your design team with elements such as backgrounds they can use in their print or digital design or instances such as social media where time is of the essence.

The tips for using DALL-E are similar to those in the chatbot. Be as specific as possible in your requests and continually ask for refinements to get what you’re looking for. The AI capabilities are progressing quickly both in terms of understanding your input and in its generative graphic output.

ChatGPT is still learning

The technology is advancing rapidly, but ChatGPT is still learning. As an example, just a month ago I’d request “Create a photorealistic image of a snail riding the back of a tortoise” from DALL-E. It was a fun choice in that it involves placement and interaction that does not occur naturally, and the concept amuses me. Invariably, I’d get strange snail-tortoise hybrids. Now, the generative AI understands them as separate, distinct entities.

The same goes for ChatGPT’s language processing. Something is usually just “off” at a human level of reasoning and contextual understanding. Plus, these models can introduce unconscious biases that do not fit your intent or audience. Still, as you learn from each other, the chatbot will save you both time and money. More importantly, it will provide you with avenues of ideas to explore that you may not have considered.

Photo by GalacticDreamer/Shutterstock.com

Bryan enjoys the digital space where arts and technology meet. As a writer, he has worked in education, health and wellbeing, and manufacturing. He also assists smaller businesses in web development including accessibility and content development. In his free time, he hikes trails in central Florida.

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