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OpenAI brings plugin support to ChatGPT

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Photo: Tada Images/Shutterstock.com

OpenAI has announced plug-in support for ChatGPT. The addition can massively increase the AI chatbot’s capabilities and allows it to pull live data from the web, instead of its previous limitation of using only the training data which ended in 2021. According to OpenAI, plug-ins will also allow the bot to browse the web and interact with specific websites. 

At the moment, OpenAI is rolling out plug-in access to “a small set of users” with only 11 plug-ins for external sites initially. These sites include Expedia, FiscalNote, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna, Milo, OpenTable, Shopify, Slack, Speak, Wolfram, and Zapier. It’s also hosting two plugins itself — a web browser and a code interpreter as well as open-sourcing the code for a knowledge base retrieval plugin that can be self-hosted by any developers with information that they’d like to add to the bot. 

The knowledge base retrieval plugin is similar to how Microsoft feeds data to its GPT-4 powered Bing Chat. However, since ChatGPT can work with APIs, it can also perform actions on behalf of the user instead of just showing information, giving it an edge over other chatbots. Users looking to get plugin access can join the waitlist here.

ChatGPT comes with these 11 plugins initially. | Souce: OpenAI

OpenAI also claims that it has taken into consideration the threats that come as a side effect of letting the bot work with APIs and take actions on behalf of the user. For example, when directed by a human tester the bot was able to generate instructions to employ a worker from TaskRabbit to complete a Captcha it was unable to answer. 

The company claims it has “implemented several safeguards” including limiting plugin availability to a small set of developers and ChatGPT Plus users. Plugins can increase the “capabilities of bad actors who would defraud, mislead or abuse others”. OpenAI says these factors have guided the development of their plugin platform from day one, but we’ll have to see how these safeguards fare in the real world before plugins for a bot as powerful as ChatGPT can be deemed safe. 

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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