ChatGPT Can Now Remember Custom Instructions

Custom Instructions Make ChatGPT Seem To Remember Who You Are

Custom instructions represent a much-needed advancement in OpenAI's chatbot technology. With this feature, you can now tell ChatGPT precisely what it should always know about you and how it should respond to your questions. Whether you're a teacher, a developer, or a homemaker, custom instructions cater to your unique preferences and requirements, ensuring an unparalleled user experience.


openai logo custom instructions
Credit: OpenAI

For instance, if you're an educator, you can provide ChatGPT with essential details like "I teach third grade." Subsequently, whenever you ask the chatbot for interesting facts about the Moon, it will tailor its response to suit the age group of your students.

Enhancing User Experience

The concept of custom instructions acts as a permanent preamble to your queries, reducing the need to provide repetitive context and information. Instead of crafting lengthy questions to ChatGPT, users can now add crucial details to their custom instructions, streamlining the interaction process

Custom Instructions for Greater Personalization, Less Typing

With the newest opt-in feature of ChatGPT, known as "custom instructions," there will be less typing and greater personalization. Basically, you don't need to reinvent the wheel ensuring it knows each detail every time you want an answer.

Custom instructions enable users to infuse their distinct personalities and preferences into ChatGPT, making it an even more personalized and reliable virtual assistant. This remarkable feature offers users a designated space to convey essential details about themselves and specify how they want ChatGPT to respond to their queries. Whether you are an educator, a devoted home cook, or a coding enthusiast, custom instructions allow you to tailor ChatGPT's responses to your unique requirements. With its recent beta release, this feature is accessible to ChatGPT Plus subscribers worldwide, excluding the UK and EU (with plans for future expansion).

turned-on MacBook Pro coding custom instructions
Credit: Shutterstock

Joanne Jang, a prominent figure in model behaviors and product development at OpenAI, reveals the significance of this advancement. Currently, ChatGPT lacks context continuity and forgets past conversations whenever a new thread is initiated. Custom instructions change the game entirely by establishing a consistent framework for the AI, ensuring pertinent information remains intact throughout all interactions. This means no more repetitively providing preferences or details in every exchange, leading to a smoother and more efficient conversational experience.

“Right now, if you open up ChatGPT,” says Joanne Jang, who works at OpenAI, “it doesn’t know much about you. If you start a new thread, it forgets everything you’ve talked about in the past. But there are things that might apply across all conversations.”

Custom instructions bring forth an exciting concept: a permanent preface to your queries.

Instead of crafting elaborate questions, users can now integrate the necessary context and information into their custom instructions. As a result, ChatGPT's responses become finely tailored, enriched with a personalized touch that enhances comprehension and interaction.

  • Individuals managing family-sized cooking and shopping can input their specific requirements, allowing ChatGPT to recommend the ideal portions and relevant recommendations.
  • Programmers will also find custom instructions invaluable, as they can instruct the chatbot to provide code answers in their preferred programming language or particular project, streamlining their workflow.

The implementation of custom instructions poses intriguing challenges.

Creating these instructions adds complexity to queries, potentially leading to incorrect or fabricated responses. OpenAI acknowledges this and is actively working to fine-tune the AI model's interpretation of custom instructions. The beta phase allows ample opportunities for learning and refining the application of these guidelines.

A thought-provoking example emerged during a live demonstration by Joanne Jang. Inputting custom instructions about being a coder using Golang led to an amusing yet unrelated response when requesting a chocolate chip cookie recipe. However, subsequent queries prompted more relevant and natural answers. This exemplifies the learning process that ChatGPT is undergoing to master the art of interpreting custom instructions.

The Issue with Custom Instructions

So, with new ‘custom instructions,’ you might not have to tell OpenAI’s chatbot your life story every time you have a query. But, how do you know what and how much the chatbot should know?

OpenAI says it has a commitment to user privacy. While leveraging custom instructions for enhancing model performance, personal identifiers are systematically removed to safeguard user anonymity. Users retain control over their data and can opt-out of contributing to model improvement. To use it, you must opt-in for it to work, in addition to being a ChatGPT plus member.

The future holds promise for custom instructions to evolve into a dynamic and interactive tool.

ChatGPT should not only learn from users but also enable easy access to customized preferences. OpenAI emphasizes the utmost priority of ensuring that custom instructions do not override the system's safety measures. To prevent any misuse, the AI has been designed to refuse or ignore instructions that may breach usage policies or disclose personally identifiable information.

Incorporating custom instructions also enhances the experience with plugins. By sharing pertinent information with the plugins used, ChatGPT can generate more contextually relevant results. This interaction with plugins further enriches the overall user experience.

In summary, custom instructions feature is an important development that empowers users to forge a deeper and more meaningful connection with AI-generated content. It means typing a great deal less, if you choose to use it. As the AI learns to apply custom instructions effectively, it will undoubtedly serve as a better virtual assistant, catering to individual needs and preferences. Others will likely implement their own method of providing instructions to their chatbots.

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