What are ChatGPT Plugins and How to Use Them?

ChatGPT plugins were introduced on March 23, 2023 via a blog post by OpenAI, and became accessible to all ChatGPT Plus members on May 19, 2023. These plugins improve ChatGPT’s performance by addressing its limitations. They combine the power of OpenAI’s GPT models with special features to enhance artificial intelligence. We have created a comprehensive guide to explain what ChatGPT plugins are and how you can use them.

What are ChatGPT Plugins?

ChatGPT Plugins are extra tools that expand the capabilities of ChatGPT by connecting it to external applications and services. These plugins enable ChatGPT to interact with third-party APIs, allowing it to perform various actions and tasks.

Normally, ChatGPT cannot connect to the internet and is limited to information available until 2021. However, ChatGPT Plugins overcome these limitations by providing real-time access to current information from the internet.

How many ChatGPT Plugins are available?

There are currently 500+ approved plugins available in the ChatGPT plugin store. OpenAI conducts an approval process for plugins, and new ones are being added regularly. This results in a growing number of available plugins.

What are ChatGPT Plugins used for?

ChatGPT plugins have a wide range of applications. They enhance the already extensive capabilities of ChatGPT by allowing it to access external applications. This gives ChatGPT access to up-to-date information and internet resources. The available plugins serve various purposes, such as finding parking spots, conducting internet searches, generating vacation plans, facilitating PDF uploads and reading, and more. There are hundreds of plugins catering to different use cases.

Also read: ChatGPT crypto plugins: Get an edge in crypto market

Furthermore, these plugins can retrieve knowledge-base information, including company documents and personal notes, to help users access relevant resources. ChatGPT Plugins can also assist with actions like flight bookings, food ordering, and other specific user needs.

What is the difference between a plugin and an extension?

Plugins and extensions serve different purposes in the context of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT plugins enable ChatGPT to connect to external APIs and access information from third-party services. They expand ChatGPT’s capabilities by leveraging external resources.

Learn more: ChatGPT Voice Typing Chrome Extension

On the other hand, ChatGPT extensions, such as WebChatGPT, are Chrome extensions that enhance third-party products or services using ChatGPT. These extensions do not modify ChatGPT itself but integrate it into other applications or platforms, providing additional features within those specific contexts.

Are ChatGPT plugins free?

To use ChatGPT plugins, you need to be a ChatGPT Plus subscriber, which requires a monthly fee of $20. Once you become a ChatGPT Plus subscriber, you can install plugins without any additional cost. Currently, all available plugins are free to install. It’s possible that certain plugins may become paid offerings in the future, but for now, all installable plugins are free of charge.

How does ChatGPT Plugins Work?

ChatGPT plugins operate by connecting with external applications through APIs. Plugin developers provide their APIs to OpenAI, and when users activate a plugin while using ChatGPT, OpenAI determines whether to utilize the plugins or rely solely on the standard GPT-4 model for a given question.

If the plugins are not necessary for a question, ChatGPT responds using the standard GPT models without invoking any plugins. However, if the plugins are deemed necessary, ChatGPT attempts to retrieve the required information from the relevant plugin APIs. If the API call is successful, ChatGPT combines the plugin-derived answer with its own reasoning to provide a response that incorporates both sources.

To illustrate, let’s consider a plugin that detects available parking spaces in Singapore. If you ask about parking space availability while the plugin is active, OpenAI recognizes that its model cannot determine this information. It automatically invokes the parking plugin based on the location you provided. The plugin retrieves the data on available parking spaces and returns it as a response, leveraging both the external API’s functionality and ChatGPT’s capabilities.

Safety of ChatGPT Plugins

Integrating ChatGPT with external APIs offers benefits but also carries risks. When using external APIs, parts of your conversation, questions, and location information may be transmitted to those APIs for obtaining answers. To protect your privacy, it is important not to share personal or confidential information.

Using plugins introduces safety concerns, as they have the potential to enable malicious or unintended actions, allowing malicious actors to deceive, manipulate, or exploit others. OpenAI acknowledges these risks and has implemented multiple safeguards to address them.

Installing and Using ChatGPT Plugins

To use plugins, you need to be a ChatGPT Plus subscriber. Once you become a Plus subscriber, you can activate plugins manually to use them.

enable chatgpt plugins
  1. Go to your account settings after becoming a Plus subscriber.
  2. In the “Beta features” tab, activate the “Plugins” option.
  3. On the ChatGPT homepage, select the GPT-4 model.
  4. Choose the “Plugins (beta)” option that appears when you hover over the GPT-4 model.
  5. Under the GPT-4 model, click on “Plugins store” to access the ChatGPT Plugin Store.
  6. In the plugin store, select the desired plugin(s) and press the “install” button.
  7. After installation, the plugins will appear on the homepage under the previously empty section.
  8. Hover over the section and activate the plugins you want to use during your ChatGPT sessions.

Best ChatGPT Plugins

The best ChatGPT plugins depend on your needs and usage. Here are summaries of the top 5 popular plugins:

  1. There’s an AI For That: A Compilation of Handy Tools
  2. Link Reader: It extracts relevant information from a given link and provides a summary of the content.
  3. Expedia: This plugin helps find and book flights, providing details on options, pricing, availability, and more.
  4. VoxScript: Use this plugin to search for video transcripts related to a specific topic on YouTube, helping find specific information within videos.
  5. Speak: The Speak plugin aids language learning by offering translations, explanations of foreign language phrases, and guidance on tasks in foreign languages.

Creating Your Own ChatGPT Plugin

While in the Beta stage, anyone can develop a ChatGPT plugin. In order to create your own ChatGPT plugin you should first apply for the waitlist:

  1. Visit https://openai.com/waitlist/plugins.
  2. Provide your name, email address, and country of residence.
  3. Explain in detail how you will build a plugin to serve a specific purpose.
  4. Click on the “Join waitlist” button.

Once accepted, you can create your plugin by providing an API address and a manifest file to OpenAI. OpenAI will determine when to call the plugin’s API. You can access an example plugin’s source code to assist you in the construction process.