My Chat GPT Guiding Principles

As I explore Chat GPT, I teach and share these insights with others. I love teaching and coaching because I can transfer my experiences to help others. But it also generates fantastic questions, often from points of view I hadn’t yet considered.

So, in the interest of the sharing I’ll be doing within The Chat GPT Experiment, I want to share some fundamental principles I’ve been using when teaching others to use the bot:

  1. Amazing Instrument – While A.I. officially stands for “artificial intelligence”, I choose to change the narrative and refer to it as an “amazing instrument.” Why? Artificial intelligence scares people just like computers and technology can scare people. Not in a Stephen King kind of way but in a “that’s over my head and I don’t understand it” kind of way, like me staring at a sheet of music. I can’t read it, and I don’t get it. So, changing the definition to an ‘amazing instrument’ helps folks to see that this Chat GPT tool is just something you can simply learn to use at your own pace and for your own reasons.
  2. Patience – Let the cliches begin. You didn’t learn to ride a bike, play piano, or hit a baseball on day one. You had to try, fail, learn, and try again. Same with Chat GPT. Don’t be pressured into thinking you need to know it all, do it all, and understand it all from the beginning. Just try things and see how it goes. Give yourself permission to fail or not know what the heck you’re doing at first.
  3. There Are No Experts – This is a big one. Chat GPT and learning bots are too new and too much is changing daily for anyone to say they are an expert. There are simply people who have played with it more, that’s all. Sure, some engineers and coders are doing amazing things with A.I. in general, but that’s our world. Just because you can’t build a computer or code software doesn’t mean you can use a laptop, right? The same goes with Chat GPT. Especially in these early days (As I write this, we are still in year 1 of the public’s in the infancy).
  4. Set The Conditions – As you dive in, tell the bot the goal and be specific. Be as granular as you can be. If you’re writing, be sure to tell it who the audience is, who you are, and the style you like to write. If you’re using it to build a social media calendar, give it the same details you’d provide an intern or assistant helping you do the same task. For tips on how I’ve used conditions and details, check out my article on custom instructions.
  5. Use Plugins – As I write this, two versions of Chat GPT are available for public use: Version 3.5, which is free for public use, and Version 4, which is a paid model. Version 4 also has a plugin library to use with the bot. I have found this library to be incredibly valuable and almost essential for the work I do daily. Much like using apps on a cell phone, the plugin library is full of programming add-ons that allow you to enhance the bot’s functionality. I’ve used plugins to read and analyze websites, scan and analyze PDF, and pull text summaries from YouTube videos.
  6. Explore Perspectives – Depending on why you’re using the bot, perspectives may play a critical role in content development and data analysis. Giving the bot the perspective of another person, such as a customer, a business owner, a family member, a co-worker, etc., will allow it to provide insight and observations from that person’s point of view. I’ve used perspectives to build marketing messages, analyze websites for areas to improve, and even role-play ahead of a difficult conversation I had to have.
  7. You’re The Key To This – To build on the “amazing instrument” theme, Chat GPT is only as powerful as the data you give it. Your insight, experience, guidance, goals, feedback, and more is the key to the bot being of any value in your daily work. This technology needs human interaction and instruction.
  8. Remember, This Is Public – The bot is built to collect, share, and analyze vast data. But it’s not private. So what you give it becomes part of that public mound of information it uses to drive its engine. Don’t put sensitive data into the bot. Don’t feed private financial information, your client’s medical information, company secrets, etc. into the bot. A tremendous amount of legal analysis will come from using tools like ChatGPT, and all those rules are yet to be defined. But the general rule of thumb is – if the information is private in your daily life, keep it away from the bot.
  9. Find Your Lane – How I use it may not be at all how you use it. You may be a website coder or a video producer. You may be a data analyst, or you may be a teacher. There’s a place for this bot to help in so many ways that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
  10. Be Curious – Ultimately, your greatest asset will be your ability to remain forever curious. Explore, try, share, and teach. The more you interact with Chat GPT and others using it, the more ways you’ll find to use – and not to use- to best fit your needs.