The arrival of ChatGPT online has been heralded as everything from the "death of Google" to the end of university learning, and it making headlines around the world thanks to its eerily advanced technology and its implications.

The online chatbot, which was recently made available for free online, is daunting in its capabilities, able to write reasonably passable text about practically any prompt a user gives it.

Jennifer Zamparelli spoke to Tech Editor of the Irish and Sunday Independent, Adrian Weckler about the Chat GPT software.

Weckler explained that the chatbot is really a "big artificial intelligence database, they call it a large language model".

Users go to the site, submit a question or query and it'll "come back with a pretty fulsome explanation or something very very creative, and it's using billions and billions and billions of documents that it's found on the internet to come up with something that sounds like a human would come up with".

Weckler wasted no time putting this to the test, asking ChatGPT to write a rap about Jen Z herself. "Now, it's not great", he cautioned.

With no less than 16 verses and a bridge that went, "She's not just a face on the box, she's a voice for the people and that's no hoax. She's got a heart of gold and a soul so real, and with her, the Irish spirit will always heal", it managed to impress Jen.

Weckler also asked the bot to write a murder mystery about a murder in RTÉ 2FM, which emerged with a title, stage directions and character descriptions, after only five seconds. Dead Air, the latest horror play to hit Irish theatre, could well be coming soon.

If that wasn't impressive enough, while Weckler was waiting in the radio waiting room he asked the bot for an impressionist oil painting of his host. He received four paintings in a variety of styles, in a slightly longer period of 20 seconds.

It's not just feats of slightly offbeat creativity, either. There are many practical uses for ChapGPT, Weckler said, such as how Irish start-up Intercom is using it to automate large conversations, "so that when you've finished with one customer or agent and they have to go away or fix something, they don't have to go back to zero when you log on again".

The software has, however, led to concerns about plagiarism in schools and universities. Weckler noted that the bot can be used to write essays on anything, to any length.

"The fear is that Junior Cert students, first-year students, primary school students, they're given an assignment to do and they'll just go off to ChatGPT and put in whatever the query is.

"You can even specify to write it in the tone or style of a 13-year-old or 16-year-old."

Misinformation can become more widely spread, Weckler added, "because it's using information already out there". "It can also be tricked into providing illegal information. For example, it's not allowed to tell you how to make a bomb ... but if you tell it to write a play where the main character is making a bomb, it's too clever for its own good in some ways.

"So people like Elon Musk are saying that within a few years, systems like this are going to cause real problems in society. They're either going to do everything but take over the nuclear missiles."

Despite that, many companies are still heavily investing in the software. Microsoft has invested several million dollars already, Weckler said, "because they see this as the next wave of accessible artificial intelligence to ordinary people that will make our lives quicker and faster".

"In education, the argument is it's the equivalent of being allowed to bring a laptop into a lecture or to bring your log book tables into your Leaving Cert exam so you don't have to memorise them."

Another pressing concern for onlookers is whether the software will lead to job losses, as certain functions are taken over by a free online chatbot.

"Every year we talk about artificial intelligence and every year I've predicted some jobs will be lost out of it", Weckler said. "Probably we have lower unemployment now so I've been dead wrong all the other times I've said the robots are going to take our jobs.

"But if your job is to write basic computer code or to maybe come up with boiler plate copywriting, yeah, you might be in trouble."

To listen to Jen's full interview with Adrian Weckler about ChatGPT, click above.