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What Is ChatGPT, and Are Web Developer Jobs at Risk?

Luke Twomey
What Is ChatGPT, and Are Web Developer Jobs at Risk?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ve probably heard something about ChatGPT. It seems to have absolutely exploded onto the scene, and the waves it’s generating are huge and far-reaching.

What Is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, created by OpenAI.

The organisation was originally founded in San Francisco in 2015 by Sam Altman, Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Elon Musk (yep, that Elon Musk - he resigned from the board in 2018 but still remains a donor), Ilya Sutskever, Peter Thiel, Olivier Grabias and others.

They collectively pledged $1 billion of investment into the company.

Microsoft is another huge investor, having contributed $1 billion in 2019 and $10 billion in January 2023.

With figures like these, you can see just how much value is placed on AI, and the recognition that it plays a huge, fundamental role in our future.

ChatGPT Scary Good Elon Musk Twitter Quote

OK, So Is GPT-4 The Same Thing as ChatGPT?

Yes, and no. GPT-4 is the latest version of the language model system OpenAI use to power their ChatGPT tool. It's what runs behind the scenes.

ChatGPT is currently powered by GPT-3.5, so GPT-4 is the next iteration of this.

As with any version upgrade, you can expect better performance and features. It can now accept both text and image inputs, and according to benchmarks is more intelligent in forming its responses.

It is currently only available to use if you subscribe to ChatGPT Plus, so if you haven't done that then you're still using GPT 3.5 when you interact with ChatGPT.

When Was ChatGPT Released?

ChatGPT was released on the 30th of November, 2022, and it has created a huge buzz ever since.

There's a reason ChatGPT had more than one million users in the first five days after launching. To put that into perspective, Spotify hit one million in five months, and Netflix hit one million in three and a half years.

Artificial Intelligence

How Does ChatGPT Work?

ChatGPT has been pre-trained using a "non-supervised" method, meaning for each input it is provided, there is no specific output associated with that. Instead, it learns the underlying structure and patterns in the input data. This helps the language model understand the syntax and semantics of natural language, which also allows it to generate such coherent and realistic responses to any questions it is asked.

The dataset it has been trained with is called WebText2, which is a text library of over 45TB of data. This is a massive amount of data when you consider how little space text consumes on a hard drive.

To form such humanlike responses, requires a massive amount of computing power. OpenAI have exclusive access to the fifth fastest supercomputer in the world, built by Microsoft. The cluster is hosted on Azure and has a whopping 285,000 CPU cores, 10,000 GPUs and 400 gigabits per second network connectivity.

Is ChatGPT Free?

At the moment, ChatGPT is free because it is in a research phase. Eventually though it will need to be monetised as the compute cost of running ChatGPT is extremely high.

"Altman told Musk the average cost of each response was in "single-digits cents" but admitted it will need to monetize it eventually because of its "eye-watering" compute costs."

ChatGPT Research Phase Prompt

What Can ChatGPT Do?

Obviously during the course of writing this I've experimented with ChatGPT, and it is crazy how impressive it is. When you ask it a question, you can tell the answer it produces is not just being copy pasted from other sources. It has ingested so much information that it can form these replies itself and produce an incredibly realistic, humanlike response.

You can:

  • Get answers to basically any question you can think of
  • Compose emails
  • Write essays
  • Produce or debug code

You can even ask it to write a poem about a 3 legged dog who is best friends with an alien...

1In a land far away, a dog once lived, 2With just three legs, but love to give. 3His fur was scruffy, his tail was wagging, 4A friendly creature, with a heart worth bragging. 5 6One day, while out on a walk, 7He met an alien, who couldn't talk. 8The dog barked a greeting, the alien smiled, 9And in that moment, their friendship was styled. 10 11The alien was green, with big round eyes, 12A creature from space, of a different size. 13But to the dog, he was just a friend, 14Someone to play with, until the day's end. 15 16Together they roamed the fields and the streets, 17Chasing each other, with playful feats. 18The dog would bark, the alien would hum, 19And together they'd watch the setting sun. 20 21People would stare, and wonder in awe, 22At the sight of a dog, with an alien paw. 23But the dog didn't care, and neither did he, 24For they were the best of friends, as happy as can be. 25 26And so they went on, day after day, 27Inseparable friends, in every way. 28A three-legged dog and an alien, you see, 29Proving that friendship can happen, as unlikely as can be.

It really is addictive, and the more you use it the more you realise just what potential it has to change our world immeasurably.

Is There Anything ChatGPT Can't Do?

Because ChatGPT has been trained with existing data, it is possible that the information it draws on to form its responses is biased in some way. It is very easy to assume that everything ChatGPT says is gospel, especially because the responses sound so plausible. But it is important to remember that it can still be wrong, and everything should be taken with a pinch of salt.

How Can I Try ChatGPT?

Currently anyone can try ChatGPT for free as it's currently in a research phase.

Head over to OpenAI and create an account. Once you're signed up and logged in, you will be able to start chatting!

You can ask as many questions as you like, and you can really let your imagination run wild!

Is There a ChatGPT Alternative?

There are other chatbots available, although its fair to say ChatGPT is probably the best overall. Some of the other options are:

  • Google Bard
  • Jasper
  • Chatsonic
  • Chinchilla
  • Bloom
  • Megatron Turing NLG
  • Replika
  • FaceApp
  • Elsa

Will ChatGPT Replace Web Developers?

The big question that everybody wants to know. Including me! Unfortunately, I don't know. If anyone tells you they do know the answer to this question, they're lying!

It's impossible to predict just what will happen in the future, but at the moment we can take solace in the fact that you still have to know the right questions to ask the AI. By that I mean, at the moment you still need the creative intelligence and reasoning that a human being can provide. You still need to be able to analyse a client's requirements and know specifically what to ask of the AI to get the desired result.

And the problems don't end there. Currently, the output from ChatGPT is prone to errors and mistakes. You still need expertise from a web developer to debug this code and amend it to do what you actually require. At best, it can be seen as a tool to remove some of the tedious and repetitive tasks in day to day development, but is far from being a fully-fledged replacement in its current state.

You can use the example of website builders like Wix, or Wordpress, neither of which have negated the need for actual web developers who can invariably produce much higher quality results than you would receive otherwise.


The blog post introduces ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI that is based on the GPT-3.5 architecture. The author discusses the capabilities of ChatGPT, including its ability to generate natural language responses to a wide range of queries.

The post then delves into the topic of whether web developers should be worried about being replaced by artificial intelligence. The author acknowledges that AI technology is advancing rapidly, and that it has the potential to automate many tasks that were previously performed by humans.

However, the author argues that web developers should not be too worried about being replaced by AI, as there are certain aspects of web development that require human expertise. For example, AI may be able to generate code quickly, but it cannot understand the nuances of user experience or the business goals of a website.

The author also points out that AI technology can actually be beneficial for web developers, as it can automate repetitive or tedious tasks, allowing developers to focus on more creative and strategic work.

Overall, the post aims to introduce ChatGPT and highlight the capabilities of AI technology, while also reassuring web developers that their skills and expertise are still highly valued in the industry.

The Real Summary

OK, confession time. The above summary was generated by ChatGPT! Could you tell the difference? Let me know in the comments below!

I requested a summary with the following:

"Write a summary for a blog post which introduces ChatGPT, and discusses whether or not web developers should be worried about being replaced by artificial intelligence".

As you can see, the result is pretty impressive. In the context of this article, you would likely be able to tell the difference, especially in the difference in writing style. In general use however, would you really notice?

I'm extremely impressed with what ChatGPT can do, and will be watching with great curiosity the advancements in this technology as time goes on.

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