How to Use ChatGPT at Home: A Beginners Guide

Have you ever had one of those mind-blowing moments? That was me about 6 months ago when I first experienced the magic of AI. I instantly became a fan and jumped aboard the ChatGPT bandwagon for work. On day one, it was a game changer for my HR role. But the best part? Discovering how AI can play a big role in our everyday lives. 

When I first started exploring the world of practical AI (think less “saving the world” and more “making daily tasks easier”), I hit a wall. Sure, there were some great podcasts out there, but they seemed tailored to MIT grads rather than someone like me. That’s why I created “AI Empowered” – a place for practical, accessible AI.

Alright, let’s dive into my beginner-friendly guide. And keep an eye out for real-life examples at the end.

What We’ll Explore in This Post:

  1. The Everyday Magic of AI
  2. Breaking It Down: What Exactly is AI?
  3. AI Dictionary: Terms Made Simple
  4. AI Over Google: What’s the Deal?
  5. Kickstart Your AI Journey
  6. Challenges & Concerns with AI
  7. Ready to Dive In?

The Everyday Magic of AI

Picture this: You’re staring into your fridge, spotting a handful of random ingredients and wondering, “What meal could I whip up with these?” Now, imagine getting a recipe for those ingredients instantly. Or maybe you’re writing down your grocery list and, just like that, you get tips on how to make your selections healthier. This is the everyday magic of AI!

From those daily “What’s for dinner?” dilemmas to planning fun activities for the weekend, AI can help. To give you a clearer picture, here are a few ways AI can chip in with daily routines:

  • Suggesting recipe ideas based on what’s on hand
  • Offering nutrition advice
  • Brainstorming activity ideas for kids
  • Helping with email writing
  • Explaining complex contracts 
  • Prioritizing tasks on a to-do list
  • Suggesting cleaning and decluttering schedules 
  • Providing specialized advice for plant and garden care
  • Boosting creative writing efforts

AI doesn’t have to be about big, lofty ideas—it can support those small, everyday moments that make life just a bit easier.

Breaking It Down: What Exactly is AI?

AI can feel daunting but don’t worry. You don’t need to be a software engineer to understand the basics. It’s like your smartphone: you know how to use it, even if you don’t understand all the technical stuff going on behind the scenes. In simple terms, AI is a computer program that’s designed to think and act like a human. It’s already embedded in our everyday lives from Siri answering your questions or Netflix recommending your next binge-worthy series.

Here are two main types of AI that you often hear about:

Generative AI:

The artist of the AI world. It generates new things by learning patterns from data. That’s what happens when a chatbot drafts an email or composes a song.

Discriminative AI:

This type is more like a detective, finding patterns in the data it’s been trained on. It’s the reason your email app can filter out spam or social media platforms can identify faces in photos.

AI Dictionary: Terms Made Simple

No need to know every AI term, but understanding a few will come in handy. Here’s a simple guide to some common AI terms:


This is a computer program designed to chat with humans in their natural language. These conversations can happen on various platforms like websites, messaging apps, or over the phone.

Iterative AI:

Think of this like perfecting a recipe. With each try, the AI adjusts based on feedback to get better and better. It’s all about learning from experience!


This is how you communicate with AI. When you ask or tell the AI something, you’re giving it a “prompt”. The better your prompt, the more accurate and helpful the AI’s response will be.


The brainchild behind ChatGPT. They brought generative AI to the masses in 2022, making it mainstream and user-friendly.


This is the world’s leading chatbot, with over 100 million users. It’s a type of generative AI, which means it can answer your questions with human-like responses. This tool by OpenAI tops my list of favourite AI tools.

AI Over Google: What’s the Deal?

So, why should we choose AI over our old friend, Google? If you’re anything like me, being hit with 70,000 search results for a simple mac and cheese recipe can be a bit much.

That’s where ChatGPT shines. It uses the same huge amount of data as Google, but instead of leaving you to sort through countless results, it gives you one great answer. Want to know how to add more protein to your mac and cheese? Ask ChatGPT, and you’ll get straight-to-the-point suggestions immediately.

In a nutshell, ChatGPT is all about saving you time. It gets rid of the clutter, providing the info you need, right when you need it. Who wouldn’t appreciate a few extra minutes in their day?

Kickstart Your AI Journey

1 | Sign Up for a Chatbot:

Diving into AI is simple, especially with chatbots to guide you. I’m a huge fan of OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4, but ChatGPT-3.5 is free and a fantastic place to start. Just visit the OpenAI Login Page to sign up. Once you’re logged in, the adventure begins!

2 | Start Chatting with AI:

With your account ready, you can start chatting with ChatGPT. Here’s a little pro tip: When you’re chatting with AI, remember to end your prompts with a question mark when you’re asking something. This helps the AI better understand and respond to your questions.

Here are some ways I used AI at home this week. Use these examples as inspiration:

Cooking Ideas: “Hey ChatGPT, what can I cook with zucchini, rice, and chicken?”

Healthy Eating: “Hey ChatGPT, how can I add more protein to my meals? [paste grocery list]”

Party Planning: “Hey ChatGPT, can you help me plan a pokemon party for a 7 year old?”

Vacation Ideas: “Hey ChatGPT, list 10 warm family-friendly vacation spots in November?”

Story-Time: “Hey ChatGPT, my little one has developed a fear of the dark. Can you write a story about a brave dinosaur overcoming their fear?”

Challenges & Concerns with AI

When I talk about ChatGPT or other AI tools, I feel like I’m inviting you on a tech adventure. Before you dive in, there are a few things to know to keep you safe and on track. Think of it like checking the map before heading out. Here’s what you need to know:

Protect Your Personal Information: AI doesn’t need your private details to provide answers. Feel free to ask questions without sharing personal information.

Knowledge Up to 2021: ChatGPT’s information goes up until 2021, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for the latest updates.

Ready to Dive In?

Well, what are you waiting for? It’s time to explore and experience the magic of AI yourself. Remember, AI is not just about massive, lofty ideas—it’s here to help simplify and enhance our everyday lives. Give it a go, have fun experimenting, and you’ll soon wonder how you ever managed without it. Feel free to share your AI experiences, adventures, or any questions you may have in the comments below. We’re all here to learn together!

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