How to access ChatGPT plugins, the ‘eyes and ears’ of OpenAI’s chatbot

OpenAI, the leading artificial intelligence research laboratory, recently announced that its language model chatbot, ChatGPT, will soon be equipped with “eyes and ears” through proprietary and third-party plugins. These plugins will allow ChatGPT to expand its capabilities and venture beyond its traditional linguistic capabilities. The benefits of this move include the ability to access and retrieve information outside its language model via the internet, shop, and theoretically perform mathematical calculations. While this move is exciting, some experts suggest that it’s still early days and that plugins won’t be rolled out to the general public until OpenAI is confident that the system can handle them.

One of the most significant benefits of ChatGPT’s newfound capabilities is the ability to integrate third-party plugins via an iTunes-like “Plugin Store.” Although it’s still unclear whether these plugins will be free or require payment, OpenAI suggests that they will automate decision-making and execution in various areas, making everyday errands even more convenient. For example, converting a to-do list into a prompt and then allowing plugins to automate the decision-making and executing the errands listed could quickly become a reality.

However, ordinary users may be disappointed to learn that these third-party plugins and ChatGPT’s new capabilities are still not available to the general public. These features are currently only available via a limited alpha release to developers and insiders, with a waitlist page for those interested in gaining access. Subscribing to OpenAI’s paid service, ChatGPT Plus, may increase your chances of gaining access to these limited plugins, since OpenAI prioritizes a small number of developers and ChatGPT Plus users.

The limited alpha release may merely be meant to facilitate the development of the best user experience possible. Still, OpenAI’s move to give its chatbot more capabilities and functionalities via plugins could significantly improve its overall user experience. While many machine learning engineers already have access to these plugins, a more extensive rollout to the general public is still pending.

If you have forty minutes to spare, a recent YouTube video explains how ChatGPT’s retrieval plugin works. Although James Briggs, the YouTuber, seems to be addressing a developer audience, the video is relatively jargon-light and provides a comprehensive technical overview of the open-source retrieval plugin already available. If any of the terms in the video are confusing, OpenAI points to the availability of a chatbot that may be able to assist you.

Overall, OpenAI’s recent announcement regarding ChatGPT’s plugin expansion is exciting news for both developers and casual users. The possibilities are endless, and once these plugins are made widely available, ChatGPT’s capabilities could vastly improve the current user experience. Although the shiny new features are reserved for a limited few right now, this move demonstrates OpenAI’s commitment to improving its AI technology and its desire to provide its users with the best service possible. Only time will tell when these plugins will be available to the average person, but it does not appear to be too far off.


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