ChatGPT now has eyes, ears, and internet access.
OpenAI just announced ChatGPT plugins that enable it to interact with the wider world through the internet.
The plugins, developed by companies like Expedia, Instacart, and Slack, will allow users to perform a variety of tasks using these sites from right within ChatGPT.
OpenAI itself is hosting three of the plugins: one that gives ChatGPT access to up-to-date information on the internet, a Python code interpreter, and a retrieval plugin that allows users to ask questions of documents, files, notes, emails, and public documentation.
Of particular note, one of the plugins available integrates with Zapier, which itself integrates with thousands of other tools.
Right now, there’s a waitlist to access the plugins for developers and ChatGPT Plus users.
What do you need to know about plugins? What do they mean for you?
I spoke to Marketing AI Institute founder/CEO Paul Roetzer on Episode 40 of the Marketing AI Show to answer those questions.
Here’s what you need to know…
- Internet access for ChatGPT is a really big deal. ChatGPT was only trained on data up until September 2021, so it doesn’t know anything new or current. The internet plugin now available changes that. You can ask questions about real-time events (“Who’s in the NCAA Final Four?”) and get accurate answers. ChatGPT even tells you where the information came from. This goes a long way towards solving valid critiques of the tool’s tendency to “hallucinate,” or confidently invent falsehoods.
- But it’s about way more than internet access. Imagine when the iPhone came out—before it had all the apps it has today. It was a powerful device, but you still had to manually navigate to different sites, apps, and services to get value out of it. Then, the App Store came along. Suddenly, you could access the grand sum of digital, online capabilities from a single iPhone interface via apps. ChatGPT was the iPhone. Plugins are the App Store. Plugins turn ChatGPT into a universal platform that can do anything for you online simply by following natural language commands.
- We’re about to enter a world where AI agents act on your behalf. Thanks to ChatGPT + internet + plugins, you can expect to soon have AI doing, well, everything for you. As plugins come online, you’ll increasingly be able to instruct AI to take actions in the digital world for you—actions you used to have to do on your own. (A concept we anticipated in our World of Bits commentary.) Very soon, AI will make reservations, book trips, do research, and many, many other tasks on your behalf using these capabilities.
One important immediate use case for marketers and business leaders:
Analytics. As plugins to your data sources (site analytics, CRM, sales pipeline, etc.) become available, you’ll have the ability to simply ask questions of your data and get useful answers. That alone could be a game-changer.
Or, as Paul puts it:
“If chatbots can perform actions in the real world, the sky is the limit.”
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