OpenAI integrates plugins support into ChatGPT
OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence products, has announced initial support for ChatGPT plugins.
Plugin support is rolling out gradually in ChatGPT, and interested developers may sign-up for a waitlist to gain access to the functionality.
ChatGPT plugins extend the capabilities of the AI chat companion. They are "designed specifically for language models" and safety is a core principle, according to OpenAI. Plugins unlock new options and opportunities, that include accessing up-to-date information, running computations, or accessing third-party services.
Several companies have created plugins for ChatGPT already. The first eleven of them add services such as Expedia, KAYAK or Wolfram to ChatGPT.
Speak, one of the available plugins, improves the language tutoring capabilities of ChatGPT. It may pronounce words, phrases or text. Access to Wolfram gives ChatGPT access to real-time data, and OpenTable integrates restaurant recommendations and direct booking links into ChatGPT.
The majority of plugins are commercial in nature, and some extend ChatGPT's capabilities. OpenTable, for example, extends the already existing restaurant recommendation feature with an option to book a table easier at one of the listed restaurants.
Klarna Shopping and Shop provide product searches and price comparison features, which, ultimately, lead to online shopping sites on which the products can be purchased.
Plugins are rolled out gradually, to "study their real-world use, impact, and safety and alignment challenges".
OpenAI has published documentation for developers. It explains the core concept behind ChatGPT plugins and how they are created and integrated into the service.
Plugins, according to OpenAI, extend ChatGPT so that it can "do things like":
- Retrieve real-time information; e.g., sports scores, stock prices, the latest news, etc.
- Retrieve knowledge-base information; e.g., company docs, personal notes, etc.
- Perform actions on behalf of the user; e.g., booking a flight, ordering food, etc.
While many of the initial plugin have commercial intent, other capabilities may extend ChatGPT in other ways. OpenAI gives an example of a user searching for Oscar winners in certain categories, and how ChatGPT uses web searches to return the correct results.
Microsoft Bing Chat users may know this feature already, as Bing Chat may use web searches to respond to user queries.
Another example demonstrates the use of multiple plugins in a single user query. In this particular example, the user asked ChatGPT to give a restaurant recommendation for one day, and a recipe idea for another, and to use Wolfram Alpha to calculate the calories of the recipe. ChatGPT used OpenTable for the restaurant recommendation and Wolfram Alpha for the calculation.
Wolfram published a blog post here to announce integration of Wolfram into ChatGPT.
Plugins support is the next logical step for ChatGPT. It extends the functionality of the service significantly, by unlocking access to data and computations, which would otherwise not be available to the AI. While many plugins will have commercial intent, there will also be plugins that extend ChatGPT in other ways.
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