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ChatGPT Code Interpreter – how to use and access

Rory Greig Updated on by

OpenAI has announced ChatGPT Code Interpreter plugin along with a host of others, so what is it and what can it do?

ChatGPT is a global phenomenon impressing people globally with its writing abilities, and quite possibly marking the start of a new age for AI. Recently we saw the roll-out of GPT-4 for ChatGPT Plus subscribers and the company has opened up plugins and web browsing too.

Many of these plugins will grant the chatbot limited real-time access to the internet, just as competitor Google Bard is able to.

There are two which don’t use internet access, however. One of which is called ChatGPT Code Interpreter and it has the potential to significantly augment and improve workflows for programmers. If you want to get your hands on it, you currently have to join the waiting list and be accepted, but the company has confirmed that we will be seeing a wider roll-out in due course.

Let’s get into the plugin itself and what it can do.

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How to use ChatGPT Code Interpreter

If you have access to the plugin, which not everyone does, here’s how to use it.

Here’s an example of the Code Interpreter plugin crunching numbers, as exhibited by OpenAI.

It seems as though once you have the plugin selected, you can talk to ChatGPT as you normally would. It will then translate your questions into data, and provide you with a clear answer.

What can the ChatGPT Code Interpreter plugin do?

Data Visualisation is the ChatGPT Code Interpreter’s forte

While the Code Interpreter is incredibly powerful at crunching through numbers and analysing any data-set you throw its way – it’s also fantastic at visualising this data. Like Wolfram, the code interpreter is extremely proficient at creatively turning data into a digestible, comprehensive format. There doesn’t even need to be more prompt engineering involved.

Here’s an example from Ethan Mollick’s Twitter:

The ChatGPT Code Interpreter can convert files into different formats

The code interpreter plugin allows you to turn files from one format type to another. While this can be used to convert MP3 files into other formats, for example, there’s more impressive things you can do with the code interpreter. Here’s an example of one of them:

Credit: @eyishazyer on Twitter

The above Tweet exemplifies how you can use the plugin to convert an image to a text-file, meaning it’s incredibly easy to translate PDFs into editable text-files with ease.

The ChatGPT code interpreter plugin can run clean, Python code

The code interpreter is actually a Python interpreter in a “sandboxed, firewalled execution environment along with some ephemeral disk space.”

Effectively, all of the visualisations of data in the code interpreter are generated using Python.

How to access the ChatGPT Code Interpreter Plugin

If you want to get access to the ChatGPT Code Interpreter plugin, you’re going to want to head on over to the ChatGPT website and make sure you’re part of the waitlist.

While ChatGPT recently made (nearly) all plugins available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers, one of the notably missing plugins was the ChatGPT Code Interpreter. As the plugin is still in its Alpha, this is an understandable decision, as realistically this could shape up to be one of the most important plugins and developments in AI.

How to access ChatGPT Code Interpreter plugin via Discord

If you want to get access to the ChatGPT Code Interpreter plugin without sitting through the waitlist – you can access it through Discord.

If you’re the owner of a Discord server – you can head over to the GPT Assistant bot which loads ChatGPT into your server. The bot actually already has access to the Code Interpreter plugin, so you can use it as you would normally on the regular ChatGPT web-service.

Credit: Shroominic on Twitter

What can ChatGPT code interpreter do?

ChatGPT Code Interpreter has a range of functions. OpenAI says that it is especially proficient in certain areas. These are…

  • Solving mathematical problems, both quantitative and qualitative
  • Doing data analysis and visualization
  • Converting files between formats

We already know that ChatGPT is a proficient coder, able to generate code from input given in natural language. This plugin builds on that ability with a slightly altered response format. It also allows the chatbot to actually use Python, and present the results within the dialogue box.

In a demo of the plugin on OpenAI’s blog, we see ChatGPT doing a range of tasks with proficiency. For example, they upload a large data set and ask ChatGPT to interpret it for them, identifying trends, plotting them and comparing variables.

The speed at which ChatGPT does it is astonishing. Not only generating the code but then running it and presenting the results. The company lists the ability this plugin has to “make completely new workflows effortless and efficient”.

From this we can see that the plugin will function in a similar way to Github Copilot X, with the idea being to use the AI as a tool to make workflows more creative and efficient.

When you ask it to do something such as plot a function, it responds with the graph itself and a drop-down mention option to ‘show work’. If you click this, you then see the exact code it created and ran to generate that graph.

This clearly has the ability to not only improve workflows for coders, but also to make coding itself far more accessible and intuitive for a wider audience and we can’t wait to see it rolled out further.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use ChatGPT code interpreter?

For now, the ChatGPT code interpreter is only available to a select few. However, you can sign up to the waiting list now and ensure you get your hands on the tool as soon as possible.

When will ChatGPT code interpreter be available to everyone?

OpenAI has not given a date for the wider rollout of any of ChatGPT’s plugins but has confirmed that it will happen eventually.