ChatGPT for IT Professionals

By Rory Monaghan

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The buzz around ChatGPT has been widespread in the past month. Despite the widespread interest, many people who have been eager to try the service have been unable to do so because of high demand, which has often exceeded capacity. Fortunately, I was quick to sign up for an account and I have been able to access the service with ease.

ChatGPT has gained rapid popularity in the industry, leading to companies who have no relation to AI to incorporate it into their marketing by claiming to be the “ChatGPT of x” or asking it questions about their products and sharing the results on social media. On the topic of social media, social media influencers have also been raving about the service, offering their perspectives on its usefulness. However, some of these suggestions are misleading and just an attempt to ride the wave of popularity for personal or business promotion, in my opinion.

In this blog post, I aim to share my personal experience with ChatGPT. I will be transparent and candid, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the service, as well as discussing areas for potential improvement. For those who prefer visual content, there is a video demonstration of ChatGPT available above.

Some ChatGPT Use-Cases

One practical use of ChatGPT is to enhance content that you have written by asking it to re-write it in a different style. This way, you can avoid plagiarism as the service is functioning like an advanced spellchecker, rather than generating completely new content.

A social media influencer previously claimed that ChatGPT is excellent for market research and competitive analysis. I strongly disagree with this claim. When I have asked the service basic questions, the answers were often inaccurate. The service seems to favor certain online sources, such as Microsoft and Stack Overflow, in our industry. Which may fine in some instances but it could also propose a Microsoft product as superior due to its admitted bias. OpenAI has stated that the results generated by the service may be bias and in some cases outdated, as it mostly references data from 2021 or earlier, and may not be reliable. I have found this to be true when asking certain questions. Additionally, if you ask for a definitive answer on the best product in a certain category, ChatGPT will not provide a clear answer and instead remain neutral, which is understandable but also if you ask for metrics it can often remain neutral whereas an IT Pro on a forum will be more forthcoming with numbers.

One of the most remarkable things I’ve seen is the ability of ChatGPT to generate PowerShell scripts based on requests. My peers have shared examples where they asked the service to create a virtual machine and it did. While I am still impressed with its ability to generate PowerShell, the results are inconsistent. The service has produced basic mistakes in scripts as well as scripts referencing obsolete parameters for modules or cmdlets that never even existed. Additionally, the scripts generated by the service often lack error handling. However, if you specifically request error handling to be included, ChatGPT will incorporate it into the script. If you provide further instruction on where the error handling should be placed, the service will follow accordingly.

Conclusion

ChatGPT is mind blowing and it very well may be revolutionary. It is closer to what Artificial Intelligence was shown to be in Sci-Fi. However, it is still of limited intelligence so set your expectations accordingly. If you expect to be lazy and not attain skills yourself allowing ChatGPT to do all the work for you, you will quickly be found out. If you get into marketing and allow it to do your analysis for you, much of the analysis will be flawed. If you get into IT and bullshit about PowerShell experience, thinking that ChatGPT will do it all for you, it won’t. You need to have enough knowledge to feed in specific instruction and be able to review the results with the critical eye.

If you read this, and you are disappointed. I suggest you not be because I’m sure the service is only going to get better and even if it doesn’t, it could complete completely change how a search engine can work. Which is likely why Microsoft has quickly aligned with the service and have already launched a Bing AI using the ChatGPT foundation. With all of that said, the power comes with great responsibility and I hope the regulators are not asleep at the wheel because this type of service could be manipulated very easily and even before Microsoft got involved, the data was already bias. We can only hope the data set becomes more varied in future.

I strongly suggest you check it out for yourself and figure out where it can help you. Will I pay $20 a month for a subscription? I just signed up! Even in its flawed state, it holds incredible value. It will not do my job for me but it can certainly help me do my job better. At this point, I would like to point out that every line of text in this article before the conclusion was text re-written by ChatGPT.

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