What Is ChatGPT AI and How Can it Help Seniors?

What Is ChatGPT AI and How Can it Help Seniors?

If you keep up with the world of AI (artificial intelligence), you’ve certainly heard about ChatGPT. It’s what developers call a “large language model” that generates human-like responses to whatever you might say to it, from a comment on the weather to an in-depth question about aerospace technologies. To put it very simply, it’s a form of technology that can converse with you and deliver a deep well of knowledge.

ChatGPT (the “GPT” stands for “Generative Pretrained Transformer”) can answer questions, summarize everything from short news stories to full-length novels and movies, translate languages, create code for computers, and even generate letters and other correspondence you might want it to write on your behalf.

Curious to try it out? You can find ChatGPT here.

But before you dive in, read on for more information about this emerging technology. Let’s take a look at what ChatGPT can do for seniors and how it might make life easier – as well as a few things it can’t do for you.

Communication and Companionship

Many seniors struggle with loneliness. According to the Pew Research Center, 27% of seniors over the age of 65 live alone. Interestingly, in other countries, only about 16% of the elderly live on their own. What would seem unacceptable in other areas of the world seems the norm here, where self-sufficiency and independence are paramount to the American way of life. On the downside, that means that many elderly adults in the U.S. are feeling lonely.

While social isolation doesn’t necessarily lead to loneliness, it is definitely a contributing factor for many elderly individuals who have a limited circle of friends or companions. In addition, social isolation or loneliness can lead to other issues, such as depression, anxiety, and an increase in problems with physical health.1 The American College of Cardiology reports that those who are socially isolated or dealing with loneliness can see a higher rate of heart failure than those who have a thriving social life.2

ChatGPT can respond in such human-like ways that it can actually seem as though you’re having a full conversation with another human. For seniors who love living alone but have moments when they really wish they had someone to talk to, ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence can fill that void. ChatGPT is always there to answer questions or engage in conversation; the more you talk to it, the more it learns about who you are, and the better it becomes at responding in ways that suit you.

Infinite Information On Demand

Life moves fast and it can feel impossible to keep up with everything. Even the news cycle spins so quickly that what was huge news one day is barely a blip the next. But it’s not just current news that you might want to hear. Perhaps you want to learn about the history of France or theories on how the Egyptian pyramids were built. While you can go online and search for the information or pick up a book and read to your heart’s content, perhaps you want something that is a little simpler than that. Enter ChatGPT!

ChatGPT is designed to be a helpful program that provides you with a wealth of information. Ask ChatGPT to summarize the latest news headlines of the day, then ask it to dive deeper into one that interests you. You can ask questions about those answers and even get into a debate with ChatGPT on the hot-button issues of the moment.

If you’re curious about something like taking a trip to Australia, you can talk to ChatGPT about everything from the best time to book flights to the top attractions to see in a particular city.

You can even ask ChatGPT about the things that matter most for day-to-day life in your own home, such as how to find an aging in place specialist or home modifications that can be easily implemented without breaking the bank. You can also ask it about medical alert systems from Alert1 that give you the option of summoning help at a moment’s notice in any emergency.

Keeping You Safe

While ChatGPT can never compare to the peace of mind an affordable senior life-saving alert system can provide, there are some other ways in which ChatGPT can contribute to your safety and security.

For instance, let’s say you live in a rural area where tornadoes are the norm; you can ask ChatGPT to alert you to severe weather in the area so you can stay informed and make the proper decisions about protecting yourself and your property. If you live in an area prone to wildfires, ChatGPT can alert you to red flag warnings. If a hurricane is approaching, ChatGPT can help you keep up with the forecast and evacuation orders.

When it comes to pulling information from the National Weather Service and related organizations to get the proper alerts to you fast, ChatGPT shines.

Helping You Stay Connected on Social Media

We pointed out that social isolation and loneliness are problems for seniors and ChatGPT might be able to help ease that somewhat. But it can also help you connect with others around the world. ChatGPT can help you navigate the sometimes complicated world of social media apps by explaining how to use them, helping you troubleshoot problems, and even engaging with you directly on the app itself to guide you through whatever you want to do.

Some apps and websites now use ChatGPT as their default customer service; so when it seems like you’re chatting with a real person, you might not be. You might have been using ChatGPT and never even realized it! Virtual assistants often make use of ChatGPT, whether they are on your phone, computer, or a smart home device. You can use these virtual assistants to get the help you need concerning connecting on social media, especially when it comes to troubleshooting issues like problems with video chat.

Serving Up Important Reminders

Once you are familiar with ChatGPT, you can begin programming it to help you with certain tasks. For instance, you can tell it when your next doctor’s appointment is and ask it to remind you the day before or the morning of the appointment. Keeping up with birthdays, dinner parties, events, appointments, or even your daily goals for exercise can all be easier with ChatGPT. You could even work with ChatGPT to order your groceries for delivery right to your door!

But there are limitations, of course. If ChatGPT can’t communicate with you via your computer or your phone, you will miss the reminders or alerts it is programmed to give you.

That’s why it’s never a good idea to trust something as important as your medication schedule to ChatGPT. Instead, rely on something you can control at all times, like a medication reminder, organizer, and dispenser from Alert1. This handy device allows you to program it to remind you of when to take your medication and it isn’t reliant on a computer or phone to do so. Simply fill it up, set the reminders, and enjoy the peace of mind that no matter what, you’re going to be prompted to take your medication on time and dispensed the proper dosage and medications on schedule.

Keeping Your Brain Sharp

Keeping your brain engaged is a proven way to stave off dementia and other cognitive problems. The internet is a wonderful way to keep up that stimulation. ChatGPT goes further than simply playing a game by yourself or looking up interesting information (though you should still be doing that too).

Did you know that ChatGPT is great for playing games and telling stories? If you fancy a game of chess, ChatGPT is always up for that, any time of the day or night. While you could play chess against a computer that doesn’t interact with you, ChatGPT can actually discuss the moves you’re making.

It can connect you with puzzles online, help you when you get stuck on a particularly difficult riddle, and even keep you laughing with a variety of jokes.

The Downsides of ChatGPT

While it’s usually quite easy to find the many positives of emerging technology, sometimes that same technology can bring negatives to the table. While ChatGPT obviously has many advantages and wonderful ways it could help seniors, it also has some downsides.

During the time that ChatGPT has been active and millions of users have been enjoying it, some trends have become evident. Depending upon where it is pulling information from, it might display biases and discrimination in its responses. Importantly, if you feed ChatGPT personal information, there isn’t any guarantee that your information is protected (which is why you should never provide ChatGPT with bank account numbers, passwords, or anything that should be kept secure and private). And because ChatGPT is artificial intelligence, it can’t be held responsible for the responses it generates – even if those responses lead to someone making bad decisions or dangerous choices.

But one of the biggest problems is the potential for misinformation.

Remember that ChatGPT generates text based on the input it receives. When you ask it questions or make comments, it learns more and more. But as this happens, it also tends to pull misinformation from the internet. That erroneous information could sometimes be quite a serious matter. For instance, if you are looking for information on a certain health condition, ChatGPT might provide you with useful information – but it might also provide some incorrect information. How do you know what’s correct and what is not? It’s hard to tell.

That’s why it’s vitally important to go to your doctor or another trusted source to get information on health and wellness. Senior whole health is combination of many factors that are very unique to each individual; no algorithm can understand that as easily as a trained, experienced human can. While it’s okay to ask ChatGPT about health conditions and get general answers, remember that those answers might not pertain to your particular situation. Only your doctor should be your source for information about your personal health.

ChatGPT Isn’t the Answer to Everything Seniors Need

Though it might seem that ChatGPT can do lots of useful things, the things it can’t do are just as important. It might be tempting to think that ChatGPT can take care of everything you need to stay safe and secure. But that’s not the case. ChatGPT just isn’t all that great in an emergency.

Alert1’s medical alarms for seniors ensure that you have help right at your fingertips at all times, no matter what. All you have to do is press the panic button and within moments, you are connected to a monitoring center, where a trained human will help you assess the situation and send the proper help.

So while ChatGPT can make your life easier and even provide some “companionship” from a unique point of view, also keep in mind that when it comes to your safety and security, there are some things best left to trained and experienced humans!