ChatGPT is the gift that keeps on giving: less than 14 days after GPT-4 was introduced to the world, OpenAI says that the chatbot will now allow developers to build API plugins, which means users could soon use the platform to book flights and accommodation, search for restaurant recommendations, and shop, among other things.
What’s an API plugin? In simple terms, they are third-party applications that enable a platform – in this case, ChatGPT – to access other apps to perform a wider variety of tasks.
According to ChatGPT’s blog, the first plugins that are now live include travel booking site Expedia, price comparison site Klarna, restaurant booking platform OpenTable, and even Wolfram Alpha, a knowledge engine used by students and researchers that answers questions about maths, science and technology, society and culture, and more.
This means ChatGPT is now able to book you a flight to Greece, then a table at a restaurant in Santorini, then calculate how much the meal was – that’s a whole itinerary for your next holiday!
How to use ChatGPT’s API plugins
So, how do you access them? Users have to visit the ChatGPT plugin store on their personal ChatGPT account and download their desired plugin. Once installed, they can return to the chat window and start asking ChatGPT to find a good restaurant for dinner.
Let’s look at the below example video provided by OpenAI for a better idea:
Plugins for developers
For developers who want to join the fun and build their own API plugins, OpenAI’s blog about the feature says plugins can allow ChatGPT to perform tasks like:
- Retrieve real-time information, like sports scores, stock prices, the latest news, etc.
- Retrieve knowledge-base information, like company documents, personal notes, etc.
- Perform actions on behalf of the user, like booking a flight, ordering food, etc.
So if any developer is not satisfied with apps that OpenAI currently have to offer, they can create their own and hook it up with ChatGPT.
However, this new plugin feature is limited to ChatGPT Plus users for now. This means you have to pay US$20 (AU$30) to try it out. But OpenAI says it plans to “roll out larger-scale access over time.”
If you’re still keen, here’s a waitlist that you can join.