If you’ve been online over the last few months, you’ve probably come across discussions about ChatGPT. The conversational AI-powered (artificial intelligence) tool developed by OpenAI is the latest tech fad that some experts claim could take over our jobs in the future. (If you are interested in working with images instead of words try the related DALL-E.)
You may have seen some of the program’s capabilities: it can write articles, essays, jokes and songs, debug software code, and create resumes with some input from the user. Users can have a conversation of sorts with ChatGPT while refining their requests and the tool can ingest those new points and update its responses in real time.
As someone who enjoys exploring new tools but retains a healthy amount of skepticism about such tools taking over the world, I’ve spent some time testing out ChatGPT, focusing on how the tool could potentially be of aid to caregivers.
My main takeaway is that while ChatGPT can adequately provide information on a vast amount of topics, the responses are mainly generic and middling in quality, like someone reciting an encyclopedia entry. Your mileage will vary if you are asking a question on a highly technical topic or asking it to generate code for a website. But when asking for caregiving advice such as making a caregiver plan for someone with dementia or tips on aging in place, it regurgitates acceptable but basic advice that can be found across the internet. You can see a couple of examples below:
The glaring issue for me is that there is no attribution with ChatGPT responses. That could be important when you are seeking medical advice such as dementia caregiving tips. Are the pointers it is offering come from a dementia expert like Teepa Snow or a low quality resource? At this point, the responses could be used as a decent starting point, but the user would need to do additional research outside of the ChatGPT system to verify, augment, and personalize the information. Google and other search engines are seeking to incorporate attributes of such AI-based tools into their own programs which would offer a more conversational way to search for information.
I’m going to continue to explore the uses of ChatGPT and how it might be useful for caregivers. If you’ve used the tool, I’d love to hear your feedback.