OpenAI has unveiled a new feature that will allow its generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, to connect to native and third-party services and information via plugins. This latest feature for ChatGPT has added a new dimension.
The chatbot will now be able to access and run these services, though it will be available only to ChatGPT Plus subscribers for now. The first-party plugins for ChatGPT include a web browser based on the Microsoft Bing search API and a code interpreter for Python.
The new plugin system for ChatGPT allows the chatbot to expand its knowledge beyond its training corpus and access up-to-date information from the internet. With the new web browsing plugin, ChatGPT will gather data from online sources to compose answers and provide a list of links to its sources. However, the plugin will not carry out transactions or submit forms. Website owners who don’t want ChatGPT to trawl their database can adjust their robots.txt file to forbid the AI from doing so.
The other first-party plugin for ChatGPT, a code interpreter for Python, can be used for data analytics, visualization, and file conversion. OpenAI is trying to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with skimming information from the internet. The plugin operates within an isolated service, so ChatGPT’s browsing activities are separated from the rest of OpenAI’s infrastructure.
In addition to these first-party plugins, ChatGPT now also supports a number of third-party plugins for personal and professional services. The list of third-party plugins includes Expedia, FiscalNote, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Milo, OpenTable, Shopify, Slack, Speak, Wolfram, and Zapier. Each of these plugins is designed to perform like ChatGPT is a human assistant, carrying out a user’s requests by going to sundry websites for information and then forwarding along details and helpful links.
“Users have been asking for plugins since we launched ChatGPT because they unlock a vast range of possible use cases,” OpenAI explained. “Though not a perfect analogy, plugins can be “eyes and ears” for language models, giving them access to information that is too recent, too personal, or too specific to be included in the training data. In response to a user’s explicit request, plugins can also enable language models to perform safe, constrained actions on their behalf, increasing the usefulness of the system overall.”
However, it is worth noting that this feature is currently only available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers, who pay a fee for additional features and capabilities. While this new feature has enormous potential, it also raises concerns about the spread of disinformation and misinformation. To mitigate these risks, OpenAI is working closely with Microsoft, the creator of Bing, to ensure that the information gathered by ChatGPT is reliable and truthful.