Whether it's writing a blog post, a CV or a uni assignment, ChatGPT and its Google equivalent, Bard, seem to have got it covered.
But how else can we use these tools? Here are four other ways that we've found them useful:
Writing anything other than a straightforward Excel formula is a skill in itself and both Bard and ChatGPT will return a formula, or a nested formula, if you tell them what you want.
ChatGPT is slightly better than Bard at doing this in our experience.
The trick is in being able to put into words what it is you want it to do, which is not always easy.
The bots don't always get it right first time either, which means finding and correcting the error yourself, or asking the bot to try again.
Notwithstanding a few shortcomings, using AI bots is an intriguing way of getting Excel to do things with data that you didn't know you could. 👍
2. Generating HTML code
Sometimes, a website or email content management system won't do exactly what you want it to do 😤, which means editing the code.
If you have no coding experience, this can be daunting.
Asking Bard or ChatGPT to edit the code to your requirements will generate a code snippet, which you can copy and paste over the original. Again, it might not be exactly right first time, but you can always improve your instructions when you see what's wrong with the first output.
We hear developers are using ChatGPT to generate large swathes of code to build whole websites. We'll leave that for specialist developers, but simple edits should be easy enough for anyone.
3. Google Analytics
Google is moving all Analytics properties over to GA4 in July. GA4 is far more powerful, but much less intuitive, than Universal Analytics, which it is replacing.
To get round this, we have used Bard, which is a Google product, to tell us how to generate a report that we want and it has output a set of written instructions for us to follow.
Helpful, but we still think GA4 should be easier to use in the first place! 🙄
Increasingly, we find ourselves asking Bard or ChatGPT for information rather than putting the request into a search engine.
This saves us from having to review multiple search results to decide which will give the best response, and it also avoids having to navigate the pop-ups and consent banners, which plague all websites nowadays. The AI bot gives a clean, well-structured response.
Bard has the upper hand on ChatGPT here, because the free version of ChatGPT only has internet data up until September 2021. 🥇
A word of warning, though: it is rarely specified what the source of the information is, and, like search results, it is worth applying a critical eye before accepting the result verbatim.
“Our top tip for using AI bots is "just ask"”
Neither ChatGPT nor Bard will edit a PowerPoint presentation or Word document, nor can you ask them to analyse large amounts of data.
The ability to upload a file for review is still in development.
A workaround is possible by copying and pasting content into the AI bot and then copying out the response, but we have found we quickly come up against character count or data limits. All in all, it becomes a tedious exercise, which is no more efficient than doing things "the old way".
We doubt it will be long before this is resolved, alongside which, the owners of all the major office programs are said to be working hard to build AI directly into their products.
In conclusion, our top tip for using these AI bots is to just ask them. These tools are developing all the time and it is intriguing to see what can be got out of them. By experimenting, we are learning how to instruct the bots to deliver the responses we want, and we suspect they are learning about us too!
by Darren Coleshill, 5 minute read
by Darren Coleshill, 8 minute read