On Sunday morning, I read an article about how compressed the AI timeline had become. On Monday morning, I installed “Alpaca” Stanford University’s ChatGPT clone on my gaming PC. On Tuesday morning, I chronicled the experience and my thoughts about how being able to run private large language models (LLMs) on personal computing devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones, etc.) might impact value creation for the entire AI industry.
Yesterday (Thursday), taking a play out of the Salesforce AppExchange, Amazon Marketplace, or Apple App Store playbook, OpenAI announced ChatGPT Plug-ins, transforming the application into a platform.
Technically, OpenAI plugins connect ChatGPT to third-party applications, enabling ChatGPT to interact with APIs defined by developers, enhancing ChatGPT’s capabilities and allowing it to perform a wide range of actions.
In practice, ChatGPT has been limited by the fact it can only pull information from its training data, which ends in 2021. Plug-ins will not only allow the bot to browse the web, but will also allow it to interact with specific websites, potentially turning the system into a wide-ranging interface for all sorts of services and sites. Practical uses are endless. This will allow you to use ChatGPT to do countless online tasks – and, yes, safety issues immediately come to mind.
To give you an idea of the possibilities, initial plug-ins for external sites include: Expedia, OpenTable, Kayak, Klarna Shopping, and Zapier. OpenAI is also providing some plug-ins of its own, one for interpreting code and one called “Browsing,” which lets ChatGPT get information from the (current) internet.
This is a bold and brilliant move by OpenAI. The more plug-ins you use to customize your workflow and processes, the less likely you will be to switch to other providers of similar services. Imagine having to redo your Salesforce installation, walk away from Workday, or change accounting software. It’s doable, but most of us would rather not.
OpenAI will be rolling out plug-ins in the near future; you can get on the waitlist here.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.