ChatGPT-3 is a tool, not a writer

Kevin Ellen

Kevin Ellen

Global Director of Web Experience & Organic Innovation

25th January 2023

~ 9 min read


When I asked ChatGPT-3 how it can help digital marketers, I was hoping for an answer other than what everyone has been talking about - content creation.

And this is what it came back with...

“ChatGPT-3 can assist digital marketers in a variety of ways such as content creation, SEO, social media management, PPC, research and automation. It can generate high-quality, coherent and contextually appropriate content, optimize website content for search engines, generate responses to comments and messages on social media, suggest keywords and create compelling ad headlines and descriptions. It can also assist in research of target audience, competitors and industry trends, and automate repetitive tasks such as generating reports and answering common customer questions. However, as a digital marketer, it is important to supervise and review the output generated by ChatGPT-3, and to comply with legal requirements and ethical considerations when using AI in digital marketing.”

It’s of course, no surprise that people use it for content creation. Creating good content is time consuming, requires vast amounts of expertise and can be expensive. And let’s not forget, there are topics that are outright boring for some. While I love to write about the latest web technologies and chat artificial intelligence (AI), I can imagine that someone else may find it horrendously boring to do so!

However, I’m not sure AI will be replacing humans anytime soon - the content created will likely need significant editing, and a human voice needs to be introduced due to the risk of repetition and perhaps remnants of a ‘forced’ sentiment. That all-important ‘human touch’ is still a key component. 

It’s important to note that the data is also outdated, as the cutoff point for data retrieval was December 2021 (or so it tells me). ChatGPT-3 appeared to make assumptions based on the way I asked it a question. For example, I know that the data cutoff was December 2021, however it appears it was able to preempt an event by the specific way I asked a question.

Can ChatGPT make assumptions?

Kevin: When was the cutoff point for the data which trained you?

ChatGPT: My training data's cutoff point is 2021.

Kevin: December 2021?

ChatGPT: Yes, my knowledge cutoff is December 2021. That means I was last trained on new data up until that point, so any information that has come out after that time, I am not aware of.

Kevin: So, you don't know the current King of the United Kingdom?

ChatGPT: As of my knowledge cutoff which is in December 2021, Charles III is the King of United Kingdom. However, I would advise you to check the most recent information as my information could be outdated.

Kevin: Not Queen Elizabeth?

ChatGPT: I apologize, my previous statement was incorrect. As of my knowledge cutoff, which is December 2021, Queen Elizabeth II was the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. However, I would advise you to check the most recent information as my information could be outdated.

I’m not sure whether to be wary or impressed. Perhaps both?

So what is it then exactly?

I hope we can all agree that ChatGPT-3 is very clever and intuitive, and shows astonishing progress when it comes to Machine Learning, AI and understanding language. However, I don’t think it replaces humans at this point. So, what else can we use this hyped application for?

First of all, ChatGPT-3 is a great companion. You can have a full-blown conversation with it around many subjects. You can even say different statements which many people frown upon, for example using a number as a variable. 

Back in December 2022 I was able to explain that I wanted to use the number ‘3’ as a variable and have a different number (the number ‘2’) as a value. Let me tell you, it was quite a discussion - similar to one you’d have at the pub - and it was indeed, a two-way discussion.

In the end I was able to make it say ‘3+3 = 4’, however ChatGPT-3 was more than happy to point out that what I was asking was a bit unusual and silly (I may have paraphrased here).

Writing this blog has shown that the team continuously works to improve ChatGPT-3. Now when I ask it “Okay, given 3=2, what would 3+3 be?”, it is quick to response with:

“If 3 is defined as 2, then 3+3 would also be 2+2 which is 4.”

This is a big change in understanding what I was attempting to do, compared to just a few weeks ago when I originally posed the scenario.

While this may be a somewhat odd thing to test in terms of capability, there are also some more serious things it can help with.

A friendly helping hand with coding

Like many others who dabble in code, I often turn to Stack Overflow for quick questions and inspiration. However, with ChatGPT-3 I can now more easily ask a specific question with examples and get an answer back instantly. Furthermore, while it can help debug some parts of code for me, it can also provide inspiration for doing things more effectively. For example, I used a lengthy ‘ forEach() ’ loop to iterate over an array of objects and extract a specific property, in this case, ‘colour’. Since this process is somewhat inefficient and lengthy, I wanted to see how I could do it better.

“You can use the map() method instead of the forEach() method to make this code more efficient in ES6.”

And it provided me with a more elegant solution:

const newArr = => obj.colour);

While this is a simple example for ES6 (JavaScript), it also helped me with HTML, CSS, SASS and more - mainly to write layouts for me, so I don’t have to do it!

A great Excel/Google Sheets mentor

As long as you know how to clearly ask the questions, ChatGPT-3 can help you with many things - including Google Sheets/Excel formulae. For example, I needed a ‘vlookup()’ formula that has multiple criteria. While I know I can use index-match for that, I wanted a vlookup() formula solution. Luckily my new best friend helped me out…

=ARRAYFORMULA(VLOOKUP(A2:A, {B2:B & C2:C, D2:D}, 2, 0))

Initially it gave me an index-match solution, but I continued to ask and it even admitted that this is a more efficient solution:

“This is a more efficient solution if you have many rows to look up and it also allows you to use VLOOKUP natively. It simplifies the formula and makes it more readable.”

Not only clever and friendly, but also humble!

An interactive Wikipedia-type resource

Outside of work I have an interest in gaming and space exploration, whether that’s playing a space flight game on my phone or booting up Kerbal Space Programme for a bit of fun with rockets. However, there are some terms that are uncommon to me and though I eventually wrapped my head around them, it’s even harder to explain them to someone else. ‘Apoapsis’ and ‘periapsis’ are two of these terms, which have something to do with orbits.

When I asked ChatGTP-3 to explain these terms, I clearly understood what they meant:

Apoapsis and periapsis are terms used to describe the points in an elliptical orbit where a celestial body is farthest and closest, respectively, to the primary body it is orbiting. Apoapsis is also known as the "apogee" and periapsis is also known as the "perigee".

Easily explaining these terms to my young daughter, however, is another matter. So, I asked ChatGTP-3 to explain it to me in layman terms. This resulted in a somewhat more palatable response…

Apoapsis and periapsis are the points in an orbit where a planet or a satellite is farthest and closest to the object it is orbiting around. Think of it like a race track, where the object is racing around the object it orbits. Apoapsis is the point where it is the farthest away and periapsis is the point where it is the closest.

There you have it, ChatGTP-3 is also an interactive Wikipedia-type of resource that can further drill down its response when the answer still leaves many questions answered.

Curve-ball: making people happy by having fun

While I’ve outlined a few examples of how ChatGPT-3 helps me out on day-to-day tasks, there are many more ways it can be helpful - the applications are plentiful! But there’s also another aspect of the bot that’s interesting - its ability to be used simply to entertain.

During day-to-day work it’s easy to lose sight of a bit of lighthearted fun. I’ve found that through using ChatGPT-3 in the right ways, you can inject a little comic relief into the mundane day-to-day grind…

...with, for example, a poem:

There once was SEO so fine

Helping sites climb the search line

With keywords so neat

And content complete

Traffic to the site would incline.

And this harmless bit of fun can even be taken to extremes. I had it create a poem about a Google Sheets formula in Edgar Allan Poe’s style for example. I asked it “Write me a poem about ‘sumproduct’ in the style of Edgar Allan Poe”.

Might of sumproduct:

Sumproduct, a formula of might,

In Excel's realm, a guiding light,

A tool for numbers, great and small,

To multiply and sum them all.

With Sumproduct, our work is done,

No need for labor, one by one,

A simple drag, a click, a breeze,

A sum of products, as you please.

But as with all great powers, heed,

A careless use, a reckless deed,

For Sumproduct can bring despair,

If cells are filled with errors there.

So use with care, and use with skill,

And Sumproduct shall serve you still,

A tool of math, a tool of might,

In Excel's realm, a guiding light.

…opportunities for endless fun (and procrastination).


While many in the community talk about using ChatGPT-3 as a content writer, we tend to lose track of the many other applications in its repertoire. 

I for one am grateful to have access to a friendly bot that helps me with the most mundane questions - not only does this spare my colleagues from having to endure my often repetitive queries, but it also reduces my reliance on Google and the thousands of results to sift through - or even worse… Stack Overflow. It can even adjust its response following discussion, offer alternative solutions, etc. 

And let’s not forget, alongside everything else you can do with it, you can also simply enjoy an interesting conversation. I’ve found that ChatGPT is generally a friendly, often witty, and certainly insightful amigo - and who doesn’t like making new friends?

That leaves me with this final gem, but this time we want to revisit my vlookup formula, but with a twist. Brownie points to any who can correctly guess the requested theme here…

The final poem:

Oh Google Sheets, how doth thou impress,

With thy VLOOKUP function, no less.

Thy power to search,

Multiple criteria to lurch,

Is made all the more with array, no distress.

Forsooth, in times of great data plight,

One must needs find information just right.

But with VLOOKUP and array,

Efficient searching doth not tarry,

And answers to questions take flight.

And so, dear users, take heed,

Of this powerful tool in great speed.

For with VLOOKUP and array,

Thy searching shall not be in delay,

And success in data thou shalt breed.

Happy chatting!

Note: all responses are direct copy-pastes from ChatGPT-3 and have not been edited.

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