ChatGPT Ultimate Guide: Everything You Need to Know

calendar May 12, 2023
author Written by Artur Glukhovskyy

Chat GPT landing page

Looking for info on the hottest AI property? You're in the right place!


A powerful tool like ChatGPT has taken the world by storm since officially being made open to the public in November 2022, amassing a record-breaking 100 million users in under two months, with more registering every day. 


In this Ultimate Guide to ChatGPT, we’ll give you a comprehensive breakdown of everything you need to know about its key features.


There’s a lot to get through, so get comfy and grab yourself a choice-temperature beverage. If you’re in a rush, jump to a section using the chapter list below. 


Table of contents


  1. What is ChatGPT? 
  2. Who Made ChatGPT? 
  3. What GPT stands for? 
  4. How Does ChatGPT Work?
  5. How to Use ChatGPT 
  6. ChatGPT Network Error
  7. ChatGPT Alternative 
  8. ChatGPT Chrome Extensions
  9. ChatGPT Examples 
  10. ChatGPT Prompts
  11. Is ChatGPT Down?
  12. Is ChatGPT Free?
  13. Is ChatGPT Plagiarism?
  14. Is ChatGPT Safe?
  15. Conclusion
  16. FAQs

What Is ChatGPT?

Do you recall those conversations where people hypothesise the end of humanity as a result of an impending takeover by artificial intelligence?


Well, ChatGPT isn’t quite that but hey, it’s kind of fun to think about it nonetheless (isn’t it?).


No, instead, ChatGPT is what’s called a “conversational chatbot” capable of executing human-prompted commands that range from the useful to the absurd. So what is ChatGPT?


ChatGPT (Generative Pre Trained Transformer) is what’s known as a large language model. 


These are artificial intelligence algorithms that are trained on huge datasets and use something called natural language processing to process and understand human language. 


All of this seriously advanced tech allows the model to perform cool tasks such as predicting and generating text-written responses to user queries.


Here are some awesome content examples that ChatGPT can do:


  • Write Human-Like text
  • Create variations of content and content outlines 
  • Compose music and poetry 
  • Write essays 
  • Solve math problems 
  • Plan itineraries 
  • Make travel plans 
  • Use it for personal budgeting/financing 
  • Write and debug code 
  • Translate language 
  • Transcribe audio 
  • Summarise texts 
  • And so much more


When we consider the practical applications and how this AI-generated content can facilitate a wide range of applications in our daily lives, we start to get a sense of the artificial intelligence language models' potential uses both professionally and personally.


Take content writers for example. By typing a few well-informed prompts (more on that later) into the chat box, it’s possible to generate blog outlines, headline ideas, email subject lines, etc.


ChatGPT's answers to questions may need editing, but as a productivity tool, it's a no-brainer.


The same can be said for personal tasks like asking ChatGPT for recipe ideas or asking it to suggest activities to do with the kids, in short - this advanced AI Chatbot can make life easier



Untitled design-1

 The dark side of the debate is: Will AI replace humans in roles where it can take over?


That’s certainly not the intention of companies behind AI tools but it’s a thought-provoking notion nonetheless.


For now, AI has the potential to “help” us achieve what we want, faster, which is no bad thing. 



Who Made ChatGPT?

OpenAI is the company behind the overwhelming success of ChatGPT. And the story behind it is pretty interesting.


It was founded in 2015 with the backing of big tech figures such as Tesla’s Elon Musk and start-up guru Sam Altman.


OpenAI are an AI research company whose core focus is on creating AI systems that can be applied to multiple industries.


Their mission is to make the world a better place through the implementation of AI. 


Landing page developed by openai


OpenAI began making software to support videogame development and similar applications but pivoted around 2018 to divert attention to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).


Around the same time, Elon Musk made headlines by stepping down as chairman of OpenAI. The reasoning for this was two-fold.


On one hand, Musk wanted to avoid a conflict of interest between OpenAI and Tesla.


And on the other hand, Musk had expressed a growing ‘concern’ for the potential dangers that AI could pose should it get too smart.


When OpenAI released GPT-3, the AI model on which ChatGPT is based, Musk's vision of a near-sentient computer was nearly realized. GPT-3 led to GPT-3.5 and then to Chat GPT-4. The rest, as they say, is history.


Before ChatGPT rose to the dizzying heights of fame though, OpenAI created another AI breakthrough with DALL-E.


It's an image-generating AI system that produces digital images and art from natural language descriptions.


Just type your request and DALL-E will generate a realistic depiction based on your prompt. 


Dall-e AI generated images


What Does GPT Stand For in Chat GPT? 

GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer.


  • The "Chat” component refers to the chatbot itself - the virtual assistant responding to your queries. 


  • The “Generative” component refers to the AI’s ability to generate natural-sounding human text. 


  • The “Pre-trained” component refers to all of the text datasets that have been fed into the model. In ChatGPT’s case, this is reportedly around 45TB worth of data, including books and texts, which roughly equates to one million feet of bookshelf space.

    Think about how you might study for a test by reading a few books before sitting an exam, the “training” is kind of like that. 


  • The “Transformer” component refers to the machine learning architecture that the model is based on.

    Transformers use previous data (inputs) to understand the context and then make predictions for the output based on this. They process these data through Neural Networks. 


Throw it all together and you get a fully-formed ChatGPT and a pretty intelligent Chatbot!


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How Does ChatGPT Work?

It’s actually surprisingly straightforward:


  1. The user (that’s you) inputs a prompt
  2. ChatGPT consults its training data to generate a response
  3. ChatGPT displays the result. Simple. 


The not-so-simple explanation happens when we dig into the mechanics of it all.


We’ve written a separate blog diving into the details but for now, we’ll give a brief overview of how ChatGPT does what it does. 


ChatGPT is an iteration of the previous Large Langauge Model, GPT-3 and a sibling model to InstructGPT. It's trained on a massive corpus of data, approximately 45 terabytes worth.


This data acts as ChatGPT’s brain. It’s all of the information stored within that is called upon when a user asks it to do something. 


ChatGPT woerkflow from input to output


The reason ChatGPT is smarter and generates more accurate responses than previous models is owed to its training methods.


ChatGPT has been fine-tuned using similar methods as InstructGPT, two in particular:


  • “Supervised learning”
  • “Reinforcement Learning through Human Feedback” or RLHF. 


Supervised learning refers to the process of training a model using datasets that map an input to a corresponding output.


Because the data is labelled, the model understands that specific prompts link to specific responses.


Even so, the models have limitations and can produce biased, toxic or false responses to user prompts.


Untitled design-1

 The reason ChatGPT is smarter and generates more accurate responses than previous models is owed to its training methods.


To combat this, OpenAI uses RLHF, which entails implementing a reward system that rates how good a response is based on human feedback that the AI can learn from. 


Over time and with the guidance of human feedback, ChatGPT has gradually aligned itself closer to user intentions. This makes for a more accurate and less toxic AI chatbot


ChatGPT and how it works


How To Use ChatGPT

Using ChatGPT is remarkably simple. To get started you’ll need to register an account with OpenAI and follow the onscreen prompts.


Here are the steps you need to follow: 


1. Sign Up for an OpenAI Account 


Go to and select “Log in” or “Sign Up”. If you’re new to ChatGPT, you’ll want the “Sign Up” option.


Users can register using an email address or by using either a Googe or Microsoft account.


Due to ChatGPT’s popularity, you might be met with a “ChatGPT is at capacity right now” message. If this happens, just refresh the page or pop back later to see if a space has freed up. 



2. Verify Your Account

Assuming you managed to register an account, OpenAI will ask you to verify your account. You’ll receive a verification email in your inbox.


Once you’ve got it just click the verification link embedded in the email to go to the next step - verifying your phone number


verify your phone number by chatgpt


3.Accept ChatGPT Terms & Conditions 


terms and conditions of chatgpt


These will inform you of how your data is collected and used for feedback, the privacy terms and also explain the purpose of ChatGPT. 


4.Start Chatting! 

You’ve successfully created an account and logged in. You’re now ready to start using ChatGPT! We’re teeming with anticipation for what you’ll come up with! 


chatgpt first page to start the chat


ChatGPT Network Error

When using ChatGPT you occasionally might encounter a network error.


As frustrating as this can be (as you’re mid-flow creating textual masterpieces) there are a few ways to fix ChatGPT network errors. 


Before you go resetting devices or manically waving your arms around the room, be aware of some common reasons for ChatGPT returning an error code: 


  1. You might have an unstable internet connection
  2. Your prompts are too long or complex
  3. ChatGPT can be temperamental with users connected to a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  4. It could be an issue with OpenAI’s servers


To help fix ChatGPT’s network error code, try these fixes:


  1. Don’t write long and complex prompts, keep them concise and use simple language. 
  2. Refresh your browser page 
  3. Check OpenAI’s official server status webpage
  4. Check your internet connection 
  5. Clear your browsing data 
  6. Disable your VPN
  7. Report the issue to OpenAI’s customer service team


For a detailed list of fixes, read our blog: Understanding ChatGPT: ChatGPT Network Error. 


ChatGPT Alternatives

It’s not uncommon to get hit with a “ChatGPT is at capacity right now” screen when trying to gain access which brings us to our next section: ChatGPT alternatives. 


chat gpt page when it's at full capacity


If you’re having trouble striking up a conversation with ChatGPT due to capacity issues or network problems there are alternatives you can try.


They use the same conversational AI and provide tailored solutions to your problems, depending on what you need it for.


It’s also worth noting that despite ChatGPT’s massive repository, it is only trained using data up until late-2021 and has no access to the internet. So it can’t generate responses in real-time as such whereas some of its competitors can. 


Here’s an overview of the best ChatGPT alternatives: 



chatsonic logo and langing page


Chatsonic is a conversational AI chatbot built on OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 model also used in ChatGPT but made no apologies for claiming to “address the limitations of ChatGPT.


What Chatsonic is referring to here is the fact that it is connected to Google.


So it can access real-time and up-to-date information, unlike ChatGPT’s pre-2021 training dataset. Chatsonic also supports voice command and image generation.


Jasper Chat

Jasper Chat Chat gpt alternative landing page


Jasper Chat is an AI chatbot backed by OpenAI and built on the same language model as ChatGPT.


So you can expect a similar performance by submitting prompts and waiting for text-generated responses.


Jasper Chat has business scalability in mind and so it offers a variety of pricing plans to suit. 


Google Bard

google bard landing page


Based on Google’s own LaMDA conversational language model, Bard acts as a direct competitor to ChatGPT.


It’s currently in an “experimental” stage for collecting feedback, users are either selected to trial the service or they can join a waitlist.


Like ChatGPT, Google Bard is free to use which is a draw in itself. But for most people, it’s the expertise and ingenuity that Google brings making this one to keep an eye on. 


Microsoft Bing Chat


With Microsoft recently announcing a $10 billion investment into OpenAI and already holding several commercial licenses for their products, it’s no surprise they have entered the chat.


The revamped Bing incorporates ChatGPT features into its existing search engine and has that all-important access to the internet. 



You chat logo


YouChat is also connected to the internet which means it can provide real-time conversational responses to user queries.


But also includes citations for its sources, so you know where the information has come from for verification. Plus it’s free to use and less likely to be at capacity. 



socratic logo


Socratic is an AI assistant for students. This clever piece of tech can scan worksheets and provide solutions complete with infographics to support learning. It’s an excellent example of AI being used for good! 


ChatGPT Chrome Extensions

If you’re one of the 2.65 billion people using Google Chrome as their default browser then you’ll be pleased to learn that there are a host of ChatGPT Chrome extensions available to download.


These handy tools allow you to integrate ChtaGPT’s features directly into your browser, without the need to keep swapping tabs. Victory! 


Here are some Google Extension for ChatGPT:


  1. ChatGPT for Google
  2. WebChatGPT
  3. YouTube Summary with ChatGPT
  4. ChatGPT Prompt Genius
  5. ChatGPT Writer
  6. Promptheus
  7. FancyGPT
  8. Merlin 


For the full breakdown read our blog: Understanding ChatGPT: ChatGPT Chrome Extensions. 


5 ChatGPT Examples

You can get a lot done with ChatGPT and we’ve gathered some of the finest ChatGPT examples for your reading pleasure. 


Write (somewhat) funny jokes

Have you ever dreamt of sold-out arenas and fans cheering your name?


Keep dreaming because ChatGPT is unlikely to propel you to celebrity status but it can offer some levity and perhaps even a chuckle or two.  



Summarise Documents & Articles 

A more practical ChatGPT example is using it to summarise texts as it can shave a chunk of time from researching and data gathering exercises. 



Write, Debug and Explain Code

Programmers know all too well the frustration of running into pesky bugs and coding anomalies. ChatGPT can aid the quest for smooth coding as it’s trained in multiple computer languages, such as Python, C++ and SQL.


chatgpt used for progamming


Use ChatGPT for Email Marketing 

Marketers are already tapping into the power of ChatGPT through content generation and one such application is that of email marketing. Draft subject lines, compose emails and more. 


email marketing ideas by chatgpt


Solve Math Problems

Whether you're a student in college or a professional in data science, ChatGPT can bring you a sense of relief with its effortless ability to solve complex mathematical equations.


chatgpt solving math problems


For more ChatGPT examples check out our blog: Understanding ChatGPT: 15 ChatGPT Examples 


ChatGPT Prompts

Prompt engineering refers to the skill of crafting an input in such a way that it gives more accurate and desirable results from large language models such as ChatGPT.


In short, treat your commands as if you were delivering a brief to a writer. The key is to be specific and provide maximum detail.


Use these tips when creating your next ChatGPT prompt:


  1. Consider your objective, the format, the tone of the response, your intended audience and the text length. 
  2. Summarise all of the points you want to answer. 
  3. Detail the specific requirements, such as asking ChatGPT to not include jargon or asking it to break down a summary.


Wanna learn from an AI expert about the perfect prompts? Follow Ruben Hassid on LinkedIn! 

Lord of the rings video generated by AI on the LinkedIn profile of Ruben Hassid


Here are some ChatGPT prompt ideas you can get started with right away! 


  1. Write me a 300-word blog post about tips on creating a social media content calendar for e-commerce. Make it informal and fun. 
  2. Generate a two-minute script for [insert topic] that focuses on [insert objective] I can use to present to shareholders. 
  3. Please review my CV and suggest any edits that make me sound more appealing for a role as a [insert job title].
  4. Give me 10 date-night ideas for me and my partner but include ideas that we can do in the house, outdoors and within a 10-mile radius. 
  5. Convert this transcript [copy and paste transcript] and provide a summary. Then create questions based on this transcript. 
  6. Provide me with market research on [insert topic] for audiences in the southwest region of [insert country]. 
  7. Write a meal plan for one week using a mixture of proteins and vegetables that can be prepared in under 30 minutes. 
  8. What are the top-rated restaurants in [location] with a budget of $65 per person?
  9. Act as an SQL terminal in front of an example database. The database contains tables named [insert names]. I will type queries and you will reply with what the terminal would show. Do not write explanations and do not type commands until I instruct you to do so. My first command is [insert command]. 
  10. Write a song in the pentatonic scale using 4/4 time to [artist and song]. 
  11. Pretend you’re an alien sent to Earth to discover whether hot dogs are in fact made from furry animals, what did you discover? 
  12. Act like a screenwriter. I’d like you to develop a screenplay that will excite and entertain audiences. Focus on the characters and how their story arcs manifest over the first, second and third acts. Summarise the screenplay plot in one line.  
  13. Write me advice on career planning including how I can make steps towards financial goals and getting a promotion. 
  14. Suggest 10 web extensions students can use to increase productivity. 
  15. Create 5 distinct CTAs and buttons for [insert your product]. 
  16. Describe a set of stretches and exercises that are proven to help ease back pain. 
  17. How much money do I need for a [x] day trip in [insert location]? 
  18. Continue writing this code in Java Script [insert code]. 
  19. Modify the following chord progression to make it sounds more like [insert composer or genre]. 
  20. Start a game of 20 questions. I’ll think of a word and you try to guess what it is by asking me a question. I’ll respond with “yes” or “no” before moving on to the next question. 


Want to read more ChatGPT prompts? Check out our guide: Understanding ChatGPT: 100 ChatGPT Prompts for Any Scenario. 


Or take our free AI course and discover how to use AI for your business!


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Is ChatGPT Down?

Struggling to log in to ChatGPT? Are error codes halting your chat progress? You’re not alone.


ChatGPT occasionally suffers from downtimes and interruptions to the service for a variety of reasons which can lead to the infamous ‘1020’ and ‘429’ error codes plaguing your eye line. 


Common symptoms that cause ChatGPT network errors and lead you to wonder if ChatGPT is down are


  • Poor internet connectivity
  • Firewall problems
  • VPN issues
  • Misconfigured network settings
  • Too many user requests flooding the server. 


We break down the different ChatGPT error codes and their fixes in our blog: Understanding ChatGPT: Is ChatGPT Down? Error Codes and Fixes where we cover:


  • Error Code 1020
  • Error Code 429
  • Error on long responses 
  • Login error 
  • Capacity issues 


We also give you a guide on how to fix these with steps by:


  • Flushing your DNS 
  • Changing DNS servers
  • Resetting your IP address 
  • Clearing browser cookies


Check the full blog out here. 


Tired drone into an AI generated image



Is ChatGPT Free?

Much of ChatGPT’s success is likely owed to the fact that the service is 100% free to register and use. And for the time being, OpenAI has expressed that it intends to keep it this way.


But as the service is in a user feedback stage where it’s collecting data to fine-tune ChatGPT’s AI model, there is a lingering concern that eventually the service will evolve to a paid subscription model or tiered structure like many competitors. 


For the majority of causal users, ChatGPT is sufficient. Despite occasional interruptions to the service and capacity issues, the AI chatbot is fit for purpose.


However, OpenAI recently introduced ChatGPT Plus - a paid subscription that gives users additional features. 


What is ChatGPT Plus?

ChatGPT Plus is a pilot subscription plan that costs $20 per month and offers a few perks, with ChatGPT Plus you get:


  • Unrestricted access to ChatGPT, even during peak times when delays and capacity issues arise.
  • Faster response times.
  • Priority access to new features and improvements before the general public as and when OpenAI release them. 


As we say, ChatGPT is free, but for how long? Our advice is to make the most of this fantastic service before the seemingly inevitable changes come into effect. 


For more on this including whether ChatGPT can be used by developers or for commercial purposes, read our blog: Understanding ChatGPT: Is ChatGPT Free?


A droid running faster because he had a help from



Is ChatGPT Plagiarism?

In short, no, ChatGPT is not plagiarism. But because the AI model extrapolates text from existing authors’ work, there’s an argument to be made around the originality of ChatGPT’s responses. 


Let’s say you’re a student writing an essay paper. You might use ChatGPT to lighten your research load by asking ChatGPT for a summary of information relating to your essay topic.


A few seconds later you’re presented with an AI-written text that is effectively an amalgamation of lots of different texts from the internet, re-written and formatted by the chatbot.


If a student were to directly copy and paste the answer, is that plagiarism? Again, not precisely but ethically it does raise some brows for educators and administrators. 


Companies like Turnitin are already creating AI Detection Software to identify when an AI has been used to create text, which will effectively eradicate “cheating” or foul play.


But in the short term, users should also remember that ChatGPT does not cite its sources, so any information should be double-checked and verified before using it for professional or educational purposes. 


For more on this, read our blog: Understanding ChatGPT: Is Using ChatGPT Plagiarism?


Is ChatGPT Safe?

Armed with all of the information in this article, only one question remains - is ChatGPT safe? In reality, there is no definitive answer as it depends on what the user’s intentions are. 


If you’re using ChatGPT to facilitate basic tasks or asking it to lend a hand with ideas then the AI chatbot poses no real threat.


The worst thing you’ll encounter is your data being scraped by OpenAI to help improve the service, something we all willingly participate in when we load any webpage up.


The worst case scenario for this is a data breach spilling your email address or mobile number but again, this is a standard operating procedure for any website. 


But, in the hands of troublesome internet dwellers, ChatGPT can have a negative effect too, the most common examples of this are: 


  1. Malware
  2. Phishing scams
  3. Spreading propaganda and misinformation


The takeaway? As long as you’re using ChatGPT as intended and you are not trying some illegal activities then the Artificial Intelligence chatbot poses no risk to your device or personal well-being.


For a full breakdown of this topic, read our blog: Understanding ChatGPT: Is ChatGPT Safe?


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You’re (almost) a ChatGPT Pro! 

Congratulations on reaching the end of our Ultimate Guide to ChatGPT discovering these key features and potential applications of a pretty intelligent chatbot! 


We’ve covered everything you need to know from what ChatGPT is, to GPT models, to how it works to prompt examples and more.


To sum up, OpenAI has created the most sophisticated AI chatbot to date, capable of extraordinary range of applications that were nothing short of science fiction a few decades ago.


ChatGPT is a variety of tools all toghether and when it’s wielded as such, it serves as a powerful aid to both our professional and personal lives. We’re eager to see how AI will evolve over the next few years.


Want to Learn More About AI for Business? 

You’re in the right place! AI is a fascinating field and one that is building tremendous traction across the business landscape.


As technology advances, business applications are becoming more plausible in everyday practice.


Artificial Intelligence is being used to save time and increase productivity outputs over many different roles and sectors. It's no longer a far cry into the future, it’s here, available and ready to be implemented to see your business performance increase. 


So how can you learn more about using AI in business? As a leading educational course provider, Growth Tribe offers a 2-day live crash course on AI for business. 


Here’s some of what you’ll cover: 


  1. Introduction to AI and the digital ecosystem including ChatGPT. 
  2. Learning from data - including supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning. 
  3. Generative AI and emerging trends and the ethical challenges they pose. 
  4. Business applications of AI in marketing, finance, operations, and healthcare plus the risks and benefits for it. 
  5. Real-world case studies and examples and what we can learn from them. 
  6. Integrating AI into business strategies. 
  7. How to be responsible with data and ethical using AI. 


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Join a community of over 35,000 certified alumni who share a passion for growing their skills and future-proofing their careers. 


Why is Chat GPT not working? 

Good news. There are a few simple reasons why Chat GPT may not be working properly, but all of them can be easily fixed. Check these common problems:


  1. A weak Internet connection can sometimes affect the functionality of the system.
  2. If prompts are too complex or long, ChatGPT may have difficulty processing them accurately.
  3. ChatGPT can be a bit unpredictable when used with a virtual private network (VPN), but this is a problem that can be fixed.
  4. Occasionally, OpenAI servers may experience technical difficulties, which may temporarily affect system performance.
  5. Sometimes, too many users trying to log in at the same time can cause system overload, but this can be easily remedied with a little patience.


How to use chat gpt to write an essay? 

To use Chat GPT to write an essay, you must treat your commands as if you were giving an assignment to a writer. The key is to be specific and provide maximum detail.


Use these tips when creating your next ChatGPT prompt:


  • Consider your objective, format, tone of response, intended audience, and length of text.
  • Be as detailed as possible. 
  • Summarize all the points you want to answer.
  • Specify any special requirements, such as asking ChatGPT to avoid jargon or to break down a summary.


Can you be caught using chat gpt? 

Can you get caught using chat gpt?


Absolutely yes! Chat GPT uses a language that is sometimes too flat and unnecessarily long. Without mentioning the nonsensical answers and misleading information the chatbot can give from time to time.


So a person with minimal experience can recognize when a content is made by Chat GPT. And let's not forget about the


What's more, new software is being created to detect AI-generated content, which will make it even easier to catch.


These two reasons are enough to not fully rely on AI-generated content. What you should do instead is


  • Double check the information provided.
  • Adjust the tone of voice, keeping your audience and your personal brand in mind.

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