Here you will find a complete course on ChatGPT, 100% free and starting from scratch. In it, you will learn the fundamentals of this revolutionary Artificial Intelligence tool, and you can start applying it to your work today.

In addition, if you want to continue delving deeper, in the last section I will leave you additional resources to continue your learning.

Shall we start?

Note: this article is not sponsored. However, it includes some affiliate links. Through them, you can collaborate with SoloEduca, at no extra cost to you. Thank you very much!

✅ What is ChatGPT?

As you know, ChatGPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool developed by the American company OpenAI.

If we ask Chat GPT directly to define itself, it tells us the following:

«ChatGPT is a language model based on the architecture of the GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) series.

The aim of ChatGPT is to generate coherent and relevant text responses during a conversation. It can be used for a variety of applications, including virtual assistants, creative writing, tutoring, translation, and much more.

It is trained through a two-step method:

  • Pre-training: in this phase, the model learns to predict the next word in a sentence by analyzing a large amount of text from the internet. Although it does not specifically know which documents were part of its training set, this process allows it to learn grammar, facts about the world, and even some writing conventions and styles.
  • Tuning: here, the model is trained on a more specific dataset, curated by OpenAI, which includes examples of human role dialogues.

It is important to note that, although ChatGPT can generate impressive and often coherent responses, it is not aware or understands the content it produces in the same way a human would.

Its main goal is to predict the next word in a given text sequence, based on the patterns it has learned during its training».

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✅ What is ChatGPT for?

Although it is «only» a language model, the possible applications of Chat GPT are really broad:

  • Draft all kinds of texts. For example, blog articles, emails, product descriptions, social media posts (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), video scripts, etc.
  • Translate texts. Although it is not perfect, Chat GPT can offer us very good quality translations in a wide variety of languages.
  • Summarize content. If we pass a long text, Chat GPT can give us a very condensed summary of its main ideas. This can be done by pasting the text directly or, if you have Chat GPT Plus, directly from a PDF or a web page.
  • Guide any learning: you can ask it to explain a complex concept to you, give you practical examples, clarify doubts, or design a complete study program on almost any subject.
  • Program or review code: Chat GPT is very good at detecting errors in code or directly programming applications in a variety of languages (Python, Java, C#, etc.). If you want to learn programming, it is an excellent tool.
  • Generation of ideas: whether for writing a novel, an essay, a YouTube video, or a television series, Chat GPT can give you ideas that help you overcome creative block.

These are just some of the many utilities that this Artificial Intelligence tool has today. What should not be lost sight of is that it is, precisely, a tool, an assistant.

It is not advisable to leave all the responsibility for creation to it, as it can still have significant errors (hallucinations, for example).

✅ Free or paid Chat GPT: which one should I use?

As you know, Chat GPT is available in both a paid and a free version. Although its features are constantly being updated, these are their main differences today:

PriceModelCreativity and reasoningSpeedPluginsInternet connection
Free version0 $GPT 3.5NormalHighNoNo
ChatGPT Plus20 $ / monthGPT 4AdvancedNormalYesYes
ChatGPT versions comparative

In principle, the free version is more than enough to learn how to handle Chat GPT and even for many professional or academic applications.

However, if you want to take advantage of the hundreds of available plugins or allow the AI to access the internet, you will need the paid version.

Keep in mind that Chat GPT only has internal information not later than September 2021.

To follow this course, the free version will suffice, except for the sections related to plugins and internet connection.

✅ How to create an account in Chat GPT?

If you don’t have one yet, to create your free account in Chat GPT you just have to follow these steps:

  1. Access the Chat GPT website.
  2. Click on the Sign Up button.
  3. Choose one of the identification options:
    • Email.
    • Google account.
    • Microsoft account.
    • Apple account.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration.

Once inside the application, you can upgrade your account to access the paid version. You just have to go to the button where your name appears (in the toolbar on the side, below) and click on «My plan».

✅ Interface and menus

As you can see in this image, the Chat GPT interface is extremely simple:

02 Curso Chat GPT_Interfaz
ChatGPT Interface © Free ChatGPT Course from SoloEduca

In the left sidebar, the different documents you generate with Chat GPT will be stored. At the bottom, you can access your account, to see the settings, switch to the paid plan, or access help.

In the central part of the screen is where the interaction with Chat GPT will take place. The dialogue bar at the bottom is intended for you to write your prompts or instructions for the AI.

✅ Creation and use of prompts

As you will see now, prompts are the way we have to interact with the Artificial Intelligence of Chat GPT. Therefore, it is the basic core of learning the tool and the most important part of the course.

In this section, you will learn to use them effectively.

➡️ What is a prompt? Examples

Basically, the prompt is the instruction or set of instructions that we give to Chat GPT to generate a certain result.

Since this tool is a language model, prompts are expressed in natural language.

Thus, for example, a typical prompt could be the following: «Write the text for a LinkedIn post in which you encourage users to visit the new website of my company, XYZ, which is dedicated to selling used cars in very good condition».

Chat GPT Course Example 1

As you can see, it’s a pretty good response, but it can be improved, either by:

  1. Generating an alternative.
  2. Giving additional instructions to refine the response.
  3. Designing a better initial prompt.

In the following sections, we’ll look at all three options.

➡️ Generate alternative responses with Chat GPT

As you may have seen in the previous image, at the end of Chat GPT’s response, there is a «Regenerate response» button.

Therefore, if you press it, Chat GPT will give you an alternative response, based on the same premises of your initial prompt.

Given that this AI has extensive training and can generate countless variations on the same idea, it has the ability to propose a wide range of alternatives.

Try it.

However, if you want to achieve the best possible results, this is not the best option. Ideally, you should combine the other two techniques: develop a higher quality initial prompt and then ask it to refine each response.

➡️ How to design an effective prompt

The more information you give to Chat GPT in your prompt, the more likely it is to provide the response you’re looking for.

For example, in the previous case, we didn’t provide much information about the style or tone in which it should write, the specific aspects it should include in the post, the audience it should target, etc.

Therefore, to improve the results, try to include all or some of the following elements in your prompts:

  • Role: you can ask Chat GPT to act as a digital marketing expert, business coach, YouTuber expert in video games, CEO of a financial company, etc.
  • Context: explain the context in which it should act. For example, for an educational conference, a specific social network, etc. You can also give it prior information about your background or that of your company, if it’s important for the type of result you’re looking for.
  • Objective: you can indicate what final objective you intend to achieve. It could be to increase general awareness of your brand, acquire new customers, apologize for a mistake, etc.
  • Tone or style: it’s important to indicate to Chat GPT what tone it should use, if it’s to generate a text that’s not just for your internal consumption. For example, you can ask for a formal, professional, informal, friendly tone, etc. You could even refine these instructions by giving it a reference to the writing style of a certain real person. For example: «write it in the style of Neil deGrasse Tyson». You can see in the image the great result that Chat GPT gives us with this silly example:
Chat GPT Course Example deGrasse
  • Detailed request: when describing your request, include all the details that help guide the AI’s response as specifically as possible. The possibilities are endless. With practice, you will learn to define your prompts more precisely.
  • Give it examples. To get results more in line with your needs, you can provide it with an example text by pasting it directly into the chat (with a limit of 4000 words as of today). If you have ChatGPT Plus, you can give it a link to a reference website or PDF.

➡️ Learn to refine Chat GPT responses

Once Chat GPT gives you a response to the prompt you’ve entered, the work is not yet done.

This is the time for you to review the text and find the relevant points for improvement. Whether it’s because you haven’t defined the initial prompt well or because Chat GPT hasn’t understood the instructions well, the options for improvement are enormous.

Here are some examples, which can apply to different situations:

  • «Regenerate the response, but in a more summarized way». However, keep in mind that Chat GPT is not good at counting words, so it may not get it right if you ask for a specific extension in number of words.
  • «Write the email in a closer and more personal tone, avoiding the word […]».
  • «Give me three more creative ideas, less common in the sector».
  • «Redesign the action plan for a budget of $2,500».
  • «Present the three central ideas in a numbered list format, condensing the previous information».
  • «Remove all references to […]».
  • Etc.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Experiment and practice to achieve better results.

According to some people, the profession of prompt engineer could be an interesting option to work in Artificial Intelligence. However, it is also true that the improvement of natural language systems makes them interpret our words more accurately over time.

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✅ ChatGPT as a tutor: can I learn with ChatGPT?

One of the most interesting applications of Chat GPT is to use it as a personal tutor to learn almost anything.

Here are some ideas to guide it in this task:

  • Start by telling it what you want to learn. Try to be as specific as possible:
    • Specific subject matter.
    • Starting level and desired level.
    • Available time.
  • Maximize efficiency with the Pareto principle. If you don’t have much time, ask it to help you plan your study with the 80/20 rule or Pareto principle: «I want to learn the 20% of the most important material, which could generate 80% of the positive results».
  • Start by asking for a study program for the available time. For example: «design a study program for a period of 3 months, dedicating 5 hours a week to study».
  • Ask for specific learning resources. For example, books, online courses, etc.
  • If you want, you can also ask it to teach you directly: «explain the first point of the first topic of the study plan you just designed».
  • You can request examples, ask it to simplify the explanation, etc.

✅ Generation of tables with Chat GPT

If you want to organize information in the form of a table, Chat GPT can do it for you.

For example, if you’ve asked for a calisthenics training plan, it usually provides the response in text form. Afterwards, you just have to ask it to format it into a table, and it will do it perfectly:

Chat GPT Course Table

✅ Can I trust Chat GPT? Hallucinations and other errors

As I was saying, Chat GPT is far from infallible.

In fact, the danger is that it can generate very plausible responses that seem correct, but are not at all (or only partially).

This is what is called «hallucinations» in AI.

Thus, it can invent a date, include an incorrect fact within a list of correct data, etc. For example, recently, a lawyer in the U.S. faced serious problems as a result of including several false legal precedents in official documentation, which Chat GPT had made up.

Hence, it is essential to review the responses and verify the accuracy of the data provided by Chat GPT.

Although this tool can save us a lot of time and make our lives easier, we must not fall into the laziness of accepting everything it generates as correct.

✅ How to use plugins and connect Chat GPT to the internet

If you have access to the paid version, ChatGPT Plus, which currently costs $20 per month, you will be able to connect the platform to the internet and add third-party plugins.

To do this, you will need to access the settings menu (under your username – settings):

06 Curso Chat GPT_Activar plugins

Next, on the main screen, you will choose the GPT-4 model, and you will be able to activate the internet connection with Bing or the plugin you wish to use.

If you don’t have any yet, you can access the Plugin Store to incorporate the ones you want:

07 Curso Chat GPT_Plugins y navegación 2

Chat GPT will decide on its own at each moment whether or not to use the plugin you have activated (or the internet connection).

✅ What are the best plugins for Chat GPT?

Currently, some of the most interesting plugins to use with Chat GPT Plus are the following:

  • Web Pilot: allows ChatGPT to access the internet, to find more up-to-date information than its own database. However, as we have already seen, this can also be done with the Bing option that Chat GPT Plus already incorporates.
  • Link Reader: allows ChatGPT to read the content of any link you provide, whether it’s text in web format, PDF, images, Word, etc.
  • Chat With PDF: similar to the previous one, but focused on complete PDF documents.
  • Speak: is a complete language tutor, that can teach you how to write anything in a wide variety of languages.
  • Wolfram: allows you to solve all kinds of complex issues related to mathematics, physics, and other scientific subjects.
  • Zapier: allows you to connect ChatGPT with Zapier’s automation tools. Therefore, without needing to program anything, you can communicate different apps with each other in an automated way (email, Google Docs, Excel, customer management applications, etc.).
  • Kayak: to use ChatGPT in organizing trips, reservations, etc.

✅ Access to the GPT API: what is it for?

The API (Application Programming Interface) of ChatGPT is a mechanism that allows access to this Artificial Intelligence engine developed by OpenAI to integrate it with any third-party application.

Therefore, it can be a business avenue or a way to integrate AI into the operation of any company.

You can access more information about the ChatGPT API through this link.

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Some of EdX’s AI courses

✅ More ChatGPT courses to continue learning

If you want to continue learning about Chat GPT, there are many resources available. In this section, you will find a selection of the best courses and tutorials to continue your learning journey (affiliate):

Most of these courses can be accessed free of charge.

✅ Sources and documentation on GPT

If you want to learn more about how Chat GPT works and, in general, the different models used by OpenAI, you can refer to their official website.

For example, it’s very interesting to read the research page on GPT-4, where you’ll find detailed information about its training, capabilities, limitations, etc.

In conclusion, I hope this brief free course on ChatGPT from scratch has helped you take your first steps in the fascinating world of Artificial Intelligence.

As you can see, its possibilities are almost infinite, and its future potential is hard to imagine.

Happy learning!

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