Why OpenAI replaced the ChatGPT plugin with GPT

ChatGPT plugins are an important addition to the ChatGPT Plus program: they are like browser extensions for ChatGPT, adding third-party functionality to the chatbot that OpenAI itself does not build.

Unfortunately for fans of these plugins, they are no longer available. OpenAI discontinued them in April, notifying users that existing conversations with the plugin could no longer continue. (They're still visible, however.) OpenAI isn't taking away a great feature just because it's hell: The company made the decision because it saw its new tool, GPT, as an improved successor.

What is GPT?

This can be a little confusing because OpenAI has two different uses for the name "GPT". You may be more familiar with GPT LLM: this includes GPT-3.5, GPT-4, GPT-4 Turbo, etc. These GPT LLMs power ChatGPT as well as programs that outsource AI processing to OpenAI. For example, Microsoft's Copilot uses GPT-4 Turbo.

On the other hand, GPT in this context is a customized version of ChatGPT. Both users and developers can create custom GPTs to do anything they want: for example, you can make a GPT that designs a custom logo, uses DALL-E to generate an image, or is written in a way you choose. They can be basic robots or very complex robots.

Best of all, it's a no-code app: you assume that to build one of these programs, you need to know how to write code to make it work. But OpenAI's GPT builder works as a conversation. You tell the builder what you want the GPT to do, upload additional knowledge to help the bot do its job, and select its capabilities (web browsing, image generation, and code interpretation), and it generates the GPT for you. Since GPT is trained on OpenAI's latest GPT model (I know, confusing again), there is less reliance on third-party processes or APIs to achieve the same task.

You still need a ChatGPT Plus or Enterprise account to use GPT, but if you're a paying customer you can build from here. The builder will guide you through the entire process, including suggesting a name and generating a logo. During this process, you are free to adjust anything you see fit.

How to replace the GPT plug-in?

While it's great that OpenAI has made a GPT builder that almost anyone can use, it doesn't seem to fill the exact gap left by plugins. After all, you don't have to build your own browser extension: you want to download the best extension from your browser's web store and use it.

But GPT isn't just self-creation: anyone, including companies, can make a GPT and put it in the GPT store for others to use. Part of the reason OpenAI is removing plugins is that many of the companies developing these applications also have GPTs that do the same thing. Kayak has a ChatGPT plugin for checking travel prices, but now it has a GPT. If you like Wolfram's ChatGPT plug-in, you may also like its GPT. OpenAI says that while the plug-in beta version has just over 1,000 plug-ins to choose from, the GPT store has hundreds of thousands of GPTs available. There's no doubt that there's a lot of junk in the GPT store to sift through, but you're likely to find a GPT you want to use.

If there is a specific plugin you like, try searching for it in the GPT store. (Kayak and Wolfram come along.) Of course, the sheer number of GPTs in the store means things have changed a lot: Like other app stores, the GPT store has Featured and Trending tabs for finding OpenAI Like other GPT ChatGPT users. OpenAI is currently selling me a wine sommelier GPT, as well as a language teacher.

Scroll through the GPT store to see if any promotional options appeal to you. Then, search for the app you're looking for and see if any have already been created. You can get an idea of ​​GPT's popularity by looking at the number of reviews and conversations using GPT, similar to looking at ratings in an app store. However, if you don't find what you're looking for in your search, you may want to try building GPT yourself.

Of course, like all artificial intelligence products, GPT can produce hallucinations. In other words, they sometimes just make things up. Don't take everything in a GPT response as authenticated fact, even if it does have access to the network. If you use GPT for anything important, be sure to fact-check before using the information it provides.