Vietnamese use ChatGPT for fun, novelty

By Minh Hoang   February 8, 2023 | 04:51 pm PT
Vietnamese use ChatGPT for fun, novelty
A person ask a question for AI language model on a mobile phone. Photo by VnExpress
In Vietnam, people are mainly logging into ChatGPT to satisfy their curiosity and have fun.

Despite not knowing much about AI, Huy Vu, 70, asked his son how to use ChatGPT that he had heard so much about lately.

The small business owner in Hanoi said he had heard people talk about it on the Internet and in the media, became curious, and so asked his son to create an account for him so that he could get his hands on this so-called AI.

He began with serious questions on several topics like literature and technology, but as he got more comfortable, he began to chat with it.

"I don’t understand all its functions, but it’s interesting to see how it could chat back and forth, write poetry, create food recipes, provide dietary advice and gardening tips..." Vu said.

"It’s beyond my wildest imagination."

ChatGPT has been available for free in certain markets since November last year and quickly garnered millions of users. In Vietnam, it has gone viral on the Internet since late January.

While experts argue about its inner workings and potential, people like Vu do not care and merely seek novelty and fun from it.

Minh Tuan, 22, who works in the automobile industry in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, said he has gotten a new hobby in the past week: arguing with ChatGPT.

He thinks up funny questions to ask the AI, and every time it provides an interesting answer, he takes a screenshot and shares it on social media.

Nhu Quynh, a book editor in Hanoi, said she has been using ChatGPT both for work and amusement. She has asked it to provide comments on paragraphs she edited, and said it did not work as well as she thought.

It provides decent comments on short paragraphs, but does not handle long paragraphs well, she explained.

"ChatGPT can indeed write poetry, but only in a funny and interesting way. It cannot become a poet."

But she thought it would steadily get "smarter" with human interaction.

Serious usage

Nguyen Hoang Bao Dai, an engineer specializing in AI, said ChatGPT has become so popular because it is free and easily accessible, but AI has been a part of people's daily life for a very long time.

He cited the examples of image-generating AIs Midjourney, Lensa and Dall-E.

People could be using AI without realizing it, he said, pointing to Facebook’s face recognition function and TikTok’s video suggestions.

Hung Thang, an engineer working on big data at the TITUS Research institution in Germany, said the use of ChatGPT would gradually shift from mere amusement to more practical purposes.

"In the coming time this AI would be used more and more for serious purposes, assisting humans in multiple activities."

In Vietnam, it might be commonly used in fields like automation and medicine, he added.

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