ChatGPT plugins, first announced on March 23, 2023, became available for use by all ChatGPT Plus members on May 19, 2023. These plugins help make ChatGPT better by fixing what it can’t do well. They use both the power of OpenAI’s GPT models and the special benefits of the plugins to make artificial intelligence even more helpful. Today, we made a detailed guide answering what ChatGPT plugins are and how you can use them.
What are ChatGPT Plugins?
ChatGPT Plugins are add-ons that enhance the capabilities of ChatGPT by connecting it to third-party applications and services. These plugins enable ChatGPT to interact with APIs defined by developers, allowing it to perform a diverse range of actions and tasks.
Normally, ChatGPT doesn’t have internet connectivity and its knowledge is limited to information available up until 2021. However, ChatGPT Plugins serve as a solution to address these limitations by providing ChatGPT with access to current and real-time information from the internet.
How many ChatGPT Plugins are there?
Currently, there are 278 approved and ready-to-install plugins available in the ChatGPT plugin store. The availability of plugins in the store is subject to an approval process conducted by OpenAI. As a result, new plugins that receive approval are being added to the store every day, leading to a rapid increase in the number of available plugins.
What are ChatGPT Plugins used for?
The usage purpose of ChatGPT plugins is very broad. Given the already extensive capabilities of ChatGPT, which can perform a wide range of tasks on its own, plugins further enhance its functionality by enabling access to external applications. This allows ChatGPT to have access to up-to-date information and internet resources. As a result, there are numerous plugins serving a variety of purposes, ranging from finding available parking spots in a particular location to internet search plugins, plugins that generate vacation plans for you online, and even plugins that facilitate PDF uploads and reading. The range of available plugins caters to hundreds of different use cases.
Additionally, these plugins can retrieve knowledge-base information, including company documents and personal notes, assisting users in accessing relevant resources. Moreover, ChatGPT Plugins can facilitate actions such as booking flights, ordering food, and performing various tasks to meet users’ specific needs.
What is the difference between a plugin and extension?
The main difference between a plugin and an extension lies in their functionality and purpose. In the context of ChatGPT, plugins and extensions serve distinct roles.
ChatGPT plugins enable ChatGPT to connect to external APIs and access information from third-party services. They essentially expand the capabilities of ChatGPT by enabling it to leverage external resources.
On the other hand, ChatGPT extensions, such as WebChatGPT are Chrome extensions that enhance the capabilities of third-party products or services using ChatGPT. These extensions do not directly modify the underlying workings of ChatGPT but rather integrate ChatGPT into other applications or platforms, providing users with additional features or functionalities within those specific contexts
Is ChatGPT plugins free?
To be able to use ChatGPT plugins, you need to be a ChatGPT Plus subscriber. ChatGPT Plus is not a free service and requires a monthly subscription fee of $20. However, once you become a ChatGPT Plus subscriber, you can install plugins without any additional cost. Currently, all available plugins can be installed for free. It’s possible that in the future, certain plugins may become paid offerings in the store. But as of now, all plugins that you can install are free of charge.
How do ChatGPT Plugins work?
We can explain the functioning of ChatGPT plugins in a simplified manner as follows: Each plugin developer provides OpenAI company with its respective APIs. If users choose to install and activate these plugins during their ChatGPT usage, after a question is asked, OpenAI automatically decides whether to invoke the activated plugins or rely solely on the standard GPT-4 model.
- If OpenAI determines that the plugins are not necessary for the given question, ChatGPT will respond using the standard GPT models without making any plugin calls.
- However, if OpenAI decides to utilize the plugins for your specific query, it attempts to obtain the required information from the relevant plugin APIs.
- If the API call is successful, ChatGPT combines the obtained information from the plugins with its own decision-making process, resulting in a response that incorporates both the plugin-derived answer and the model’s own reasoning.
This is how ChatGPT plugins operate in principle.
Let’s take the example of a ChatGPT plugin that detects available parking spaces in Singapore. When you inquire about the availability of parking spaces at a specific location while the plugin is active, OpenAI recognizes that its own model cannot determine this information. Consequently, it automatically decides to invoke the plugin based on the location you provided. The plugin retrieves the data on available parking spaces and returns it as a response. This way, you benefit from both the external API’s functionality and ChatGPT’s own capabilities.
Is ChatGPT Plugins safe?
Integrating ChatGPT with external APIs in an external environment offers several benefits as well as some risks.
When using external APIs, a portion of your conversation or questions, as well as some information about your location, may be transmitted to these external APIs for obtaining answers. Therefore, as a general rule, never share personal information or any information you consider confidential, as it should remain private.
The utilization of plugins carries the risk of introducing safety concerns, as they have the potential to facilitate malicious or unintended actions, empowering malicious actors to deceive, manipulate, or exploit others. The expanded functionality provided by plugins may heighten the possibility of negative outcomes resulting from inadvertent or misaligned actions taken by the model in unfamiliar domains. OpenAI stated in their safety standart document that these considerations have influenced their development of plugin platform. They have also stated that they have implemented multiple safeguards to address them.
How to install and use ChatGPT Plugins?
You have to be a ChatGPT Plus subscriber to use plugins. After becoming ChatGPT+ member, plugins are not enabled by default, users must activate them manually to use them.
- First, after becoming a Plus subscriber, navigate to your account settings.
- In the new window that appears, click on the “Beta features” tab.
- Once there, activate the “Plugins” option.
After activating Plugins feature in the settings:
- Go to the ChatGPT homepage.
- At the top of the screen, you will see that the GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 models can be selected.
- Hover over the GPT-4 model. It will offer you two different options: ‘Default’ and ‘Plugins (beta)’. Click on the ‘Plugins’ option.
- After making this selection, you will see the text ‘no plugins enabled’ under the GPT-4 model.
- Hover over this text and click on ‘Plugins store’ to go to the ChatGPT Plugin Store.
- Once you’re in the plugin store, select the plugin you want to use and press the ‘install’ button. You can install more than one plugin here.
- After your installation is complete, you can close the plugin store. When you return to the homepage, you will see the plugins you have installed in the section where it previously said ‘no plugins enabled’.
- Hover over this section again. During your use of ChatGPT, you can select the plugins you want to activate. You can deactivate the ones you don’t want to use.
What are the best ChatGPT Plugins?
The best ChatGPT plugin can vary depending on your needs and usage purpose. Below, we have compiled a short summary of the 5 most popular ChatGPT plugins for you. You can also use and try these by experimenting with them.
It searches internet using the provided query that is recreated by ChatGPT and returns the search results, along with the inner content of the first link. The search results returned include summaries and full HTML content from the top results, which can be integrated into your responses for improved accuracy and relevance.
It can be used to automatically extract the relevant information from a given link and provide a summary of the content to the user.
You could use this plugin to find and book flights. It would provide details such as flight options, pricing, availability and all related details to you.
You can use this plugin when you want to search for a specific topic on YouTube. VoxScript ChatGPT Plugin search for the video transcripts related to that topic. This can be helpful in finding specific information within a video or a series of videos.
The Speak plugin is a tool that helps users with language learning by providing translations, explanations of foreign language phrases, and guidance on how to accomplish tasks in a foreign language.
Can you create your own ChatGPT Plugin?
Yes, anyone can develop a ChatGPT plugin. However, since it is currently in Beta stage, developers first need to apply to the waitlist and get accepted. To apply for the waitlist:
- Go to https://openai.com/waitlist/plugins.
- Provide your first name, last name, email address, and the country you live in.
- Explain in detail how you will build a plugin that serves a specific purpose.
- Click on the ‘Join waitlist’ button.
After being accepted to the waitlist, you are expected to create your plugin and provide an API address and a manifest file to the OpenAI company. OpenAI will access these API and manifest files and determine when to call them. You can access the source code of an example plugin, which can assist you in the plugin construction process.