In a significant leap forward, ChatGPT has unveiled its latest feature – “custom instructions” – designed to revolutionize the way users interact with the language model. This groundbreaking addition allows users to provide a set of personalized preferences, ensuring ChatGPT remembers vital information about them and responds accordingly. Say goodbye to repetitive context-setting and hello to a more intuitive and streamlined conversational experience.
Joanne Jang, a key figure in model behaviors and product development at OpenAI, explains the rationale behind this novel update. Until now, ChatGPT has been a blank slate with each new conversation, lacking any understanding of a user’s background or preferences. However, this breakthrough allows users to input essential information that applies consistently across all interactions.
The practical applications of custom instructions are vast and diverse. For instance, educators can specify their grade level, enabling ChatGPT to provide tailored responses when seeking educational content. Many teachers have already embraced the language model to brainstorm lesson plans effectively.
Similarly, if you’re a family-oriented individual who often cooks for six, your custom instructions can ensure ChatGPT suggests recipes and portion sizes suitable for a larger group. Even programmers are in for a treat; developers who code exclusively in a particular language can now receive code answers in their preferred way, enhancing the efficiency of their work.
Do you know that at Microsoft’s Inspire event, Meta made a significant announcement by open-sourcing its potent language model, LLaMA 2? This action places Meta in direct competition with OpenAI’s renowned GPT-4, which powers popular tools such as ChatGPT and Microsoft Bing:
With custom instructions, users no longer need to craft lengthy questions laden with context. Instead, a simple preamble, containing personalized data, will accompany each query, making interactions smoother and more relevant. However, as with any groundbreaking technology, there are challenges to be navigated.
Creating custom instructions is an evolving process, and OpenAI is aware of the potential pitfalls. While this feature enhances personalization, it also increases the complexity of queries, raising concerns about the model’s accuracy and the potential for generating erroneous information. In a demo with Joanne Jang, an instance where she specified her coding background in Golang resulted in an unexpected recipe response formatted like Golang code. Fine-tuning the system to apply guidelines judiciously is a priority for the development team.
Launching this feature as a beta version reflects OpenAI’s commitment to iterative improvement. They envision custom instructions becoming even more dynamic and interactive in the future. The ideal scenario involves users sharing information about themselves while ChatGPT simultaneously learns from these interactions, creating a symbiotic relationship for optimal assistance.
OpenAI is also determined to ensure the safety and privacy of users. The company has implemented measures to prevent custom instructions from overriding the system’s safety tools. This guarantees that harmful or inappropriate requests are promptly denied, as demonstrated when Jang tested the system with a request that ChatGPT refused to fulfill. Furthermore, any personally identifying information provided in instructions or queries will be carefully removed to preserve user privacy.
The ultimate goal of custom instructions is to establish a strong bond between users and ChatGPT, transforming the language model into a more effective and reliable virtual assistant. Understanding users’ needs, preferences, and priorities is crucial for fulfilling the role of an ideal assistant.
OpenAI’s commitment to user feedback and iterative development ensures that the custom instructions feature will continue to evolve, making interactions with ChatGPT an increasingly seamless and rewarding experience. As technology matures, we can look forward to a world where AI-powered virtual assistants truly understand and cater to our individual needs, making everyday tasks and queries more accessible and enjoyable.