Getting Started with ChatGPT and AI Chatbots

An introduction to generative AI tools

By (author) Mark Pesce Illustrated by Grant Wright

Publication date: 06 Dec 2023

Learn how to use ChatGPT, Bing Chat / Copilot, and Bard to get the most out of these powerful tools.

ChatGPT has become a tool hundreds of millions use every day - yet few have mastered the art of sweet-talking these new AI chatbots into providing detailed and accurate responses to user prompts. It's vital for every professional tech user to have an understanding of how AI chatbots work, and how best to put them to work.

While the fear is that AI will take people’s jobs, it is more likely to be someone using AI that will!

Getting Started with ChatGPT and AI Chatbots explores the ‘big three’ AI chatbots - OpenAI ChatGPT, Microsoft / Windows Copilot and Google Bard - demystifying their operation, and providing a wealth of tools for thinking about how to talk to these smart tools.

Whether you're a business user, a tech student, or a curious professional, this book is for you to understand and demystify Large Language Models (LLMs) and generative AI tools, harnessing them to enhance your role.

Mark Pesce co-invented the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), bringing 3D to the Web and laying the foundations for today’s metaverse. He has written nine books, including Augmented Reality: Unboxing Tech’s Next Big Thing, was for seven years a judge on the ABC's The New Inventors, founded postgraduate programs in emerging media at USC and the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and holds an honorary appointment in the Digital Cultures Program at Sydney University. He writes a multiple-award-winning column for The Register, pens another for COSMOS Magazine, and is professional futurist and public speaker based in Sydney. Details at

Print ISBN-13: 9781780176413

Ebook ISBN-13: 9781780176437

104 pages

Imprint: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Introduction 1. Getting Started 2. How AI Chatbots Work 3. Security and Privacy 4. Simple Prompts 5. Reasoning and Summarising 6. Truthiness and Chatbots 7. Character, Context and Conflict 8. Using Character, Context and Challenge to Craft Powerful Prompts 9. Chain of Thought Prompts 10. Computer Says No 11. Creating Images with Bing Chat 12. Windows Copilot 13. Autonomous Agents 14. Will and AI Chatbot Take My Job 15. What the Future Holds / Next Steps
In this ever so timely book, one of my favourite technologists Mark Pesce, takes us through and behind the screen to explain how the latest generation of AI chatbots actually work. But this is not a book about chatbots, this is a book about how to use AI-powered chatbots in daily life, and how to use them to their fullest potential.

Genevieve Bell, The Australian National University

This book is a must-read for anyone considering using generative AI in business. Authored in non-technical language, it walks through the origins of the first chatbot into the current generative AI landscape including ChatGPT, Copilot and Bard. Furthermore, the guidance on effective prompting to achieve the right results, and a list of critical dos and don'ts to protect sensitive data really make this an all-round winner. Top marks BCS, highly recommended!

Pauline Norstrom, Founder and CEO, Anekanta® Consulting and Anekanta® AI

This book provides practical guidance on the use of a rapidly growing technologies referred to as AI chatbots, that offer a substantial productivity advantage to those adept at crafting precise prompts and understanding their diverse applications. It is a valuable resource for mastering these emerging tools, ensuring not only competitiveness but also enabling a focus on the creative and compelling facets of one's work. I highly recommend everyone to read this book and glean insights on wielding this potent power proficiently to remain competent.

Rashik Parmar MBE FBCS, Group CEO, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

In late November 2022, ChatGPT introduced a major advance in Artificial Intelligence that surprised almost everyone, including many experts in AI. Trained on text from billions of books and webpages, it can thoughtfully answer questions on a huge variety of topics and languages. The increase in our capability to access human knowledge is analogous to the increase provided by the internet in 1993. For both technologies, getting good answers requires knowing how to ask the right questions. In this timely and important book, Mark Pesce, who has been at the forefront of new digital technologies for over 30 years, provides a compelling and comprehensive introduction to ChatGPT and how to use it.

Professor Ken Goldberg, William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering, UC Berkeley

Everything you need to educate yourself and your colleagues about the latest hot topic is found within these pages, it’s a must share for colleagues to stimulate conversations about how your business can best adopt AI safely and where you will find business cases. From useful tips on prompts to security concerns about data, biases, and hallucinations with comparisons, get the facts you need on AI here. These are exactly the kinds of conversations I’m having two or three times a day, helping organisations bring their AI aspirations in line with what their business needs are.

David Starkings, AI Adoption Consultant, tts digital adoption solutions

Getting Started with ChatGPT and AI Chatbots is perfectly targeted to give an introduction to ChatGPT and AI Chatbots, it compares and contrasts a range of the major options and covers how each of the competing Chatbots can answer the same question very differently. It also poses some interesting thoughts around ‘Prompt Engineering’ and how this may become a whole new skillset that people need to learn. I thought that Chapter 6 brought insight to ‘hallucinations’ and how AI chatbots have the ability to sound very confident, even when they are wrong, the importance of fact checking and using human experts is stressed well.

Richard Parker MBCS, Chair, AELP Sector Forum, IT & Digital

Mark's book is a practical and pragmatic guide to contemporary spellcasting - the magic needed to evoke useful, safe and factual results from the emerging field of large language models. Importantly the book provides the framework needed to evaluate LLM's critically and ground them in reality - a must-have resource for explorers in this field.

Bhautik Joshi, Principal Applied Scientist, Canva

Everybody is talking about AI, and soon it will be integrated into every part of our electronic devices - always on and always available. Getting Started with ChatGPT and AI Chatbots explains in an easy-to-understand way how AI works and how to get the best results from it, safely and securely.

David Smith MBCS MIET, Lead Business Analyst, Lloyds Banking Group

With this book, Mark creates a path to a dialog with new and emerging AI platforms, one that I’ll be referring to again and again as these technologies evolve. Ever heard of autonomous agents? You have now. A brilliant, timely, and superbly helpful pathfinder.

Dr Catherine Ball PhD DSc GAICD, CompIEAust, Associate Professor, The Australian National University

An essential read for those venturing into Generative AI, this book seamlessly blends historical and theoretical insights with practical examples. The book adeptly navigates concerns surrounding Generative AI, making it a valuable resource for students, academics, and professionals alike.

Professor Lasith Gunawardena FBCS, Department Head of Information Technology, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

If you’ve only dabbled or toyed with ChatGPT or other generative AI tools, you’ll find Mark Pesce’s book invaluable. The book will educate you about how to use AI chatbots effectively and safely. It covers the basics of various chatbots, the technology behind them, and the concept of 'prompt engineering' to elicit desired responses. It also addresses safety and security concerns and explores advanced techniques like using personas and chain-of-reason prompts. Highly recommended!

Tim Clements FBCS CITP FIP CIPP/E CIPM CIPT, Business Owner, Purpose and Means

A concise yet thorough take on AI and how to use it to its advantage. Taking us from our place of trust in the output of computers to encourage us think further about what we input, and to question the completion. ‘If you wouldn’t shout it from the rooftop, you shouldn’t type it into a chatbot.’

Kym Glover CITP MBCS MAPM, Program Manager, ForgeRock.

Not yet started with an AI chatbot? This book is your call-to-action and your how-to rolled into one. A smooth and informative read that'll kickstart your practical learning and give you great ideas to get the best out of Generative AIs. A real confidence builder.

Bronia Anderson-Kelly, IT Change Consultant, Sabiduria Ltd

This book is a fantastic resource for anyone starting out with Gen AI tools. It not only covers the fundamental aspects of the leading Gen AI tools available today, but also the essentials of prompt engineering. With the widespread adoption of Gen AI in the coming years, just like the internet, this book is a useful guide. Mark not only provides a solid foundation in the basics but also delivers valuable insights into the history and potential future of these tools. Highly recommended for its clarity and depth.

Graeme Vermeulen, Head of Technical Architecture, Advanced