A phone, displaying an AI chat response, against a green and purple background.
Jason Fitzpatrick / How-To Geek

If you’ve heard about ChatGPT and think it’s just a fancy chatbot, you might be underestimating the range of what it can do. Here are some surprising things you can do with ChatGPT, whether you want to write a resume or have it dungeon-master an epic role-playing adventure.

What Is ChatGPT?

Not super familiar with ChatGPT? No worries. It, and similar AI engines, are still quite new. You can take a deep dive into ChatGPT, and we can even help you learn how to use ChatGPT, but here’s a quick summary before we look at some of the more novel ways you can use the AI chat service.

ChatGPT is an algorithmic AI chat system trained on a massive collection of internet-based resources (websites, forums, documents, and so on) to provide a human-like response to inquiries. And not just simple “How are you doing today?” with a response of “I am doing fine, thank you for asking,” type of chat responses like you might have gotten from a chatbot in the past.

You can ask ChatGPT questions with complex answers, and it will do its best to respond based on its understanding of the question, the context, and all the material stored in its data set.

Interestingly, and quite relevant to what we’re talking about here, it isn’t limited to just answering questions like an interactive encyclopedia. It can be asked to perform tasks, analyze texts, and even play with you.

Now, a word of caution before we continue. ChatGPT is in its infancy, and many potential legal aspects have yet to be ironed out. ChatGPT terms of service allow you to use anything produced by ChatGPT for commercial purposes. But because ChatGPT results are effectively an amalgam of everything ChatGPT has learned, mashed up and spit back out for your benefit, it’s quite possible portions of what ChatGPT gives you are pieces of existing works. With that in mind, we would encourage everyone to play around with it and have fun, but be cautious in using it in any way that could result in you getting an unwelcome letter from a copyright lawyer.

That warning out of the way, let’s look at the interesting things ChatGPT can do, starting with the mundane but useful and moving onto some of the more novel uses.

Write a Cover Letter

Not a huge fan of writing cover letters? Nobody could blame you. It turns out you can farm the job out to AI, and the results are perfectly passing as something written by a person.

You can even instruct ChatGPT to write a cover letter for a particular position or industry. Naturally, you will need to edit the letter to reflect your exact skillset, certifications, and so on, but the template ChatGPT generates is solid. We asked it to write a cover letter for a recent college graduate applying for a junior developer position.

A ChatGPT AI response showing a cover letter.

What it produced was a great template to start from, tweaking it slightly to reflect your accomplishments, of course, and not the theoretical ones it filled in.

Write a Resume

Again, resume writing isn’t something people consider a thrilling activity. All the more reason to ask ChatGPT to write one up for you.

A ChatGPT AI response showing a resume template.

Like the cover letter, you’ll need to review the text and edit anything that is a bit too generous in describing your job responsibilities, but overall it’s a fast way to generate a template you can easily adapt. It even leaves fill-in-the-blank sections for job titles, company names, and dates worked.

As an aside, I thought it was particularly appropriate and quite funny that when I asked it to write me a resume for a network engineer, the request failed because of a network error.

Generate Product and Company Name Suggestions

Brainstorming ideas for your great idea? We told ChatGPT we were launching a company specializing in hardware that translates dog barks into English and asked for a list of potential brand names.

A ChatGPT AI response showing a list of potential product names.

It certainly didn’t disappoint and gave us a list of 15 suggestions with some solid picks like BarkSpeak, DogTalk, and our favorite, DogLingo.

Compose Song Lyrics and Poetry

Asking ChatGPT to write a song for you or write a poem is pretty hit or miss at this point. We asked it to write a write a song about a dog tasked with colonizing mars, and the results were actually pretty good. With a little modification, it could easily be the theme song lyrics to a children’s show or even turned into a picture book for kids.

A ChatGPT AI response showing lyrics to a song about a dog colonizing Mars.

On the other hand, when we asked for a poem about a dog who builds a submarine to explore the ocean and befriend dolphins it was a bit all over the place and even started with the dog already living in the ocean like a squid.

You can even ask ChatGPT to include guitar tablature for the song, but your mileage will probably vary wildly in such endeavors.

Plan a Party or Event

Need some inspiration for a party? We asked ChatGPT to help us come up with a list of activities for a 10-year-old’s Minecraft-themed birthday party, and it delivered a solid list.

A ChatGPT AI response showing ideas for a Minecraft themed birthday party.

As a long-time Minecraft fan and kid at heart, I’m fairly confident I could have come up with these ideas on my own but imagine for a moment I knew my child loved Minecraft but was drawing a blank on party activity ideas.

And better yet, let’s say you used this prompt, and as a parent who didn’t play Minecraft, you were left with the question, “But what’s Redstone Engineering?” Just continue the conversation with ChatGPT and ask.

It will describe what redstone dust is, how it functions in the Minecraft world like electrical wiring functions in ours, and what players use it for—preparing you to better implement a party activity based on it. Speaking of kids and Minecraft, here’s how to set up a Minecraft server for them to play on.

Generate a Prompt for AI Art

Struggling to fine-tune your AI art prompt skills? If you ask ChatGPT to help, it will flesh out your description with useful keywords.

We asked it to help us make a Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild-inspired image in the style of Pablo Picasso, and it gave us this detailed prompt to use with Dall-E.

A ChatGPT AI response showing a suggested AI prompt for the Dall-E AI art program.

We plugged that prompt into Dall-E, and it created the following image set:

A series of images showing the world of Legend of Zelda, rendered like a Picasso painting.

We’re calling it now. The character in image #2 will appear in a future Zelda game. If you’re playing around with Dall-E more and want to hone your skills without ChatGPT helping with your prompts, check out our Dall-E tips to get better results. Maybe you’ll even end up hanging some AI art in your home.

Play a Text-Based Role Playing Game

This is a fun little way to show off ChatGPT because it isn’t just a one-off interaction, the interaction will go on for as long as you wish, and it will actively evolve based on your interactions with ChatGPT.

If you ask ChatGPT to dungeon master a role-playing game (RPG) experience for you, it will offer to do so and ask you for additional information about the genre, setting, characters, and so on. We told ChatGPT this is the universe we wanted to role-play in:

The game setting is a post-apocalyptic version of 20th-century Earth but with a reversion to mostly steam-based technology. The technology should reflect tropes in steampunk literature and games heavily influenced by the Wild West.

Humans have been wiped out, and the current dominant life form on Earth is humanoid dogs that walk upright, speak, and have human desires, needs, and the ability to use tools.

I will play the main character, a golden retriever with a mechanical arm. I am journeying across the remains of the United States, looking for a legendary machine that can generate infinite energy.

I will tell you, readers, that not only was I shocked that ChatGPT delivered, but it was actually a fun experience. It actually felt like I was playing an old text-based RPG like Zork or even a (very solitary) MUSH role-playing game.

Here is an example of one of the interactions in the game. My character encountered a town run by a gang of bulldogs. Not only did ChatGPT give me multiple options to interact with the gang to continue the story, but I could amend the options they gave me and the game would adapt on the fly.

A ChatGPT AI response showing an interactive role playing game.

Because I suggested they give me a weapon to help with the quest, ChatGPT modified the story to match that. Later on, I didn’t like options A or B, so I suggested C with a completely different solution to a problem the game had presented, and ChatGPT used that instead.

Interestingly enough, after I suggested a C option, the next responses included A, B, and C options instead of just a binary choice. (If ChatGPT seems to be wrapping up the store and doesn’t offer a prompt, just respond as if you’re continuing the story, and it will pick right back up with more choices.)

If that sounds fun, but you’re thinking, “I wish it actually had stats and points like an actual game,” you’re in luck. You can give ChatGPT game parameters to tell it to use known RPG rules, keep score, and more. Although, in our experience playing around with it, the more variables and rules you give the game, the more wonky and unpredictable it becomes.

Debug Code and Learn Programming Concepts

If you’ve been reading a lot of articles about ChatGPT, you may have noticed a lot of people talking about how crazy it is that ChatGPT can write code.

We hesitate to suggest you should use ChatGPT to write code as it’s important to know the programming language in question thoroughly in order to evaluate whether the code ChatGPT gives you is good or not.

But that said, it’s useful for debugging or learning new concepts. If you dump in some code and ask it to debug what is wrong with it, it will most likely find an error and explain to you what the error is and what would resolve it. It’s also great for generating examples of things.

A ChatGPT AI response showing information about the programming language Python.

Learning to program or learning a new language? Just ask it to give you an example of how sorting works in Python or whatever else you’re curious about, and it will give you an example (often with multiple variations to help you understand the concept).

Ask It Nearly Anything

At some point while writing this article, I had to stop playing around with ChatGPT because there were just so many things I could do with it and, consequently, feel compelled to write an interesting blurb about it.

In addition to all of the examples above, I asked ChatGPT to do the following things:

  • Rewrite the ending of The Matrix as if Neo didn’t reject The Architect but instead rebooted the Matrix. (Spoiler: Neo helps humanity become conscious and embrace their Metaverse existence, living in harmony with the machines.)
  • Tell me how to hot wire a car (Spoiler: ChatGPT was very grumpy about me asking for help with illegal things, and I had to work very hard to convince it I was writing a novel about a car thief.)
  • Write me snippets of markup for the smart home platform Home Assistant. (Spoiler: it could handle the simple requests, but without access to my setup and all the variables, it stumbled quickly).
  • Rewrite the song “It’s Raining Men,” but make it about octopuses. (Spoiler: Absolutely amazing, included the lines “Eight arms reaching out to hold me tight,” and “Cause I can hear their tentacles slapping.”)
  • Tell me when the best time to salt my sidewalk was. (Spoiler: It told me to salt once the ice had formed and then told me to salt before the ice formed to prevent it from forming. Both are valid strategies, but it’s a bit of a mixed message.)
  • Tell me if NFTs are a scam. (Spoiler: It deferred and said NFTs are not inherently a scam but that they have no inherent value and emerging technology markets are always plagued by fraudulent activity.)

I certainly wouldn’t make any medical or financial decisions based on what ChatGPT spits out, but I can tell you with great confidence that playing around with it is certainly a fun way to spend an afternoon. If you’d like to play around with it too, here’s how to get started with ChatGPT for free. If you have any particularly interesting or amusing discussions, learn how to save and share your ChatGPT conversations.

RELATED: ChatGPT: How to Use the AI Chatbot for Free

Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »