IT Life Productivity

Is ChatGPT Assistive Technology for Everyone?

ChatGPT is the latest AI (Artificial Intelligence) craze that promises to change the world. There is no doubt that ChatGPT is impressive and is already changing the world as we see schools and universities banning its use. However, is ChatGPT assistive technology for everyone?

What is ChatGPT?

Well, I asked ChatGPT to explain what it is in layman’s terms, this is the response:

ChatGPT is a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to understand and respond to text in a way that mimics human conversation. It is trained on a large dataset of written text, such as books and articles, so that it can understand the context and meaning of what is said to it and respond in a relevant and natural way. It can be used for a variety of tasks, such as answering questions, writing essays, or even generating creative writing.

ChatGPT on

ChatGPT is currently a concept and free to use, simply register at

What can ChatGPT do?

Of course, I asked ChatGPT what it can do, here is the response.

ChatGPT is a powerful language model that can perform a variety of natural language processing tasks. Some examples of what ChatGPT can do include:

  1. Generating text: ChatGPT can be used to generate text in a variety of styles, such as creative writing, news articles, or product descriptions.
  2. Answering questions: ChatGPT can understand questions and provide relevant and accurate answers.
  3. Text summarization: ChatGPT can summarize long documents into shorter versions, keeping the most important information.
  4. Text completion: Given a partial sentence or a prompt, ChatGPT can complete it in a grammatically and contextually correct way.
  5. Sentiment analysis: ChatGPT can be used to analyse text and determine the sentiment (e.g. positive, negative, neutral) of the text.
  6. Language Translation: ChatGPT can be fine-tuned to work as a machine translator, translating text from one language to another.
  7. Chatbot: ChatGPT can be used to create chatbots that can carry out a conversation with users in a natural and human-like way.
  8. And many other applications where language understanding is needed.

In short, ChatGPT is a versatile model that can perform a wide range of natural language processing tasks, and it can be fine-tuned to specialize in a specific area based on the need.

ChatGPT on

Ok, this all sounds great, but why are people so excited about it? It is how these capabilities can be used and the difference it is making already. Some of my favourite uses, so far are:

  • Support with creating presentations/documents – asking ChatGPT to provide bullet points on a specific topic or to compare the difference between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  • Research – asking for top Danish Fasion brands.
  • Augmenting data – providing a list of Fasion Brands and asking for their website addresses and formatting the output as a table.
  • Writing code – asking for the code for an Alexia Skill in Node.JS for returning funny words.
  • Debugging code -providing a code snippet and asking ChatGPT where the errors are.
  • Comment code – providing a code snippet and asking ChatGPT to comment the code.
  • Test scripts for code – providing a code snippet and asking ChatGPT to provide a test script for the code.

Using ChatGPT can accelerate our creativity and productivity.

What is Assistive Tehcnology?

ChatGPT reponsed:

Assistive technology (AT) refers to any kind of technology or device that is used to assist people with disabilities or special needs in their daily lives. The goal of assistive technology is to help individuals with disabilities or special needs to achieve greater independence, self-sufficiency, and improved quality of life.

Examples of assistive technology can include devices such as:

  • Wheelchairs and other mobility aids
  • Adaptive computer equipment, such as software and keyboard modifications
  • Assistive listening devices and speech-to-text software
  • Specialized communication devices for people with speech impairments
  • Adaptive switches, which allow people with limited mobility to control electronic devices
  • Environmental control systems, which allow people with mobility impairments to control lights, appliances, and other devices in their homes.

Assistive technology can also include services such as:

  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Adaptive education and training
  • Rehabilitation and counselling
  • Support services to help people with disabilities find and use assistive technology.

Overall, assistive technology is a field that is constantly evolving and improving, with new technologies and devices being developed all the time to help people with disabilities or special needs to live more independently and productively.

ChatGPT on

Before this week I hadn’t given much thought to the definition of assistive technology, it was the Screen Reader and Braille display I use. However, reflecting on it, I disagree with the ChatGPTs definition, specifically the link to people with disabilities. I think assistive technology is technology that helps us all do something. The challenge with that definition is that pretty much all technology is assistive… Let me try again:

Assistive Technology, is technology that assists a person in a task by it augmenting their abilities, to perform the task quicker and to a higher quality.

Tim Dixon

Is ChatGPT Assistive Technology for Everyone?

Personally, I see ChatGPT becoming assistive technology that we will all use to augment our capabilities to perform quicker and to a higher quality. It is unlikely we will see the term assistive technology being used in the context of ChatGPT. For some Assistive Technology is firmly associated with disability. Here are ChatGPT’s thoughts:

ChatGPT can be used as a form of assistive technology for some individuals with disabilities or special needs, but it is not designed specifically as assistive technology for everyone. Assistive technology is typically designed to help individuals with specific disabilities or special needs, such as those who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or have mobility impairments.

ChatGPT, on the other hand, is a general-purpose language model that can be used for a wide range of natural language processing tasks. It can be used to generate text, answer questions, summarize documents, and perform other language-related tasks.

However, ChatGPT can be fine-tuned to help people with specific needs. For example, it can be trained to understand and respond to text in a way that is more accessible for people with cognitive or learning disabilities. Additionally, it can also be used to improve accessibility in areas such as speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and language translation, which can make it more accessible to people with visual, hearing, or cognitive impairments.

In summary, while ChatGPT is not specifically designed as assistive technology for everyone, it has the potential to be used as assistive technology for some individuals with specific needs.

ChatGPT on

AI bias is a topic for another day…

Tell me what you think in the comments below or on X @timdixon82

By Tim Dixon

Tim Dixon has worked in IT for over 20 years, specifically within the Testing Inspection and Certification industry. Tim has Cone Dystrophy, a progressive sight loss condition that impacts his central vision, colour perception and makes him sensitive to light. He likes to share his experience of life and how he navigates the abyss of uncertainty.

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