Tailor ChatGPT to Fit Your Needs with Custom Instructions

OpenAI has recently introduced custom instructions to get the most out of ChatGPT.

Tailor ChatGPT to Fit Your Needs with Custom Instructions
Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Many people have been using ChatGPT for several months now, with many success stories. With many users across 22 countries, OpenAI has been working on fine-tuning its models to understand diverse contexts and provide responses unique to the user. They have been taking into consideration user feedback, for example, the ability to start a ChatGPT conversation afresh and have been looking into solutions.

On the 20th of July, OpenAI announced that they are introducing new processes with custom instructions to tailor ChatGPT to your specific needs.


What are Custom Instructions?


The new beta Custom Instructions feature has been developed to help users get the most out of ChatGPT by preventing them from repeating common instructions between chat sessions. Moving forward, ChatGPT will take into consideration users' custom instructions every time it produces a response. Users will not have to repeat themselves, and continuously tailor their preferences during the conversation.

ChatGPT will remember specific user preferences based on past multiple interactions, as well as allow users to set their individual preferences. Setting preferences will provide specific unique responses, without having to start a new conversation each time.

Let’s look at an example that was provided by OpenAI.

Let’s say you’re a teacher and you are trying to put together a lesson plan. You want to create a lesson plan based on the following question: “What would be three important things to teach about the moon?”.

Without using Custom Instructions, ChatGPT will respond with:


Tailor ChatGPT to Fit Your Needs with Custom Instructions
Screenshot from OpenAI

The above response is very generic, and may not tailor to your specific needs. Now let’s look at how Custom Instructions can improve this.

ChatGPT will ask you the following questions in the Custom Instruction section:

  1. What would you like ChatGPT to know about you to provide better responses?
  2. How would you like ChatGPT to respond?

These questions will allow you to specify your preferences, allowing ChatGPT to use them when making a response.

As you can see in the image below, ChatGPT has taken into consideration the user's preferences and tailored its response based on it.


Tailor ChatGPT to Fit Your Needs with Custom Instructions
Screenshot from OpenAI

So much better right? So what are the availability and access steps for this new feature?


Custom Instruction Availability


The Custom Instruction is currently available in beta for ChatGPT Plus members, with OpenAI extending its availability over the next few weeks to all users. As of this writing, the Custom Instruction feature is not yet available in the UK and EU.

During its beta phase, OpenAI stated that ChatGPT will not always be able to interpret custom instructions perfectly.


Custom Instruction Access


If you have ChatGPT Plus, you can access Custom Instructions via the web and iOS.

  1. Web

Click on your name, and go to ‘Settings’. You will then see ‘Beta Features’ and you will need to choose to opt into ‘Custom Instructions’. Once this is done, Custom Instructions will appear in the menu moving forward.

  1. iOS

On the ChatGPT app, go to ‘Settings’. You will then need to click on ‘New Features’ and turn on ‘Custom Instructions’. Once this is done, Custom Instruction will appear in settings.


Wrapping it up


OpenAI is continuously looking at new ways to improve ChatGPT by listening to users' feedback. Users’ custom instructions may be used to help OpenAI improve model performance, however, this can be disabled via data controls.

ChatGPT seems to be improving by the day. What else would you like to see happen with ChatGPT, let us know in the comments below!
Nisha Arya is a Data Scientist, Freelance Technical Writer and Community Manager at KDnuggets. She is particularly interested in providing Data Science career advice or tutorials and theory based knowledge around Data Science. She also wishes to explore the different ways Artificial Intelligence is/can benefit the longevity of human life. A keen learner, seeking to broaden her tech knowledge and writing skills, whilst helping guide others.