What can ChatGPT do? Here's 11 fun and useful ways it can boost your life

ChatGPT hero
(Image credit: LALAKA Via Shutterstock)

ChatGPT has dominated online discourse, and with all that information flying around constantly, it can be a little hard to wrap your head around everything. Long and short of it, ChatGPT is a super versatile tool that can do and be almost everything! It’s essentially a chatbot that’s designed to assist you in any way it can, drawing up a huge bank of information and machine language learning to answer questions, find and fix code errors and more in a friendly, conversational way. 

If you want to follow along on ChatGPT with our suggestions or aren’t sure where to start, you’ll have to head over to OpenAI’s official website and register for an account. Once you’ve done that, you’re all set to meet ChatGPT.

The only limitation here would be your imagination. Whether you’re after ideas for a birthday party, researching a paper or looking to kill some time, we’ve got you covered with some of the cool and useful things to use ChatGPT for!

1. Read and improve CVs   

It’s a given that ChatGPT can write you a pretty solid CV once you tell it everything you want to include and how you would like to come across (a little fun and quirky, professional and stern, amiable and a team player etc). But if feeding the chatbot all that information about you is a lot of work - understandable, it kind of is - you can use it as an extra pair of eyes and just whack that bad boy into ChatGPT.

You can ask the bot to take on roles or personas (we mentioned this handy tip if you want to improve your experience with it) like a job interviewer or whatever role the person interviewing you is likely to have, financial manager, tech wizard etc. 

Plus, if you’re applying for multiple roles at one time and need a template for a CV or a cover letter to suit different professional fields, ChatGPT has you covered. 

 2. Prepare yourself for a job interview  

In the same sphere, ChatGPT is probably you’re best bet to shake off the nerves and do as many trial interviews as you need to get you ready for the big day. It has a huge abundance of expertise across a bunch of industries and can come up with possible questions, great responses to those questions and different interview scenarios. 

3. Summarise and simplify text  

ChatGPT can summarise research papers, reports, webpages and studies to ensure you’re not wasting time decoding jargon or diving into things without a baseline understanding. 

This is definitely a feature for university students out there or people looking to glance through pages and pages of information without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. You can decide how much you want to be summarised, either in a few words or in a couple of paragraphs, or you can ask ChatGPT to give you the highlights in a bullet point format. 

4. Decode complex ideas or topics 

We asked ChatGPT to explain to us how it works and how it knows everything, and it was very informative! You can ask it questions not just about itself but about complex ideas across fields in a way that’ll make sense. 

Think of it as a teacher who never gets tired of explaining, because if you ask it to break down something like quantum mechanics or The Big Bang, it’ll talk and talk and talk until you feel like you’ve understood. 

You can ask about Renaissance artists to video game lore, so don’t feel like you have to only ask philosophical questions or brain teasers. Sometimes it’s fun to kill some time and wonder what kind of shoe people wore during the dark age.

5. Recommendations 

With ChatGPT you have a cinema critic, personal chef, shopping assistant and more all in one place. Whether you’re trying to decide between two big purchases or source recipes out of whatever is in the fridge, ChatGPT will recommend things tailored to your needs and tastes, and they’ll get better the more your use the bot! 

6. Translate text  

This one is pretty self-explanatory: give ChatGPT any body of text, and it’ll translate it for you into 95 different languages. Once translated you can then use it to explain or simplify what you’re reading, or give the bot your own text and ask it to translate it into any language required. 

7. Write and fix code 

ChatGPT will help you through most of the coding process and is a great place for beginners, or students looking to hone their craft or get a quick bug fixed without wasting hours of time trying to figure out what’s wrong. We’re not saying it’ll teach you from scratch, but you can get coding examples, troubleshoot problems or provide answers or explanations for common errors 

 8. Tell stories  

This one is pretty nifty if you’re after a quick afternoon read, a writer looking for ideas for different scenarios in your prose or a parent wanting a bedtime saga written within set parameters. Just give the bot your prompt, say a fairytale based around a little robot that collects sea glass, and decide whether you want it written as a multiple-chapter long saga, a fun poem or a short story. This is especially helpful if you have a scene or an idea but are stuck in a creative hole of where it could go. 

9. A place to vent or get advice  

We’ve tried this one ourselves with a few made-up scenarios (pulled from movies or Tv shows), but ChatGPT is a very good listener. Whether you’re in a position where you want an objective ‘ear’ to listen to you or need an outsider's perspective on a sticky situation running things through, this bot can be very useful. 

We asked ChatGPT for some advice on what to do about a fake scenario involving a friend and her not-so-nice boyfriend, and ChatGPT surprised us with very compassionate, well-thought-out responses! It even gave us a four-point list of things to remember and potential plans of action. 

You could have a quick vent to someone inconsequential, get advice or play around with characters and motives if you’re a writer. It’s surprisingly good at dishing out advice, so give it a go!

10. Give it a nickname  

Hand in hand with the above point, you could give ChatGPT a nickname and deepen your conversations and tone with it. We named ours Charlie, and it responds as any friend would as it takes away the icy cold depersonalized feeling that comes with spending ages with the bot the way we do. And, when you start new conversations with it, the system learns its nicknames and will label your chats accordingly. Ours now starts threads with ‘Charlie offers assistance’. 

11. Play games  

We had a blast playing movie trivia with ChatGPT, and there are so many games you can choose from. Since this is an AI language model, most of the games will be language-based in some way, but when we asked Charlie (ChatGPT) what games we could play with it it gave us Trivia, word games like Hangman or Word Association, Role-playing games and choose your own adventure games. The latter two games are a great way to drown several hours with the bot, and the more you play and the more information or prompts you to give it, the more detailed your experience will be. 

As a special mention, we also got ChatGPT to play ‘Six degrees of Kevin Bacon’. If you’ve not heard of that game, we highly recommend you ask ChatGPT and have a go with it. It’s incredibly fun.

All in all, ChatGPT is both incredibly frightening and intriguing. The technology and linguistic capabilities it possesses are a true testament to human invention, and yet it’s hard not to feel a little creeped out. At just two months old, it already has the ‘brain’ of a nine-year-old, and the version of it available through Microsoft’s Bing has its fair share of issues

We do warn you that ChatGPT will not always be chipper and helpful, and it’s very possible to send it down multiple breakdowns and spirals. It’s a work in progress, and there’s definitely an argument to be had that it was probably put into public hands much too early than was possibly needed. But for now, if you’re looking to get into it and find out what it’s about, this is a good place to start. 

Play around with the bot, have a conversation or two and see what you think!

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).