ChatGPT’s functionality has significantly expanded with the gradual rollout of plugins, according to a recent announcement from OpenAI. Previously limited in its ability to provide answers on current events, ChatGPT can now tap into new sources of live data from the web, including third-party sources like Expedia, Kayak, and Instacart. These plugins act as “eyes and ears” for the language model, giving it access to more recent and specific information. This means that ChatGPT can now provide more detailed and accurate answers to questions, such as box office comparisons between movies. However, OpenAI acknowledges that there are risks associated with chatbots that have access to the internet, including the potential to quote unreliable sources or take harmful actions. Despite this, proponents of these AI services highlight the benefits, such as the ability to use ChatGPT’s Instacart plugin for meal planning.
We’ve added initial support for ChatGPT plugins — a protocol for developers to build tools for ChatGPT, with safety as a core design principle. Deploying iteratively (starting with a small number of users & developers) to learn from contact with reality: https://t.co/ySek2oevod pic.twitter.com/S61MTpddOV
— Greg Brockman (@gdb) March 23, 2023
The plugins are currently available in alpha to select ChatGPT users and developers. OpenAI says that the plugins are experimental and the company is still working on improving them. Nevertheless, this is a highly requested feature by users and a significant upgrade for ChatGPT.
ChatGPT’s popularity has been on the rise since its debut in November. It uses a conversational-style interface on top of an artificial intelligence construct called a large language model. ChatGPT has been praised for its ability to generate text that sounds like it was written by a human, making it a useful tool for a wide range of applications, from customer service chatbots to creative writing.
Other tech giants, including Google and Microsoft, have also rushed to develop similar generative AI capabilities. However, there are still imperfections in the results produced by these services. OpenAI acknowledges that there are risks associated with chatbots that have access to the internet. The company has been working on addressing these issues and improving the accuracy of its responses.
Overall, the introduction of plugins is a significant step forward for ChatGPT and a promising development for the field of generative AI. As OpenAI continues to refine and improve the technology, we can expect to see even more impressive applications in the future.