Tired of repeating instructions to ChatGPT every time you interact with it? OpenAI has come to the rescue with the launch of their new ‘Custom Instructions‘ feature on Thursday. While currently in beta and exclusive to Plus users, this handy tool allows users to save instruction prompts in the chatbot’s memory, streamlining the conversation process.
OpenAI acknowledged user feedback about the inconvenience of starting each ChatGPT conversation from scratch. With ‘Custom Instructions,’ this friction is greatly reduced, saving users from repetitive prompts.
How ‘Custom Instructions’ Works: Tailoring Responses to User Needs
As described in OpenAI’s blog post, users will be prompted to answer two key questions to utilize ‘Custom Instructions.’ The first question is: “What would you like ChatGPT to know about you to provide better responses?” Users can provide information relevant to their specific needs. For instance, a chef using ChatGPT for recipes might respond with: “I am a chef at a Manhattan restaurant.” The second question is: “How would you like ChatGPT to respond?” Users can then specify their desired responses. For example, the chef may type in: “When I ask for recipes, give me a variation of 3-4 recipes from the best cooks in the world, with portions designed for a single serving.”
Currently, the character limit for user responses is set at 1500. The introduction of ‘Custom Instructions’ has been met with a positive response on social media.
However, OpenAI is aware of potential drawbacks during the beta phase. ChatGPT may not always interpret instructions perfectly, sometimes overlooking or misapplying them. In terms of safety, OpenAI addresses concerns by implementing their Moderation API to prevent the storage of instructions that violate their Usage Policies. Additionally, the model can refuse or ignore instructions that lead to policy-violating responses.
Joanne Jang, a strategic product manager at OpenAI, confirmed that the chatbot refused to respond when prompted with harmful queries, demonstrating the safety measures in place.
One limitation of the feature is that users like the chef in the example will need to switch off the custom instructions tool or provide new instructions if they wish to use ChatGPT for other purposes beyond recipes. This might be time-consuming but could potentially be addressed in future updates.
While ‘Custom Instructions’ is currently available in 22 countries, it is not accessible in the UK and EU. Nevertheless, OpenAI plans to expand the feature to all users worldwide in the coming weeks. The new tool promises to enhance the ChatGPT experience, making interactions more efficient and tailored to individual preferences.