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How To Talk To An AI

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Artist's conception of a man speaking with a chatbot.

It’s crucial to remember that chatbots are not human, and they are not reliable sources of information, even about themselves.


ChatGPT doesn't come with an instruction manual. But maybe it should. Only a quarter of Americans who have heard of the AI chatbot say they have used it, Pew Research Center reported this week.

"The hardest lesson" for new AI chatbot users to learn, says Ethan Mollick, a Wharton professor and chatbot enthusiast, "is that they're really difficult to use." Or at least, to use well.

The Washington Post talked with Mollick and other experts about how to get the most out of AI chatbots — from OpenAI's ChatGPT to Google's Bard and Microsoft's Bing — and how to avoid common pitfalls. Often, users' first mistake is to treat them like all-knowing oracles, instead of the powerful but flawed language tools that they really are.

Here's our guide to their favorite strategies for asking a chatbot to help with explaining, writing and brainstorming. Just select a topic and follow along.

From The Washington Post
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