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Note: OpenAI plugins have been deprecated. For more information about our products, check out ChatGPT for everyone, for Teams, and for Enterprises, plus our APIs for developers.

We’ve implemented initial support for plugins in ChatGPT. Plugins are tools designed specifically for language models with safety as a core principle, and help ChatGPT access up-to-date information, run computations, or use third-party services.

In line with our iterative deployment(opens in a new window) philosophy, we are gradually rolling out plugins in ChatGPT so we can study their real-world use, impact, and safety and alignment challenges—all of which we’ll have to get right in order to achieve our mission.

Users have been asking for plugins since we launched ChatGPT (and many developers are experimenting(opens in a new window) with(opens in a new window) similar(opens in a new window) ideas(opens in a new window)) because they unlock a vast range of possible use cases. We’re starting with a small set of users and are planning to gradually roll out larger-scale access as we learn more (for plugin developers, ChatGPT users, and after an alpha period, API users who would like to integrate plugins into their products). We’re excited to build a community shaping the future of the human–AI interaction paradigm.

Plugin developers who have been invited off our waitlist can use our documentation(opens in a new window) to build a plugin for ChatGPT, which then lists the enabled plugins in the prompt shown to the language model as well as documentation to instruct the model how to use each. The first plugins have been created by Expedia(opens in a new window), FiscalNote(opens in a new window), Instacart(opens in a new window), KAYAK(opens in a new window), Klarna(opens in a new window), Milo(opens in a new window), OpenTable(opens in a new window), Shopify(opens in a new window), Slack(opens in a new window), Speak(opens in a new window), Wolfram(opens in a new window), and Zapier(opens in a new window).

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We’re also hosting two plugins ourselves, a web browser and code interpreter. We’ve also open-sourced the code for a knowledge base retrieval plugin(opens in a new window), to be self-hosted by any developer with information with which they’d like to augment ChatGPT.

Today, we will begin extending plugin alpha access to users and developers from our waitlist. While we will initially prioritize a small number of developers and ChatGPT Plus users, we plan to roll out larger-scale access over time.

Overview

Language models today, while useful for a variety of tasks, are still limited. The only information they can learn from is their training data. This information can be out-of-date and is one-size fits all across applications. Furthermore, the only thing language models can do out-of-the-box is emit text. This text can contain useful instructions, but to actually follow these instructions you need another process.

Though not a perfect analogy, plugins can be “eyes and ears” for language models, giving them access to information that is too recent, too personal, or too specific to be included in the training data. In response to a user’s explicit request, plugins can also enable language models to perform safe, constrained actions on their behalf, increasing the usefulness of the system overall.

We expect that open standards will emerge to unify the ways in which applications expose an AI-facing interface. We are working on an early attempt at what such a standard might look like, and we’re looking for feedback from developers interested in building with us.

Today, we’re beginning to gradually enable existing plugins from our early collaborators for ChatGPT users, beginning with ChatGPT Plus subscribers. We’re also beginning to roll out the ability for developers to create their own plugins for ChatGPT.

In the coming months, as we learn from deployment and continue to improve our safety systems, we’ll iterate on this protocol, and we plan to enable developers using OpenAI models to integrate plugins into their own applications beyond ChatGPT.

Safety and broader implications

Connecting language models to external tools introduces new opportunities as well as significant new risks(opens in a new window).

Plugins offer the potential to tackle various challenges associated with large language models, including “hallucinations,” keeping up with recent events, and accessing (with permission) proprietary information sources. By integrating explicit access to external data—such as up-to-date information online, code-based calculations, or custom plugin-retrieved information—language models can strengthen their responses with evidence-based references.

These references not only enhance the model’s utility but also enable users to assess the trustworthiness of the model’s output and double-check its accuracy, potentially mitigating risks related to overreliance as discussed in our recent GPT-4 system card(opens in a new window). Lastly, the value of plugins may go well beyond addressing existing limitations by helping users with a variety of new use cases, ranging from browsing product catalogs to booking flights or ordering food.

At the same time, there’s a risk that plugins could increase safety challenges by taking harmful or unintended actions, increasing the capabilities of bad actors who would defraud, mislead, or abuse others. By increasing the range of possible applications, plugins may raise the risk of negative consequences from mistaken or misaligned actions taken by the model in new domains. From day one, these factors have guided the development of our plugin platform, and we have implemented several safeguards.

“From day one, these factors have guided the development of our plugin platform, and we have implemented several safeguards.”

We’ve performed red-teaming exercises, both internally and with external collaborators, that have revealed a number of possible concerning scenarios. For example, our red teamers discovered ways for plugins—if released without safeguards—to perform sophisticated prompt injection, send fraudulent and spam emails, bypass safety restrictions, or misuse information sent to the plugin. We’re using these findings to inform safety-by-design mitigations that restrict risky plugin behaviors and improve transparency of how and when they're operating as part of the user experience. We're also using these findings to inform our decision to gradually deploy access to plugins.

If you’re a researcher interested in studying safety risks or mitigations in this area, we encourage you to make use of our Researcher Access Program. We also invite developers and researchers to submit plugin-related safety and capability evaluations as part of our recently open-sourced Evals framework(opens in a new window).

Plugins will likely have wide-ranging societal implications. For example, we recently released a working paper(opens in a new window) which found that language models with access to tools will likely have much greater economic impacts than those without, and more generally, in line with other(opens in a new window) researchers’(opens in a new window) findings, we expect the current wave of AI technologies to have a big effect on the pace of job transformation, displacement, and creation. We are eager to collaborate with external researchers(opens in a new window) and our customers(opens in a new window) to study these impacts.

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Motivated by past work (our own WebGPT, as well as GopherCite(opens in a new window), BlenderBot2(opens in a new window), LaMDA2(opens in a new window) and others(opens in a new window)), allowing language models to read information from the internet strictly expands the amount of content they can discuss, going beyond the training corpus to fresh information from the present day.

Here’s an example of the kind of experience that browsing opens up to ChatGPT users, that previously would have had the model politely point out that its training data didn’t include enough information to let it answer. This example, in which ChatGPT retrieves recent information about the latest Oscars, and then performs now-familiar ChatGPT poetry feats, is one way that browsing can be an additive experience.

In addition to providing obvious utility to end-users, we think enabling language and chat models to do thorough and interpretable research has exciting prospects for scalable alignment.

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Safety considerations

We’ve created a web browsing plugin which gives a language model access to a web browser, with its design prioritizing both safety and operating as a good citizen of the web. The plugin’s text-based web browser is limited to making GET requests, which reduces (but does not eliminate) certain classes of safety risks. This scopes the browsing plugin to be useful for retrieving information, but excludes “transactional” operations such as form submission which have more surface area for security and safety issues.

Browsing retrieves content from the web using the Bing search API. As a result, we inherit substantial work from Microsoft on (1) source reliability and truthfulness of information and (2) “safe-mode” to prevent the retrieval of problematic content. The plugin operates within an isolated service, so ChatGPT’s browsing activities are separated from the rest of our infrastructure.

To respect content creators and adhere to the web’s norms, our browser plugin’s user-agent token is ChatGPT-User and is configured to honor websites' robots.txt files. This may occasionally result in a “click failed” message, which indicates that the plugin is honoring the website's instruction to avoid crawling it. This user-agent will only be used to take direct actions on behalf of ChatGPT users and is not used for crawling the web in any automatic fashion. We have also published our IP egress ranges(opens in a new window). Additionally, rate-limiting measures have been implemented to avoid sending excessive traffic to websites.

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Our browsing plugin shows websites visited and cites its sources in ChatGPT’s responses. This added layer of transparency helps users verify the accuracy of the model’s responses and also gives credit back to content creators. We appreciate that this is a new method of interacting with the web, and welcome feedback on additional ways to drive traffic back to sources and add to the overall health of the ecosystem.

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We provide our models with a working Python interpreter in a sandboxed, firewalled execution environment, along with some ephemeral disk space. Code run by our interpreter plugin is evaluated in a persistent session that is alive for the duration of a chat conversation (with an upper-bound timeout) and subsequent calls can build on top of each other. We support uploading files to the current conversation workspace and downloading the results of your work.

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We would like our models to be able to use their programming(opens in a new window) skills(opens in a new window) to provide a much more natural interface to most fundamental capabilities of our computers. Having access to a very eager junior programmer working at the speed of your fingertips can make completely new workflows effortless and efficient, as well as open the benefits of programming to new audiences.

From our initial user studies, we’ve identified use cases where using code interpreter is especially useful:

  • Solving mathematical problems, both quantitative and qualitative

  • Doing data analysis and visualization

  • Converting files between formats

We invite users to try the code interpreter integration and discover other useful tasks.

Safety considerations

The primary consideration for connecting our models to a programming language interpreter is properly sandboxing the execution so that AI-generated code does not have unintended side-effects in the real world. We execute code in a secured environment and use strict network controls to prevent external internet access from executed code. Additionally, we have set resource limits on each session. Disabling internet access limits the functionality of our code sandbox, but we believe it’s the right initial tradeoff. Third-party plugins were designed as a safety-first method of connecting our models to the outside world.

Retrieval

The open-source retrieval plugin enables ChatGPT to access personal or organizational information sources (with permission). It allows users to obtain the most relevant document snippets from their data sources, such as files, notes, emails or public documentation, by asking questions or expressing needs in natural language.

As an open-source and self-hosted solution, developers can deploy their own version of the plugin and register it with ChatGPT. The plugin leverages OpenAI embeddings(opens in a new window) and allows developers to choose a vector database (Milvus(opens in a new window), Pinecone(opens in a new window), Qdrant(opens in a new window), Redis(opens in a new window), Weaviate(opens in a new window) or Zilliz(opens in a new window)) for indexing and searching documents. Information sources can be synchronized with the database using webhooks.

To begin, visit the retrieval plugin repository(opens in a new window).

Security considerations

The retrieval plugin allows ChatGPT to search a vector database of content, and add the best results into the ChatGPT session. This means it doesn’t have any external effects, and the main risk is data authorization and privacy. Developers should only add content into their retrieval plugin that they are authorized to use and can share in users’ ChatGPT sessions.

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Third-party plugins are described by a manifest file(opens in a new window), which includes a machine-readable description of the plugin’s capabilities and how to invoke them, as well as user-facing documentation.

json
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{ "schema_version": "v1", "name_for_human": "TODO Manager", "name_for_model": "todo_manager", "description_for_human": "Manages your TODOs!", "description_for_model": "An app for managing a user's TODOs", "api": { "url": "/openapi.json" }, "auth": { "type": "none" }, "logo_url": "https://example.com/logo.png", "legal_info_url": "http://example.com", "contact_email": "hello@example.com" }
An example manifest file for a plugin for managing to-dos

The steps for creating a plugin are:

  1. Build an API with endpoints you’d like a language model to call (this can be a new API, an existing API, or a wrapper around an existing API specifically designed for LLMs).

  2. Create an OpenAPI specification documenting your API, and a manifest file that links to the OpenAPI spec and includes some plugin-specific metadata.

When starting a conversation on chatgpt.com(opens in a new window), users can choose which third-party plugins they’d like to be enabled. Documentation about the enabled plugins is shown to the language model as part of the conversation context, enabling the model to invoke appropriate plugin APIs as needed to fulfill user intent. For now, plugins are designed for calling backend APIs, but we are exploring plugins that can call client-side APIs as well.

Looking forward

We’re working to develop plugins and bring them to a broader audience. We have a lot to learn, and with the help of everyone, we hope to build something that is both useful and safe.

Author

OpenAI

Contributors

Sandhini Agarwal, Ilge Akkaya, Valerie Balcom, Mo Bavarian, Gabriel Bernadett-Shapiro, Greg Brockman, Miles Brundage, Jeff Chan, Fotis Chantzis, Noah Deutsch, Brydon Eastman, Atty Eleti, Niko Felix, Simón Posada Fishman, Isa Fulford, Christian Gibson, Joshua Gross, Mike Heaton, Jacob Hilton, Xin Hu, Shawn Jain, Joy Jiao, Haozhun Jin, Logan Kilpatrick, Christina Kim, Michael Kolhede, Andrew Mayne, Paul McMillan, David Medina, Jacob Menick, Andrey Mishchenko, Ashvin Nair, Rajeev Nayak, Arvind Neelakantan, Rohan Nuttall, Joel Parish, Alex Tachard Passos, Adam Perelman, Filipe de Avila Belbute Peres, Vitchyr Pong, John Schulman, Eric Sigler, Natalie Staudacher, Nicholas Turley, Jerry Tworek, Ryan Greene, Arun Vijayvergiya, Chelsea Voss, Jiayi Weng, Matt Wiethoff, Sarah Yoo, Kevin Yu, Wojciech Zaremba, Shengjia Zhao, Will Zhuk, Barret Zoph