This month’s invitation comes from Tomaz Kastrun who asks us how we’ve embraced ChatGPT. Click the T-SQL Tuesday logo to the right to read the full invitation post and read on below for some of my thoughts on ChatGPT so far.
One way I’ve used ChatGPT is as a calculator of sorts. That may sound odd but hear me out. I had a spreadsheet of purchases and wanted to total them up by month. Yes, there are plenty of ways to do this manually or within Excel but I wondered if ChatGPT would be a faster route. I said something along the lines of “given this set of data, give me the price totals grouped by month and also give me a breakdown based on the brand” and included a copy of my data. Seconds later, I had my results nicely formatted for me to review. It definitely saved me a little bit of time. What was interesting to me was that some of the values given to ChatGPT had a question mark at the end (i.e., $100?) as I wasn’t positive of the price. In the results, ChatGPT noted that those prices were uncertain and that estimates were used.
An experiment on the software development side was creating a racing game. I fed ChatGPT a prompt to give me C# code that would simulate a race between two drivers. Then the driver count grew, the race count grew, and it wasn’t long before I could simulate entire racing seasons. This wasn’t something that was going to be an award winning racing game. But considering it was mostly made up of giving prompts and copy/pasting the results into my project, I was impressed.
Overall, I’m still treating ChatGPT with a “trust but verify” attitude. If I’m using it more like a Google search, I’ll ask for one or more sources to find out where it’s pulling information from. While it doesn’t guarantee correct answers, it’s always helpful to see where the information is coming from.
Just as important as the “where” is the “when” as you consider ChatGPT responses. I’ve seen it make some bold claims based on outdated information so it’s worth considering any cutoffs of when that information was last updated. Timing matters.
I’ve been trying to use ChatGPT more and more when I can as it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Thanks for reading!