ChatGPT is a variant of the GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) language model, which was developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022.
The chatbot generates human-like text in a conversational style and can be used for a variety of natural language processing tasks such as debugging software, chatbots, language translation, answering questions, and even composing poetry and lyrics.
For this review, we’re exploring a desktop application called ChatGPT. It’s a cross-platform tool built using Tauri, a framework for building tiny, fast binaries for all major desktop platforms. The ChatGPT project has no affiliation with OpenAI.
The project provides a package for Debian/Ubuntu, as well as an AppImage which is useful if you’re running a different distro. AppImage is a universal software format for distributing portable software on Linux without needing superuser permissions to install the application. AppImage doesn’t really install software. It’s a compressed image with all the dependencies and libraries needed to run the desired software.
We tested the software under Ubuntu 22.04, downloading the .deb file from the project’s GitHub page, and installed the software with the command:
$ sudo dpkg -i ./ChatGPT_0.12.0_linux_x86_64.deb
If you don’t have an account with OpenAI, one will need to be created.
Here’s an image of ChatGPT in action. We asked it an easy question to begin with.
That’s a fairly reasonable response. Of course, the same response can be obtained direct from OpenAI’s web service. But there’s other functionality available from ChatGPT including:
- Export responses to Markdown.
- Generate a PNG image of a response.
- Generate a PDF file of a response.
- Text-to-speech functionality. This does not appear to be currently working under Linux.
- Refresh the page.
- Themes – light, dark and system modes are available.
In the icon tray resides the Control Center. This lets you change the software’s settings, view the saved responses in Markdown format, as well as preview/delete the generated PNG and PDF files.
ChatGPT is simply a wrapper for the OpenAI ChatGPT website. You may find it useful if you prefer a desktop application. The text-to-speech functionality looks promising but it doesn’t appear to function currently under Linux.
We like the tool’s ability to export responses to Markdown, PNG and PDF. But things would be improved if we could search through the chats as well as download all of them at once. Sadly search functionality cannot be implemented as the software is not built using the API.
ChatGPT has amassed more than 23,000 GitHub stars which is a truly staggering number considering the program is a wrapper to a website. And there’s huge scope for a better implementation.
The developer has started development of NoFWL recognising that calling his app ChatGPT is a truly egregious idea. It makes sense to rename the project and add additional functionality. We’ll take a look at NoFWL when a release is ready.
For other useful open source apps that use machine learning/deep learning, we’ve compiled this roundup.