So what better way to start off this exploration of Twitter's future than with a bit of a recap of its present? Twitter, for those of you joining us from a rock you've been living under, is a social media platform where users can post short, quick thoughts - or tweets - that can be seen by anyone who chooses to follow them. I often affectionately refer to it as the world’s virtual water cooler where news is frequently broken and petty spats seem to spawn as often as my son, Lachlan, loses his school uniform (which is plenty, for those keeping track).
As popular as Twitter is in its right, there's an entire universe of applications developed to supplement and complement its functionality. Enter chatbots. These are computer programs designed to mimic conversation with users. The general idea, as I see it, is quite similar to when Lachlan and I have our pretend tea parties - except with chatbots, the stakes are a little bit higher, and fewer toy dinosaurs are involved.
Growing in counterpart to general chatbots are Twitter bots. You might mistake them for any regular user, but they're essentially automated accounts that tweet, retweet, like and follow according to programmed guidelines. Funnily enough, I once had a friend who was so convinced a Twitter bot was a real person, they continued a month-long argument on the merits of pineapple on pizza.
While we're delving into all things tech, let's take a moment to appreciate OpenAI, a true game-changer in artificial intelligence (AI). Their most recent offering, the General Pre-trained Transformer (or GPT as it’s known to us on nickname basis), is a language prediction model that can generate human-like text. Imagine a chatbot, but significantly more advanced. This is like comparing my homemade Spaghetti Bolognese to a five-star chef’s - both technically the same dish, but one has you coming back for more.
To my Lachlan’s delight, I described GPT-3 as a Raid Boss when it describes its functionality. It analyzes countless pieces of text, learning patterns and correlations. This proficiency allows it to generate coherent, relevant responses to unique queries, even crafting creative texts such as poetry. Yes, we're now at a place where a robot can pen a sonnet as convincingly as Shakespeare. Terrifying or exciting? You decide.
With the scene set, let's cut to the chase - OpenAI has released ChatGPT for Twitter. It's like a Twitter bot learned how to compose a symphony, and then a jazz improvisation, and then a disco dance number. The potential implications for online interaction are tremendous, as vast and wild as an Australian outback (minus the dangerous wildlife).
ChatGPT for Twitter goes beyond canned responses and retweeting specific hashtags. It can actually ascertain the nuances of a conversation, construct a relevant reply, and even exhibit a bit of creativity in its responses. That’s like Lachlan and his school group project - assigning the bot to do all the work!
ChatGPT’s real selling point (if it were for sale that is, which it's not - don't get any funny ideas!), is its believability. It would take a discerning eye to differentiate a ChatGPT’s tweet from a human's. Like one time when my son and his mates tried to swap their school works, let’s say it took me less than a second to figure the mess out.
Taking it a step further, ChatGPT can be customized. It's similar to teaching your kid how to speak, or more specifically, how NOT to speak when your mates are over for a BBQ. You can guide ChatGPT’s tone, language use, and even its quirks. So whether you want a formal-debate-club-bot or one that speaks purely in popular slang, ChatGPT has got your back.
Think of ChatGPT as a step towards more fluid, dynamic, and authentic online conversations. As Twitter's role evolves in our digital world, being able to converse intelligently with a bot might soon become as routine as arguing about the latest football game or sharing a particularly delightful cat video.
Of course, with such a powerful tool at our fingertips, there come ethics questions. OpenAI is aware of these and works proactively to control misuse of their brainchild while ensuring only good can come of it. It's a fine line to walk but a necessary one, like trying to convince Lachlan to eat his veggies. The balance is indeed essential.
The integration of ChatGPT with Twitter is certainly an exciting development. It's like watching the evolution of communication right before our eyes, like when Lachlan discovered texting. Well, let's hope our communication with the ChatGPT for Twitter will be less full of indecipherable teenage lingo, at least!