What is ChatGPT? Its Functionalities and Limitations

Last updated on September 25th, 2023 at 10:42 am


ChatGPT is a combination of the word, chat and the acronym GPT which means Generative Pre-trained Transformer. In this case, chat refers to chatbot while GPT is a type of large language model (LLM). It is powered by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that was developed by OpenAI.

Combining the power of chatbots and language models, the tool has the capability to interact with humans and its output is largely determined by the prompts or commands which some people prefer to call commands.

If it’s your first time reading about ChatGPT, here are the important things you need to know about an AI-powered tool that has changed the face of human interaction with machine learning.


When was ChatGPT released to the public?

The chatbot was released to the general public on November 30, 2022. Its results were astonishing in a wide range of knowledge. However, its capability called for more investigation by experts on the knowledge it claimed to have. It was co-founded by Sam Altman

It was discovered that it sometimes made false claims, meaning its claims must be independently verified when it was used for research.

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The growth of ChatGPT

The growth of ChatGPT has been a phenomenon since its release such that within four days of its launch, it witnessed over a million users and by the end of January 2023, it reached over 100 million users.

It was adjudged as the fastest-growing consumer software application in history. Its growth contributed to OpenAI’s valuation growing to US$29 billion.

Is ChatGPT free to use?

ChatGPT has two versions: 1) free 2) premium. The GPT-3.5 is free to use while ChatGPT Plus is the premium version that gives users access to ChatGPT-4.

According to the World’s richest man Elon Musk, OpenAI was originally designed as a non-profit organization while giving reasons why he pulled out of the AI research laboratory.

Premium service

OpenAI began accepting registrations for ChatGPT Plus (its premium service) from its users from the United States In February 2023 at the cost of $20 a month.

And by March 14, 2023, GPT-4 was released which was made available via API and for premium ChatGPT users.

Difference between ChatGPT Free and ChatGPT Plus

The free version can’t accommodate high demand, it works fine when demand is low, but the premium version works perfectly well even when demand is extremely high. This means that there could be a delayed response when demand is high on the free version.

Speed could be low on the freemium version, there is a faster response speed on the ChatGPT plus version.

OpenAI only provides regular model updates on GPT-3.5, but there is priority access to new features on the GPT-Plus.

ChatGPT launch triggers competition

The launch of the ChatGPT triggered competition in the chatbot field, ‘forcing’ Google to step up its game by swiftly releasing Bard on PaLM.

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Functionalities of ChatGPT 

 Apart from its ability to mimic human conversationalist, ChatGPT is capable of performing many tasks including:

1) It can edit copy and article

2) It can write a business letter based on an explanatory prompt

3) ChatGPT can recommend business ideas based on a specific prompt

4) It can compose music

5) It can write essays

6) It can explain complex topics

7) It can write poetry and lyrics

8) It can summarize a long text

9) It can write code (subject to expert analysis)

10) It can write a business plan

11) It has the capability to debut computer programs

12) It can prepare a job seeker for an interview

13) It can mimic the style of successful founders like Elon Musk, Bill Gate, Donald Trump etc

14) It can draft press release

15) It can offer suggestions on website design

16) It can write a grant proposal

17) It can give direction on content strategy etc. We discussed ChatGPT functions extensively in one of our blog post.


It remembers a limited number of previous prompts given to it in the same conversation. However, the best way to avoid a mix-up is to keep making reference to the earliest prompt so that its output will be in sequential order.

Sometimes, ChatGPT can hallucinate, a behavior that is common to large language models. OpenAI acknowledges this limitation.

It doesn’t have knowledge of current events. It has limited knowledge of events that occurred after September 2021.

ChatGPT suffers from algorithmic bias, this is based on the information it has access to.

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It could portray over-confidence in its output such that it could make false claims.

Prompts and output filtering

The developers of ChatGPT in a move to prevent users from using it as a learning platform for crime, put in place measures preventing chatbots from producing offensive output.

As such, OpenAI deployed its “Moderation endpoint” which is a separate GPT-based AI to filter prompts and output. For instance, racist or offensive commands will promptly be dismissed by the AI-powered chatbot.

Launch of mobile app

An iOS app for ChatGPT was launched in May 2023, and it plans to make the ChatGPT Android app available later.

Expansion and collaborations

OpenAI is moving so fast that it is expanding its services to plugins and also web browsing and code interpretation.

Part of its expansion move includes collaborating with external plugin developers such as:

  • Shopify,
  • Zapier,
  • Slack,
  • Wolfram
  • Expedia, and
  • OpenTable,

Concerns over ChatGPT

There are many concerns about the popularity of ChatGPT, some of them include:

Privacy concerns especially in Europe where data is a big deal. For instance, there was a security breach in March 2023, when some users saw some else’ conversation headings in the sidebar

Following the breach, the Italian data regulator announced a blockage of ChatGPT within its zone.

There are also fairs among content writers and developers that the OpenAI-powered tool could take their jobs.

There are also concerns that ChatGPT could make students lazier than before because it could rely on output from the tool without further investigation.

So, how are you using ChatGPT? To support your business operation or generate business ideas?

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