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Integrating AI and Data With "Plugins"
Posted by Jim Craner on May 22, 2023
Hey, everyone! So let's chat about ChatGPT. It's a handy little tool, right? But it does have a couple of quirks that can be annoying. First off, you may have heard of the "training cutoff". In simple terms, it means ChatGPT knows a bunch of stuff...up until the autumn of 2021. After that? It's kinda like it slept through the past year and a half and missed everything post-2021. Another big bummer: it can't browse the web either, so it's stuck with its 2021 knowledge.
Now, the good news: The folks at OpenAI (the creators of ChatGPT) have been cooking up some cool upgrades for their premium ChatGPT Plus package. Get ready for web browsing and plugins.
"Web browsing" is all about letting ChatGPT scoop up info from the internet during your conversation. With this, it can pull in real-time data from the web and weave that into your chat.
"Plugins" are a bit like add-ons or upgrades. They let you "plug in" other tools, websites, and software into your convo with ChatGPT. Imagine the possibilities! Lots of developers are working on these, which allow you to have ChatGPT make travel reservations, connect to company databases, integrate with YouTube, or pretty much anything else that you can think of.
These upgrades have been available only to beta testers, with only a few lucky users testing them out. But get ready, because they're rolling out to all Plus users very soon. Now, let me paint a picture of how this web browsing feature could come in handy. Picture this: A few months back, before ChatGPT got its browsing powers, a colleague of mine wanted to use it to plan a winter road trip through the Rocky Mountains. But here's the twist: she wanted to plan her route based on up-to-the-minute local weather conditions. Old ChatGPT, being stuck with 2021 data, was a bit clueless about today's weather. But with its shiny new browsing capabilities, it's a piece of cake.
So for all you ChatGPT Plus users out there, keep an eye out for these new features.
Of course, we couldn't try using plugins without trying to develop our own plugin! OpenAI provides decent documentation and a quickstart kit for any other library developers out there working on AI integration!
We were able to quickly put together a demo plugin that allows ChatGPT to request and play stories directly from our LibraryCall Storytime Commons collection of kids audio stories! Pretty neat being able to play these directly within the chat interface... I can definitely see this being a useful feature for the library bots of the future!
Want to learn more about AI in the library? Check out our Public Libraries & AI workshop series!