June 16, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

Serving technology better

Here’s how to create your own custom chatbots using ChatGPT

3 min read
Here's how to create your own custom chatbots using ChatGPT

OpenAI ChatGPT

Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

At its Dev Day event on Monday, ChatGPT creator OpenAI announced that subscribers would soon be able to create their own custom chatbots known as GPTs. Today the company has officially launched that feature. 

Available to paying ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise subscribers, the custom GPT option lets you design GPT chatbots simply by telling the GPT Builder what you want.

Also: The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other noteworthy alternatives

The idea behind the new custom GPTs is to help subscribers move beyond the standard, general-purpose ChatGPT model by devising more specialized models for more specific areas and tasks. In a blog post, OpenAI cited a couple of examples: You could create a chatbot focused on teaching computer science in a school or one that lets you design marketing logos and campaigns.

You can keep your custom GPTs private for your own use, share them publicly, or even deploy them within an organization. Later this month, OpenAI will open a GPT store through which subscribers will be able to publish custom GPTs with commercial value and receive a cut of the sales.

Devising a custom GPT requires no coding knowledge or skills. Just start a conversation with the GPT Builder and explain what you want the GPT to do. Give it a name, description, and instructions.

You then select which ChatGPT capabilities your GPT should possess — Web Browsing, DALL-E Image Generation, and/or Code Interpreter. You can even integrate real-world data to connect your GPT to external databases, email inboxes, and e-commerce systems.

To try out the custom GPT, I signed into ChatGPT with my subscriber account. To do this, you click your name at the bottom of the left pane and select My GPTs. On the My GPTs page, I selected the option at the top for Create a GPT.

Also: 6 helpful ways to use ChatGPT’s Custom Instructions

The GPT Builder popped up asking me what type of GPT I’d like to make. You can keep it simple or go wild. I kept it fairly simple by asking it to create a GPT that could summarize an uploaded document. The GPT Builder kicked off the process and suggested naming my GPT “Summary Sage.” I gave the OK to that name though I could have easily chosen my own.

Next, the builder generated a picture for my GPT showing a magnifying glass on top of an open book. I asked it to revise the image by replacing the open book with a printed document, which it did.

The builder then asked me what types of documents I’d want the GPT to handle. After answering that I wanted it to analyze news articles and technical papers in PDF or Word format, I could then continue responding to questions to flesh out the GPT or I could just save it. After I clicked Save, the builder asked if I wanted my GPT to be private, available to anyone with a link, or public. I kept it private and then saved it.

Creating a custom GPT with ChatGPT

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

My new GPT appeared on the screen. To try it out, I uploaded a PDF of a book about tips for using Excel. The builder generated two different summaries, asking me to choose the one I liked better. I could then give the response a thumbs up or thumbs down or generate a different response. Back at the My GPT screen, I was to access my new GPT to run it, edit it, or delete it.

Also: ChatGPT is no longer as clueless about recent events

Will custom GPTs catch on among ChatGPT subscribers? The process for creating one is certainly quick and easy, especially with no programming savvy necessary. I could see people experimenting with different GPTs not just for themselves but for businesses and organizations that want to automate certain tasks with a dose of AI.

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