“Economic conditions, inflation, and increased operating costs” were the top business concerns and challenges reported in Industrial Distribution’s 76th annual Survey of Distributor Operations. When it comes to what is of interest to distributors, the survey revealed that nothing piqued distributor interest more than artificial intelligence. Although 10% of the survey respondents are already using Artificial Intelligence (AI), almost one-third of them anticipate incorporating AI technology within the next two years.
Because of the widespread interest in AI among distributors and companies in general, this blog will explore using ChatGPT by OpenAI, a new large language model (LLM) that has taken our world by storm.
ChatGPT by OpenAI—It’s a VERY Hot Topic
Since its release on November 30, 2022, ChatGPT has ruled the internet leading to a media frenzy and a “stock-market ruckus” as Wall Street investors ponder the rise of AI as the next “iPhone moment.” According to several internet sources, ChatGPT has over 100 million users, and its website boasts 1.8 billion visitors per month.
The overnight success of ChatGPT has generated curiosity, excitement, fascination, frenzy, and fear. These feelings are like those experienced in past tech waves when personal computers took over typewriters and when the World Wide Web and mobile phones changed our lives forever.
Get Acquainted with the Magic of ChatGPT
Since many distributors plan to adopt AI over the next two years and ChatGPT is the AI darling right now, this blog answers important questions and provides valuable information to help you navigate this new generative language model.
What is ChatGPT by OpenAI?
Well, let’s begin that discussion by asking ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is a chatbot designed to assist with customer and sales support, communications, marketing, computer code, and information-gathering tasks. Given the right prompts, it can provide information to help you create training materials, product descriptions, customer letters, video and telemarketing scripts, social media posts, and more. By asking it questions or giving it prompts, ChatGPT allows you to get instant answers, find creative inspiration, and learn something new. It was created by OpenAI, an AI research and development company in San Francisco that is backed by Microsoft®. Its mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all humanity.
How do I sign up for a free account?
- Visit chat.openai.com
- Click on the “Sign up” button.
- Enter your email address and click “Continue.” Follow the prompts and read the disclaimers.
Note: For now, ChatGPT is free. However, when servers are overloaded, the free tier has limited capacity and you may get this message: “ChatGPT is at capacity.” Just try again later.
How do I use ChatGPT?
Once your account is set up, just login in, and you will see this page:
This page gives you “prompt” examples and briefly explains Chat’s capabilities and limitations. Beneath this you will see a long rectangular “Send a message” bar.
Type your question or prompt in the “Send a message” bar. Once you type your prompt, click on the green box with the white arrow on the right side of this bar. Clicking the green box submits your prompt to Chat and within seconds, you will have Chat’s answer.
In my example below, “PA” is the prompt that I typed. Notice how I told the Chat that it was a safety pro at an oil and gas company. This helps provide context. The green box with the swirl is Chat’s answer.
The chat suggested a nitrile-coated glove. If you want more information about nitrile-coated gloves, just type “What types of nitrile coatings can be found in the marketplace?” and then hit the arrow again. Chat’s answer is below.
When you are done with a chat, clear your conversation by clicking on the “+ New chat” button. This button is in the black sidebar on the left-hand side of your screen.
This action clears your previous discussion so that Chat doesn’t answer your next prompt using context from a previous prompt/discussion. It will also automatically store your discussion in the black sidebar until you decide to delete it.
The Chat’s answer is helpful and can increase your knowledge, but when it comes to understanding glove coatings, features, uses, materials, and applications, it is always best to rely on the expertise of your PPE supplier and their product management team. Plus, most top-tier suppliers, like Radians, have many resources to help you, including PPE assessments and our Product Fast Facts program where you can easily download accurate information about multiple protection categories and the standards that govern them, including hand protection, high-visibility protection, hearing protection, women’s PPE, and more.
Here is another example. What if you start selling a protection category that you haven’t sold before, such as FR workwear. Chat can get you up to speed quickly on the standards surrounding that protection category.
You can also use Chat to provide inspiration for your customer emails, social media posts, customer letters, etc. For example, let’s say you receive a customer thank-you letter about a cut glove that prevented an injury from occurring. You want to send a letter to this customer, thanking him for his kind letter. But you also want to seek his permission to share the testimony on your website. Try a prompt like this:
You’ll need to edit the response accordingly, but you now have a framework for your customer thank-you letter.
These are just a few examples, but Chat can help you with multiple tasks and projects if you follow best practices and use the right prompts.
What are the best practices and key text prompts that generate desirable responses from ChatGPT?
- Include your desired word count in the prompt. Why? Chat can be very chatty! Plus, it often uses too many adverbs and adjectives. If you don’t limit the word count, ChatGPT answers are often long, a little “flowery,” and repetitive.
- Be specific by providing relevant details. For example, if you need the response to be in Spanish, mention that in the prompt. Chat is multilingual and has been trained on a wide range of multilingual data.
Or, if you want to tie in a product with a promotion or a cause, be specific and mention that cause or promotion in your prompt. See the example below.
- Tell the Chat to take on a role, such as Safety Pro, PPE Distributor, End-User, Manufacturer, Copywriter, IT Code Writer, etc. This will provide greater context, making the Chat’s response more relevant to your needs. See the example below.
Below are some basic and popular prompts that will help you to generate responses.
- Can you provide an overview of________________________?
- What are the benefits of _________________________________?
- How does ______________ affect ________________?
- Can you provide a step-by-step guide on ___________________________?
- What are the key factors to consider when ____________________________?
- What are some effective strategies for ___________________________?
- Generate key words for blog posts or marketing campaigns about ___________.
- Using a chart, what are the benefits of ____________________?
- I need an email subject line about _________________________________.
Remember to embellish your basic prompts with desired word counts, details, role plays, and writing tones, such as formal, casual, friendly, persuasive, descriptive, technical, etc. For complicated subjects, you can even tell Chat to generate the response so that a 5th grader would understand it. Chat can get verbose at times and use too many words but specifying a “tone” and a word count will help with that.
What are the Key Benefits of ChatGPT?
- Improved Customer Experience and Support
- Increased Knowledge to Help with Training and Interactive Learning Experiences
- Market Insights
- Cost Savings
- Help with Marketing and Social Media Campaigns
- The Ability to Conduct Research on PPE Standards and Regulations
- Provide a Framework for Written Communications
- Task Automation
- Competitive Advantage When You Know How to Use the Technology
What do I need to remember when I am using ChatGPT?
While ChatGPT can generate human-like responses and provide valuable information, it has several limitations. Even the software’s creator, OpenAI, acknowledges that ChatGPT “sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.” Some key limitations of ChatGPT include:
- Lack of Real-Time Information: ChatGPT does not have access to real-time data and is based on information available up until September 2021. It may not be aware of current events, recent research, or updated statistics and ANSI standards.
- Sensitivity to Input Phrasing: The way you phrase your question or prompt can significantly impact the generated response.
- Potential for Inaccuracies: While efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, ChatGPT can still produce incorrect or misleading information. Always verify critical or sensitive information from reliable sources.
- Vulnerability to Bias: ChatGPT learns from the data it was trained on, which can contain source material biases.
It's wise to think of ChatGPT as a helpful assistant or a tool to increase your productivity and to inspire you. It is not wise to think of it as the end-all, be-all, or know-it-all large language model. Just as humans can make mistakes and give incorrect information, so can ChatGPT. When using ChatGPT, always recognize and remember its limitations. Critical thinking, verification of information from reliable sources, and adding your own creative touches and style are highly recommended.
However, despite the limitations, ChatGPT offers a transformative digital technology solution for PPE companies. With its unparalleled language processing capabilities, ChatGPT enhances communication and training, accelerates problem-solving, and can help with research and writing computer code. You’ll be glad you tried it out, and hopefully, this blog will help you do that.
Mary Padron is a Sr. MarCom & Event Specialist at Radians, an award-winning NetPlus Alliance supplier who offers a variety of safety solutions via its vast and comprehensive line of quality PPE. Just as Radians keeps up with technology and automation to better serve customers, Radians hopes the information in this blog will inspire you, increase your productivity and knowledge, and generate new ideas for elevating the NetPlus Membership to new heights. Learn more at www.radians.com or download the Radians catalog.