These neural networks are known as large language models. They are able to use those mounds of data to build what you might call a mathematical map of human language. Using this map, the neural networks can perform many different tasks, like writing their own tweets, composing speeches, generating computer programs and, yes, having a conversation.
These large language models have proved useful. Microsoft offers a tool, Copilot, which is built on a large language model and can suggest the next line of code as computer programmers build software apps, in much the way that autocomplete tools suggest the next word as you type texts or emails.
Other companies offer similar technology that can generate marketing materials, emails and other text. This kind of technology is also known as generative A.I.
Now companies are rolling out versions of this that you can chat with?
Exactly. In November, OpenAI released ChatGPT, the first time that the general public got a taste of this. People were amazed — and rightly so.
These chatbots do not chat exactly like a human, but they often seem to. They can also write term papers and poetry and riff on almost any subject thrown their way.