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What is GPT-3? Everything You Need to Know

What is GPT-3?

GPT-3, or the third-generation Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a neural network machine learning model trained to generate any type of text from internet data. It was created by OpenAI and uses only a tiny quantity of text as input to generate vast volumes of relevant and sophisticated machine-generated material.

The deep learning neural network model in GPT-3 has approximately 175 billion machine learning parameters.

To put things in perspective, before GPT-3, the largest trained language model was Microsoft’s Turing Natural Language Generation (NLG) model, which contained 10 billion parameters. GPT-3 is the largest neural network ever created as of early 2021. As a result, GPT-3 outperforms all previous models in producing text that appears to have been produced by a person.

What can GPT-3 do?

GPT-3 uses text input to accomplish a wide range of natural language tasks. It understands and generates natural human language text using both natural language creation and natural language processing. GPT-3 has been trained to generate genuine human text, which has historically been a problem for robots unfamiliar with the complexity and nuances of language. GPT-3 has been used to generate articles, poems, stories, news reports, and dialogue from a tiny quantity of input text, which may then be utilized to generate enormous amounts of content.

GPT-3 can generate any text structure, not only human language text. It can also provide written summaries and programming code.

GPT-3 examples

The ChatGPT language model is a significant example of GPT-3 implementation. ChatGPT is a GPT-3 model variation optimized for human discussion, which means it may ask follow-up questions, confess mistakes, and dispute faulty premises. ChatGPT was made available to the public for free during its research peek in order to get user feedback. ChatGPT was created in part to limit the likelihood of dangerous or deceptive responses.

Dall-E is another common example. Dall-E is an AI image-generating neural network based on a GPT-3 with 12 billion parameters. Dall-E was trained on a data collection of text-image pairs and can generate images from text prompts entered by the user. OpenAI created ChatGPT and Dall-E.

Screenshot of ChatGPT fixing code
ChatGPT found a bug in some example code when prompted by a user.

Because programming code is a type of text, GPT-3 can build functional code that can be run without mistake using only a few snippets of sample code text. One developer used a little of recommended text to combine the user interface prototype tool Figma with GPT-3 to generate websites by describing them in a line or two. GPT-3 has even been used to clone webpages by including a URL in the proposed text. GPT-3 is used by developers in a variety of methods, including creating code snippets, regular expressions, plots and charts from text descriptions, Excel functions, and other development applications.

GPT-3 can potentially be employed in the medical field. One 2022 study looked into GPT-3’s ability to help in the diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders like dementia by detecting common symptoms like language impairment in patient speech.

GPT-3 can also do the following:

  • make memes, quizzes, recipes, comic strips, blog entries, and ad content
  • compose music, make jokes, and post on social media
  • automate conversational duties, such as reacting to any text sent into the computer with a fresh piece of text relevant to the context;
  • Text is translated into programmatic commands, and programmatic commands are translated into text.
  • do sentiment analysis; extract data from contracts
  • based on a written description, produce a hexadecimal color;
  • create boilerplate code; identify problems in current code
  • create website mockups
  • construct simpler text summarizations; translate between programming languages; and carry out hostile prompt engineering and phishing assaults.

How does GPT-3 work?

GPT-3 is a model for language prediction. This means it has a neural network machine learning model that can take input text and transform it into the best helpful outcome it predicts. This is performed using generative pre-training, which involves training the system on a large corpus of internet material to find patterns. GPT-3 was trained on a variety of data sets with varying weights, including Common Crawl, WebText2, and Wikipedia.

GPT-3 is trained using a supervised testing phase followed by a reinforcement phase. A team of trainers asks the language model a query with a correct output in mind when training ChatGPT. If the model gives an incorrect answer, the trainers adjust the model to teach it the correct answer. The model may potentially provide many responses, which trainers score from best to worst.

GPT-3 includes about 175 billion machine learning parameters, making it substantially larger than its predecessors, such as Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) and Turing NLG. Parameters are components of a complex language model that characterize its ability to solve a task, such as text generation. The performance of large language models generally scales as more data and parameters are added to the model.

Graph of parameter number in transformer-based machine learning models
GPT-3 dwarfs its predecessors in terms of parameter count.

When a user enters text, the system evaluates it and employs a text predictor based on its training to generate the most likely output. The model can be fine-tuned, but even without much extra tuning or training, the model produces high-quality output text that appears to be produced by people.

What are the benefits of GPT-3?

GPT-3 is a useful solution when a huge amount of text needs to be created by a computer based on a little amount of text input. Large language models, such as GPT-3, can produce reasonable results with only a few training samples.

GPT-3 also offers numerous artificial intelligence applications. It is task-agnostic, which means it can handle a wide range of jobs without fine-tuning.

GPT-3, like any other automation, would be capable of handling rapid repetitive activities, allowing humans to focus on more complicated jobs that demand a higher level of critical thinking. There are many circumstances in which it is impractical or inefficient to recruit a human to generate text output, or where automatic text synthesis that appears human is required. consumer service centers, for example, can use GPT-3 to answer consumer inquiries or assist chatbots, while sales teams can use it to communicate with new customers. GPT-3 can be used by marketing teams to write copy. This form of content also necessitates quick production and is minimal risk, which means that if a mistake is made in the copy, the ramifications are minor.

Another advantage of GPT-3 is its small size, which allows it to run on a consumer laptop or smartphone.

What are the risks and limitations of GPT-3?

While GPT-3 is remarkably large and powerful, it has several limitations and risks associated with its usage.


  • Pre-training. GPT-3 is not always learning. It was pre-trained, which means it lacks an ongoing long-term memory that learns from each interaction.
  • Input size is limited. Transformer topologies, such as the GPT-3, have a finite input size. A user cannot offer a large amount of text as input for the output, which limits some applications. The prompt limit for GPT-3 is approximately 2,048 tokens.
  • Inference time is slow. GPT-3 also suffers from sluggish inference time because the model takes a lengthy time to generate findings.
  • There is a lack of explanation. GPT-3 suffers from the same issues that many neural networks do: a lack of ability to explain and analyze why certain inputs result in specific outputs.


  • Mimicry. Language models like GPT-3 are becoming more accurate, and machine-generated text may become impossible to differentiate from human-written information. This may raise concerns about copyright and plagiarism.
  • Accuracy. Despite its ability to mimic the format of human-generated text, GPT-3 lacks factual accuracy in many applications.
  • Bias. Machine learning bias is common in language models. Because the model was trained on internet content, it has the ability to learn and display many of the biases that humans exhibit when they use the internet.
    For example, two Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey researchers discovered that GPT-2, GPT-3’s precursor, is capable of producing radical language, such as discourses imitating conspiracy theorists and white supremacists.
    This opens up the possibility of amplifying and automating hate speech, as well as mistakenly generating it. ChatGPT, which is based on a GPT-3 variation, tries to lessen the risk of this happening through more intense training and user input.
Chart for rooting out machine learning bias
Models need to be thoroughly trained to minimize the presence of information bias.

History of GPT-3

OpenAI, a nonprofit founded in 2015, produced GPT-3 as one of its research projects. Its overarching goal was to promote and create “friendly AI” in a way that benefits humanity as a whole.

The initial version of GPT, which contains 117 million parameters, was launched in 2018. GPT-2, the model’s second iteration, was launched in 2019 with around 1.5 billion parameters. GPT-3, the most recent version, outnumbers the previous model by more than 175 billion parameters, more than 100 times that of its predecessor and ten times that of comparable programs.

Earlier pre-trained models, such as BERT, revealed the validity of the text generator method and the potential of neural networks to generate large strings of text that seemed unattainable prior.

OpenAI provided incremental access to the model to understand how it will be utilized and to minimize any difficulties. The model was released during a beta stage in which users had to apply to use it for free at first. However, the beta phase ended in October 2020, and the firm released a pricing strategy based on a tiered credit-based system, with access ranging from free for 100,000 credits or three months to hundreds of dollars per month for larger-scale access. Microsoft will invest $1 billion in OpenAI in 2020 to become the exclusive licensee of the GPT-3 model. This means that Microsoft has exclusive access to the underlying model of GPT-3.

ChatGPT became live in November 2022 and was open to the public during its study phase. This increased GPT-3’s mainstream visibility, allowing many nontechnical users to experiment with the technology.

Future of GPT-3

OpenAI and others are developing more powerful models. A number of open source initiatives are underway to give a free and unlicensed model as a counterweight to Microsoft’s exclusive ownership. OpenAI is planning larger and more domain-specific versions of its models trained on a wider range of text types.

Others are investigating various GPT-3 use cases and applications. However, Microsoft’s exclusive licensing makes it difficult for developers to incorporate the capabilities into their apps. Microsoft has talked about adding a ChatGPT version inside programs like Word, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Power Apps.

GPT-3’s future development is unknown, although it is expected that it will continue to find real-world applications and be embedded in various generative AI applications. Nina Schick, a generative AI expert, anticipated exponential technological improvements and sustained investment in the generative AI sector by tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Nvidia.




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