Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Getting to Know a New Friend…ChatGPT

We recently listened to a webinar about ChatGPT, a hot topic right now. To get you up to speed, GPT means “Generative Pre-Trained Transformer,” and it’s the framework for artificial intelligence. ChatGPT currently has more than 100 million users, gained in just 3 months. It took Google 1 year and 2 months to reach the same milestone. Depending on who you’re talking to, ChatGPT can be spun as a time-saving tool or an unknown power that could be used negatively.

The truth is, ChatGPT can’t actually think, it’s just repurposing old information found on the web. Our instructor saw ChatGPT as a jumping off point, perhaps a way to get a first draft on paper, which is sometimes the hardest. Her comparison was to a calculator. You still have to know how to do math, but the calculator can make your work go faster or help you check your answers.

A few really cool uses for ChatGPT she shared:

  • Summarize long blocks of text or YouTube videos, including time stamps for important points.
  • Create PowerPoint slides.
  • Shift your writing to reach a specific audience, like a particular level of literacy or those with autism.

This is, of course, the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities seem limitless. We were warned that the results should always be a starting point, meant for editing, and the more information you give ChatGPT, the more accurate it will be. I’m interested to see how AI can simplify some of our basic tasks in the office.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.