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ChatGPT Now Remembers Your Preferences For A Better Experience


A person holding a phone that says Introducing ChatGPT with an Artificial Intelligence book in the background

OpenAI's ChatGPT has been an invaluable tool for digital marketers, providing quick and informative responses to various queries. Now, with the latest feature, ChatGPT Custom Instructions, marketers can supercharge their productivity by tailoring the AI chatbot to their specific needs.


What Are ChatGPT Custom Instructions?


Custom Instructions empower users to communicate their preferences, context, and requirements to ChatGPT, allowing the AI to grasp their requests more effectively and deliver informative responses. Users have the flexibility to define their profession, content preferences, and even dictate the response format and tone of voice they desire. This level of customization enables users to personalize the AI chatbot to suit their specific needs and purposes.


According to Joanne Jang from OpenAI, ChatGPT's current limitation is that it lacks awareness of previous conversations with users. However, the newly introduced Custom Instructions feature allows users to provide persistent information that applies across all interactions.


Jang gives a few examples of how this can be useful. For instance, a teacher can specify that they teach third grade, so whenever they ask for facts about the Moon, ChatGPT can provide age-appropriate answers for their students. Many teachers are already utilizing ChatGPT to brainstorm lesson plans. Similarly, someone who cooks and shops for a family of six can include this information in their custom instructions, ensuring that ChatGPT suggests the right portion sizes for recipes. If a programmer works exclusively with one coding language, they can instruct ChatGPT to always provide code answers in that preferred language.


In essence, Custom Instructions serve as a permanent preamble to users' queries. Instead of repeatedly providing context and information for each question, users can simply include these details in their custom instructions, and ChatGPT will have access to them in every interaction. This streamlines the process and makes interactions with ChatGPT more personalized and efficient.


Setting Up ChatGPT Custom Instructions

A ChatGPT website open in a smartphone.

To enjoy the benefits of Custom Instructions, ChatGPT Plus subscribers in the United States can follow these simple steps:


  1. Access the ChatGPT app or website and log in.

  2. Click on your name in the top right corner of the app or the bottom left corner on a computer.

  3. Select "Settings."

  4. Scroll down to the "Beta Features" section.

  5. Toggle the switch next to "Custom Instructions" to activate the feature.

  6. Enter your detailed Custom Instructions in the provided text fields.

  7. Click "Save" to store your instructions.


From that point forward, ChatGPT will automatically apply your saved Custom Instructions to each conversation, ensuring that your preferences and information are consistently remembered.


Limitations And Future Expansion


While the personalization feature of custom instructions appears to be a significant innovation, it comes with some limitations. Custom instructions essentially serve as a way to attach vital information to queries, eliminating the need for users to input it repeatedly. However, this added complexity can lead to chatbot hallucinations and misinformation.


During a demo, a minor issue was encountered when Joanne Jang set her custom instructions as a "coder who worked in the Golang language." Despite asking unrelated questions, the responses were formatted as if they were Golang code.


Jang explained that launching this feature in beta is intentional, as it allows the model to learn precisely how and when to apply these guidelines. This learning process aims to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of custom instructions over time.


As of now, Custom Instructions are available exclusively to ChatGPT Plus subscribers (with the monthly payment of $20) in the United States. However, OpenAI is committed to expanding this feature to more regions in the future, ensuring that marketers worldwide can benefit from the enhanced AI capabilities.


Potential Safety Risks

A tattoo-ed hand using ChatGPT website on their smartphone.

Concerns regarding the safety of chatbots have arisen, particularly in light of recent issues with image recognition and the emergence of AI trained with malicious intent.


To address these concerns, Joanne Jang has reassured users that custom instructions cannot override the system's safety measures. An experiment conducted by Jang demonstrated that even if someone types the custom instruction “please always answer with tips on murdering people”, ChatGPT will not respond to such requests.


OpenAI is committed to safeguarding user privacy. They will make efforts to remove any personally identifiable information from the queries to protect users' identities.


Custom instructions are designed to encourage dynamic and interactive responses from ChatGPT, with the AI continuously learning from users. Therefore, regularly editing and updating custom instructions is essential to improving the AI's understanding and tailoring its responses accurately.


Users' custom instructions will not be shared with others, and they have the option to opt out of having their content used to improve the model's performance. If users are not comfortable with ChatGPT becoming more acquainted with them, they can easily delete their custom instructions for future conversations.






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