What is ChatGPT and How Does it Work?


Whenever I read online explanations of ChatGPT and the technology behind it, I get a little confused.  I cannot fully get my head around some of the concepts as a non-techie.  Maybe because the way I think is very linear and I need a step-by-step explanation.

So below I will provide a simple explanation and link together ChatGPT, GPT, and Large Language Models (LLMs), so even I can understand it!

In the most basic of explanations, ChatGPT is a software program, an online application if you like, that is essentially a smart chatbot. Meaning that it can interact with human beings in a conversational way.  It's designed to understand what you say or ask and give you helpful responses that make sense (well, usually… ChatGPT sometimes gets things wrong!).

The "GPT" part in ChatGPT stands for "Generative Pre-trained Transformer." It's a fancy name for the technology/ model behind ChatGPT.  GPT is a type of artificial intelligence that has been trained on lots of data/text/information from the internet (more on this further below). Generative basically means it has the ability to create new content, such as images, music, or text, as it learns from previous examples it has been exposed to and GPT is a specific example of a generative AI model.

So, to summarize, GPT is a prominent example of a generative AI model that is capable of generating text based on the patterns and knowledge it has learned during training.

GPT works by using a big neural network, you can think of this as a super smart brain.   This brain can take in words or sentences and figure out what they mean. It also knows how to put words together to form new sentences.

Just to be clear ChatGPT is a variant or version of the GPT.

What is the relationship between GPT and Large Language Models?

Very simply, GPT is a type of Large Language Model (LLM) there are others available.

A large language model (LLM) is a type of machine learning model that is trained on huge amounts of data, such as books, articles, and websites.

As a result, they can perform a variety of natural language processing (NLP) tasks, including generating and classifying text, answering questions in a conversational manner, and translating text from one language to another. These machine learning models utilize deep learning algorithms to process and understand language.

When you communicate with ChatGPT, it uses its trained brain to understand your words and come up with a response. It tries its best to give you a helpful answer based on what it has learned from all the text it has read. Sometimes it may not understand perfectly or give the exact answer you want, but it's always learning and getting better.

GPT has gone through a number of evolutions and currently now stands at GPT4.  GPT4 is currently one of the largest and most powerful language-processing AI models to date.

ChatGPT in Action

As ChatGPT currently responds to text prompt instructions and in response provides the most relevant output.

Here’s a little experiment.  I asked ChatGPT the following question:

Question: Can you help me understand what you are? and what you can do.

Answer: "Certainly! I am ChatGPT, an AI language model developed by OpenAI. I have been trained on a wide range of texts from the internet to understand and generate human-like responses.

As for what I can do, I can help you with various tasks involving natural language processing. Some of the things I can do include:

1.      Answering questions: I can provide information on a wide range of topics such as science, history, geography, and more.

2.      Generating text: I can help with creative writing, generate stories, essays, or even help you draft an email.

3.      Language translation: I can assist in translating text from one language to another.

4.      Providing explanations: If you need clarification on a concept or want to understand a complex topic, I can provide explanations in a clear and concise manner.

5.      Assisting in tasks: I can help you with tasks like making a to-do list, setting reminders, or providing general advice.

It's important to note that while I strive to provide accurate and helpful information, I may occasionally generate incorrect or nonsensical responses. Therefore, it's always a good idea to verify important information from reliable sources".

So there you have it. ChatGPT has provided me with a clear understanding of what it is and what it can do for me!

If you want to use it for yourself you can sign up and use the free version of ChatGPT here: ChatGPT | OpenAI

What is GPT-3, GPT-3.5 and GPT-4?

So what we know so far, is that GPT-3, GPT3.5, and GPT-4 are large language models and they are trained on terabytes of information from the internet (training data)  that give artificial intelligence (AI) applications the ability to generate output, based on our prompts or commands. They're some of the largest neural networks (modeled after the human brain) available: GPT-3 has 175 billion parameters and GPT-4 the latest version has been trained on way more data.

Who developed Chat GPT?

ChatGPT was created by OpenAI, which is an artificial intelligence research laboratory and company. You've probably heard of Sam Altman is currently the Chief Executive of Open AI.

Below you can see some of his congressional testimony from 16th May 2023


OpenAI is both a non-profit organization and has a commercial side to its business. Initially, OpenAI was founded as a non-profit research organization with the goal of ensuring that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity. However, in 2019, OpenAI also established a for-profit entity called OpenAI LP to help secure the necessary funding for its ambitious research and development activities.

Microsoft and Infosys are a couple of the commercial investors in OpenAI.

Click here for the OpenAI website.

How should I use ChatGPT?

I thought I'd ask ChatGPT to answer this question, below is its response.

Question: How should I use ChatGPT?

Answer:  "Using ChatGPT is quite simple! You can interact with me by typing your questions or prompts in the text input box. Once you provide your input, I will process it and generate a response based on the knowledge I have been trained on.

Here are the general steps to use ChatGPT effectively:

1.      Type your question or prompt: Clearly state what you would like to know or the task you need assistance with. It can be a specific question, a request for information, or a topic you want to discuss.

2.      Submit your input: After you've typed your question or prompt, hit the Enter key or click on the "Send" button to submit it to me.

3.      Receive the response: I will generate a response based on the input you provided. The response will appear in the chat window.

4.      Continue the conversation: If you have further questions or need clarification, feel free to ask. We can continue the conversation by exchanging messages back and forth.

Remember that while I strive to provide helpful and accurate information, there may be instances where my responses are not entirely accurate or may require verification. Therefore, it's always a good idea to consult multiple sources and exercise critical thinking.

Feel free to ask me anything, and I'll do my best to assist you!"

Isn't that great? I asked ChatGPT how I should use it and it gave me a set of instructions! 😎

What are ChatGPT Prompts?

ChatGPT prompts are the initial questions, statements, or instructions you provide to initiate a conversation or interaction with the ChatGPT language model. They serve as the starting point for the model to understand your query and generate a response.

Here is a prompt I gave ChatGPT and its response.

Prompt: Can you list the top 3 competitors to ChatGPT currently available on the market as of today 21 May 2023 and what large language models they use?

ChatGPT responded that its knowledge cutoff date is September 2021, and then gave me a list of out-of-date competitors!

Obviously, there have been other models or advancements in conversational AI that have emerged since the knowledge cutoff in September 2021.

As you can see if I had not given it specific instructions, it would not have given me the cut-off date and I would not have known the answer provided was out of date.

So the prompts you give must be as specific as possible and you should double-check the output against other sources.

When I asked Bing Chat the same question, it gave me the following reply:

"The best overall AI chatbot is the new Bing due to its exceptional performance, versatility, and free availability. It uses OpenAI’s cutting-edge GPT-4 language model, making it highly proficient! Of course, it would say that!

The prompt you provide helps set the direction for the conversation, guiding the model's response generation. It's important to be clear and specific in your prompts to receive accurate and relevant answers.

After submitting your initial prompt, you can continue the conversation by asking follow-up questions or providing additional information in subsequent prompts. This allows for an interactive dialogue with the model.

Remember that the quality and relevance of the responses depend on the information provided in the prompt, so try to be as precise and detailed as possible to get the desired output.

ChatGPT Alternatives?

ChatGPT is still the most widely used AI technology, there are a number of ChatGPT competitors commercially available and most of them currently use some version of GPT under the hood. You can find a directory of these alternatives to Chatgpt on our homepage: AI Tools Tribe

The other two well-known direct ChatGPT alternatives are:

  • Google:  Google Bard is currently built on the Pathways Language Model 2 (PaLM 2), a language model released in late May 2023.

 You can find Google Bard here:

  • Microsft: Microsoft's Bing Chat runs on OpenAI's latest language model, GPT-4. You can find Bing Chat here:

There are also other companies in the AI race. Amazon is using a large language model (LLM) called Turing, and there will be more on this in the near future.


Is ChatGPT available for free?

Yes, there is a free version of ChatGPT - click here to access:

Is there a ChatGPT api?

OpenAI has released ChatGPT APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that developers can use to integrate the ChatGPT model into their own applications, including mobile apps. If you do a search for ChatGPT on your mobile apps store you will find some options.

Are there other tools like ChatGPT?

Yes, there are a number of ai chatbot alternatives. Check out our AI tools directory: AI Tools Tribe

What is AIRPM?

AIRPM, stands for AIRPM stands for Artificial Intelligence Prompts and Responses Manager. It is a Google Chrome extension that adds a list of curated prompt templates to the ChatGPT platform. These predefined prompts give users more options and control over what specific questions they can ask and in response get better answers.

It's like a marketplace where AI prompt engineers publish their prompt templates on AIPRM and make money every time someone uses their template.  This makes it easier to access Chatgpt, ask the right questions, and makes a powerful ai system.

Can Chatgpt generate images?

No - but you can use DALL-E which is an AI model developed by OpenAI. It combines elements of language and image generation to create unique and original images from textual descriptions. The name "DALL-E" is a combination of artist Salvador Dalí's name and the Pixar character WALL-E.  

Check it out here: DALL-E 2

Is there a ChatGPT app?

Yes, there is a ChatGPT mobile app, currently, it is for iPhone. It was launch 18 May 2023, first available in the US market  

How can someone detect ChatGPT output?

There are a number of AI detection tools. One of the most well-known is Originality AI

How Can I get access to GPT-4?

More and more apps are incorporating GPT-4.   Currently, Bing Chat uses GPT-4.

How Many ChatGPT Users Are There?

This information will get out of date quickly, but as of March 2023,  currently there are over 100 million ChatGPT users. And the Open AI website currently generates 1.8 billion visitors per month!

Final Thoughts on ChatGPT

AI is taking the world by storm and new developments in AI, Machine Learning, LLMs and smart chatbots are accelerating. I wanted this article to be a high-level explanation of ChatGPT and how it works and relates to many of the AI tools on our homepage AI Business Tools directory.

There is talk of prompt engineers and how this skill will help people use Chat GPT and other chatbots. This may be the case, but as entrepreneurs, content creators, bloggers, etc we just want tools that are easy to use and effective in helping us drive business growth.  This is why the AI Tools we have reviewed on this site provide a simple and effective way of working with the LLMs without learning prompts as these are already built into the tools and templates of the AI platforms on the homepage directory.

So search for the type of AI tool you want and read the reviews and take them for a spin, especially as many of them have a free to use trial available.

Check Out Our Other AI Writing Tool Articles:

What are the Best AI Writing Tools

Looking for a Free AI Writer Tool? Here are the Top 5 on the Market

What is the Best AI Writing Generator?

What can an AI Blog Writing Tool Actually do for You?

The Most Creative AI Story Generator Tools for Writers

Will AI replace writers? If not now, When?

What is AI Copywriting?

What are the Best AI Rewriting Generator Tools on the Market?

What is Generative AI?

AI Tools to Boost Your Business Growth! Ideal for Entrepreneurs, Businesses, Content Creators even Employees

Subscribe & get the Latest and Best AI Business Tool Deals

AI Tools Tribe

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to AI Tools Tribe.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.