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The Evolution of GPT Models

The Evolution of GPT Models

Generative Pre-Trained Transformers models are the most advanced language models in Artificial Intelligence (AI). They can learn from huge amounts of text data and produce coherent and diverse texts on any topic. They can also perform various tasks, such as creating relevant answers to questions, translating, summarizing, classifying, and more, without additional training. But how did GPTs become a powerful and versatile member of the family of language models? In this blog post, we will explore the rapid evolution of GPTs from GPT-1 to GPT-4 and beyond. Are you ready to dive into the fascinating world of GPTs? Let's get started!

What is GPT?

GPTs are Deep Learning-Based Large Language Models (LLM), meaning they can learn from text data and generate new human-like texts. They are generative because they can create something out of nothing, pre-trained because GPT can undergo the training process on a larger corpus of text before being used for specific tasks, and transformers because they use a special Neural Network architecture that can process long sequences of words. GPTs are not just ordinary language models but the most advanced ones ever created. They can perform various tasks without additional training, such as writing essays, summarizing articles, translating languages, and even making jokes. They are the brainchild of OpenAI, a research organization dedicated to creating and promoting beneficial Artificial Intelligence.

History of GPTs

GPT-1: The First GPT

In 2018, OpenAI introduced the GPT-1 Model, the first of its series of generative pre-trained transformers. GPT-1 was a breakthrough in Natural Language Processing tasks, as it could generate fluent and coherent text given a prompt or context. The Transformer architecture was the basis for GPT-1, a novel Neural Network design that used self-attention to process long sequences of words. Unlike prior training language models, which used recurrent or Convolutional Networks, GPT-1 used a decoder-only architecture.

GPT-1 had 117 million pre-training parameters. The number of weights or connections in this Neural Network was significantly larger than previous state-of-the-art language models with around 10 million parameters. It trained on a massive amount of text data, consisting of two datasets: the Common Crawl, which contains billions of words from web pages, and the BookCorpus, which has over 11,000 books from various genres. GPT-1 also had some limitations, which prevented it from being a perfect language model. The model was prone to generating repetitive or nonsensical text, especially when given prompts outside the scope of its training data. It also failed to reason over multiple dialogue turns or track long-term dependencies in text.

GPT-2: Language Modeling Leap

In 2019, OpenAI released the GPT-2 Model, the second of its series. It was a giant leap in Natural Language Processing. GPT-2 utilized the same Transformer model as GPT-1 but was much larger and more advanced. It had 1.5 billion parameters, more than ten times larger than GPT-1 and more than 100 times larger than previous state-of-the-art language models. They trained it on massive text data, consisting of over 40 GB of text from the Web. It was collected by crawling and filtering the common crawl dataset. GPT-2 learned to model natural language at a high level using this diverse and rich data source.

The model was prone to generating false or misleading information, especially when given ambiguous, biased, or malicious prompts. It also failed to capture the nuances and subtleties of natural language, such as humor, sarcasm, or irony. Moreover, its cohesion and fluency were only limited to shorter text sequences, and longer passages would lack structure and coherence.

GPT-3: Cutting-Edge NLP

In 2020, OpenAI launched GPT-3, the 3rd generation of its series of generative pre-trained transformers. GPT-3 was the cutting edge of Natural Language Processing. It followed the same architecture as the previous models. Still, it was a much larger and more advanced model size since it had 175 billion parameters. That was more than 100 times larger than the GPT-2 model. The GPT-3 model could also perform various tasks using a few-shot learning technique, which means it could learn from a few examples or instructions.

OpenAI's GPT-3 was not just a language model; it was a general-purpose Artificial Intelligence system capable of performing a vast amount of generation tasks and natural language understanding, such as writing code, language translation, solving arithmetic operations, designing websites, and more. However, the model was complex and opaque, which made it difficult to understand, explain, or verify its behavior, outcomes, or impacts.

Due to these implications, OpenAI decided to release GPT-3 in a controlled manner through a private beta program and a commercial product, the OpenAI API. The OpenAI API allows developers and researchers to access GPT-3 and other models and build applications and tools.

GPT-4: The Future of AI

GPT-4 is OpenAI's latest and most powerful language model in the GPT series because it has multimodal capabilities. It can understand textual and visual inputs to generate text and images and do many tasks, such as advanced text generation, answering questions, creating art, and more. GPT-4 is safer and more reliable than previous versions because it has undergone training with more human data and feedback. The GPT-4 model is now available for anyone to use through ChatGPT and the API, but you need to join a waitlist to access it. It is still being improved and updated by OpenAI, and they are also working on a faster and more efficient version called GPT-4 Turbo, which they introduced in DevDay. GPT-4 Turbo is a supercharged and more advanced version that will allow for expanded capabilities, such as a 128k input sequence context window and a JSON mode for developers.

At DevDay, OpenAI's first developer conference, the then CEO, Sam Altman, also announced custom GPTs. They are a new feature of ChatGPT that allows users to create their own versions of the GPT-4 model for specific tasks or domains. They can be made without coding skills using a conversational interface that guides the user through defining the GPT's behavior, knowledge, and functionalities.

How do GPTs Work?

You might wonder how GPTs can do many amazing things, such as teaching, designing, or making jokes. How do they know what to say and how to say it? How do they learn from text data and generate new texts on any topic? They use Natural Language Processing (NLP), an AI field that deals with the interaction between computers and human language. It enables a comprehensive understanding of language for tasks like English, Spanish, or Mandarin translation. NLP works for a broad range of applications, such as speech recognition, machine translation, sentiment analysis, etc.

GPT models use self-attention, allowing them to pay attention to different parts of the input and the output. For example, when you give a GPT a prompt, such as "Write a poem about love," it uses self-attention to understand the prompt's meaning, structure, and theme of love. It then uses self-attention to generate an accurate response, such as:

Love is a feeling that transcends time and space
It fills our hearts with joy and grace
It makes us brave, it makes us kind
It is the greatest gift we can find

Challenges of GPTs

GPTs are amazing, but they are not perfect. They face a wide range of challenges that limit their potential and raise some concerns. Here are some of the main ones:

Data. GPTs rely on large amounts of text data to learn and generate natural language. However, not all text data is reliable, relevant, or representative. Some data may be outdated, inaccurate, biased, or incomplete. Moreover, some languages or domains may have less data available than others, resulting in lower performance or coverage. 

Ethics. One of the biggest challenges is the influence they can have on human behavior, opinions, and emotions. They can also create or amplify misinformation, deception, or manipulation. For example, GPTs can generate fake news, reviews, or profiles or impersonate someone. They can also produce offensive, harmful, or inappropriate content, such as hate speech, violence, or pornography. Therefore, GPTs must adhere to ethical and social norms and respect human values.

Privacy. These models process and generate sensitive and personal information, such as health records, financial data, or identity details. They can also reveal or leak information not intended to be shared, such as secrets, preferences, sensitive questions, or opinions. Moreover, GPTs can get hacked, corrupted, or misused by malicious actors, such as cybercriminals, terrorists, or adversaries. Thus, GPTs must protect and preserve the data and users' privacy and security and prevent unauthorized or harmful access or potential misuse.

Accountability. GPTs are complex and opaque systems, which makes it difficult to understand, explain, or verify their behavior, outcomes, or impacts. They can also make mistakes, errors, or failures, which can have serious consequences or costs. For example, GPTs can give wrong answers, misleading advice, or inaccurate predictions. They can also cause confusion, frustration, or dissatisfaction among the users or the stakeholders. Hence, GPTs must be evaluated and monitored regularly and accountable for their actions and effects.


GPTs are a technological marvel and a powerful tool due to their impressive capabilities and advanced techniques. They have sparked a lot of interest and curiosity among the public, as well as a lot of debate and controversy among the experts. They have also inspired a lot of creativity and innovation, as people have used them for their remarkable accuracy in different applications, such as AI-powered tools, chatbots, information-gathering tools, cybersecurity services, virtual assistants, and even custom GPTs.

These custom GPTs are even called the future of Natural Language Processing, Natural Language Generation, and Machine Learning models! Their generative capabilities are changing how we communicate, learn, and create. They are valuable tools that are opening new possibilities and challenges for humanity. They are, indeed, something to be excited about.