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What is ChatGTP?

Updated: Apr 16




What is ChatGTP?


That’s a very prudent question, and topical right now too.


For ChatGPT, read dark matter and KSI.


In so much as you might have heard of them, but have absolutely no idea of what they are or what they do.




Perhaps you’re a little scared as well.


The word ‘chat’ can often strike fear into the hearts of anyone who recalls the beginning of the internet revolution in the late 90s. And the advent of chat rooms.



And there will be others who believe that ChatGTP has something to do with AI. Which it does, as we’ll expand on shortly.


Subsequently some of you may remain hidden beneath your duvets until it all passes over.







Helping with relatively mundane tasks. Amongst a myriad of other usages of sliding values to the end-user.


This ‘help’ is most welcome if/when we find ourselves in our cars alone. A situation which means that there's nobody to change the radio station for us.


Or navigate with the aid of a road atlas.


Or tell us that Llanfair PG is an abbreviation for Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.





So therefore, think of ChatGTP as the embodiment of a constant car companion. Only one that we can deactivate anytime we like.


One that won’t criticise your driving, or animatedly remonstrate with you when you miss the exit you’re supposed to take on a challenging roundabout.


For the fifth time of asking.





(Steve Jobs-spec rollneck at the ready....)




Can We Elaborate?


Yes we can.


Can we dig it?


Well, that’s an altogether different question.




'ChatGPT' stands for 'Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer' and was developed by an AI research company, Open AI. It’s an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot technology that can process our natural human language and generate a response.


It's essentially Open AI's forward-thinking software which came into being as of 2023.


A chatbot which facilitates artificial intelligence together with a natural language processing system to create human-like response to questions and statements posed of it.


One of the key differences being that its style of delivery is more conversational than that of a more traditional voice control system. 


Whilst voice control in cars isn’t necessarily a new concept, to date the systems deployed have been fairly restrictive to the user. With changing the radio station and phoning your partner typically the full extent of its in-car repertoire.


Providing it could understand the driver’s request in the first instance. 


Regional accents often being a moot point with virtual folk. Hence why Pathe News employed only those with cut-glass English when the world was lived in monochrome. 





(Watching us, watching you. Etc...)




Interactivity Has Moved On A Bit Since Those Early Adopter Days Though, Right?


Yes.


More advanced systems have usurped the early doors offerings, and can now adjust the vehicle’s air-con settings if you inform the voice assistant that your hands or feet are cold.


Continuing on a meteorological tip, weather stories will also be relayed to you when promoted by yourself, the driver, as a voice command.


Likewise, the sat nav.


More than that though, you’ll also be able to access information about the geographical places through which you pass. Or are destined. All via oral engagement with the ChatGPT system you have on board.


If asked to summarise ChatGPT in one sentence, it is fundamentally thus. An artificial-intelligence-based programme designed to understand request-based prompts and respond; mimicking the conversational style of homosapians.


So not a massive leap from Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home’s digital assistant to the layman. And in that regard it possess the level of learned intellect to answer a variety of questions on a diverse range of topics.


But not infinite. More of which later. 





In its own words - and yes, this is an artificial intelligence lest we forget - is a state-of-the-art language model developed by OpenAI


Conversation-wise, ChatGPT can hold its own with its human inquisitors. It can also translate from one language to another, while creating the content (or condensing the context) of emails, messages and even long form writing.


What’s more - and both smart and slightly frightening simultaneously - is that it can also infer sentiment from post-analysis of text. 


ChatGPT is so clever in fact, that it’s received $10 billion of funding courtesy of Microsoft




Which potentially explains why, along with Peugeot and Citroen, Volkswagen have integrated ChatGTP into its vehicles. 





(VW Golf ChatGTi)




Why Would I Want ChatGPT In My Car?


Because its analysis ‘drive’/engine can coordinate your vehicle’s GPS, your question and interrogate its own knowledge band, it can ultimately furnish the driver with a wealth of answers to stuff whilst you concentrate on driving aspects.



Imagine this scenario, for instance.


You’re driving somewhere when you observe a building which captures your attention. You think to yourself, just what is this odd building I see before me (we know, a bit Russell Brand in turn of vernacular but you get out drift)?


Rest assured, your ChatGPT integration system will have the answer.


Probably.





(BabAI on board)




What Do You Mean, Probably?


Well, if the fascinating building you’re looking at is the Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, the chances are the ChatGTP will have pre-learned this and subsequently stored its findings in its cloud-based data banks.


However, if it was St. Govan’s Chapel in Pembrokeshire, it might struggle for accuracy. 


In the event, some zillions of sound files are contained within the software’s infrastructure, and ChatGTP plunders the same predictive efforts as you witness when facilitating conventional search engines online.


Basically the ChatGPT hears your prompt as a speech pattern. And having played a digital file version of ‘snap’ with the question, it affords the driver what it considers the right pre-learned answer. 




(NOT a dating app)




Which of the VW Audi Group Brands Are Using ChatGPT Right Now?


In a nutshell, selected Audi and Cupra models will be treated to the tech later this year, so for the time being it’s solely left to VW to flag-bear for the brand portfolio.


At the vanguard of Wolfsburg’s ChatGPT roll-out is none other than the humble - yet recently face-lifted - Golf, which has become one of the first models to receive the kit.



Aha. We thought this tech sounded vaguely familiar.....





The revamped Passat and Tiguan are set to follow suit, while Skoda is introducing ChatGPT into the born again Octavia, together with the 2024 Kodiaq and Superb.


In addition, selected Enyaq models will also benefit from its introduction. 




(Is that you, Laura?.....)




Wait A Minute. Hasn’t Skoda Already Got Laura?


Yes, in-built voice assistant, Laura has controlled the navigation, air-con and media interfaces in some Skoda’s for a bit now. She can also answer a smattering of pub quiz-spec general knowledge posers when put on the spot.


But the AI chatbot which usurps her can offer a more immersive and responsive experience and convey information specific to a particular vehicle as well as ‘enriching conversations’ according to experts. 


Although the ChatGPT will cohabit the same Skoda-shaped virtual space apparently.


This collaborative strategy will see Laura make a stab at answering the driver’s probing, but if it proves beyond her pay grade she’ll be programmed henceforth to awaken the ChatGPT from its in-car slumber.


The thinking being that between the two of them the unfathomable will be fathomed.


All a tad I, Robot, but let’s just wait and see shall we.




(McGregor. Not the fight-y one.)




On Which Note Of Caution……


We now have a better grasp of the pros, but what about the cons.


Aha. Yes.


The drawbacks of ChatGPT as we see it.





One of the undoubted biggies is signal.


Reception.


Data connection.


Whatever it’s called today when you can’t get your internet to work fluidly.


A necessary evil back in the days of dial up, but things have moved on considerably in this fibre optics age. So there really shouldn't be any excuses.


Alas, if you’ve ever circumnavigated rural Wales and expected your mobile internet to stay tuned to the 21st Century, you’ll have been greatly disappointed.


And experienced borderline anger management issues.


None of which is the news you want when you’re trying to reach a destination you’re relying on your sat-nav to help you arrive at.





And then there’s the access to personal data concerns.


Whether or not said data can be bought and sold by unscrupulous third party marketing companies.


Naturally we’re reliably informed that such bodies won’t have access to our personal data and that all requests we make to the ChatGPT ‘brain’ are deleted immediately after use. 


But it won’t just be conspiracy theorists who question the validity of these wild and as yet unfounded claims. 


Offering some degree of reassurance regarding shared data worries, VW’s Technical Development boss, Kai Grunitz said; “You will agree to the terms of use like you do with your smartphone,” going on to add; “If you don’t want to use it, you just say, and then there’s no data exchange.”


Spoken like a true automaton. 




(There will be a welcome in the valleys. Just no internet connection)




Anything Else We Should Be Dubious/Anxious About?



Contextual understanding.


Apart from a four-piece from Wigan with a new EP to drop, this reference applies to humans versus AI.


While impressive the latter is in terms of the informed responses it can create, it ain’t no human.


Therefore it lacks the contextual understanding that we humans possess without thinking. Ergo, incorrect and/or irrelevant answers might become the ChatGPT norm.


Until such time that it bucks its ideas up, figures out everything (including the 3 body problem) and makes us its slaves.


And no. We don’t believe the earth is flat. 






In Summary


The biggest question that remains unanswered at this juncture is one that ChatGPT arguably can’t conclusively reveal to us. 


That being is its very existence in our cars purely technology for technology’s sake or can it actually improve our in-car experiences to the point where we wondered how we coped before. 


Its detractors might concur that its presence could be just another thing to distract drivers from the important business of driving.



As ever, your thoughts and opinions on the subject are most welcome.


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