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What is ChatGPT Code Interpreter? Features, how to use it, and more
ChatGPT has gained many features since its release that you may not even know about. Take ChatGPT plugins, for example, which connect the chatbot to third-party services and boost its capabilities. Likewise, the chatbot’s other hidden beta feature, Code Interpreter, goes one step further. It allows ChatGPT to run code, allowing it to edit videos, analyze spreadsheets, and even convert files. The best part? You don’t need any coding knowledge whatsoever to use it.
So in this article, let’s take a closer look at ChatGPT’s new Code Interpreter feature, what it can do for you, and how to use it.
What is ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter feature?
ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter is a new experimental feature that combines the chatbot’s natural language skills with the ability to write Python code. The chatbot can run Python code inside of a sandbox or virtual machine to perform various tasks like creating graphs, analyzing large amounts of data, and even creating websites from scratch. You can upload files like documents, audio and video clips, and spreadsheets for the chatbot to use.
With Code Interpreter, you can upload PDF files, audio clips, and more to ChatGPT.
Code Interpreter can conceivably perform just about any routine task via the Python programming language. It won’t always succeed but chances are that it will get most of the way there without much help. And if you’re willing to guide it along with explicit instructions, you’ll get even better results.
What can ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter do?
So what exactly can you achieve with ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter? Here’s a short list of the most popular use cases, but there are hundreds if not thousands more too.
- Analyze long documents: Until now, asking ChatGPT to analyze a document required you to copy and paste text into the chat window. But what if you’re dealing with a PDF file with tables and other data that you can’t as easily copy over? With Code Interpreter, you can upload the PDF and let ChatGPT access it directly.
- Video and audio editing: Want to trim an audio clip or convert a video to grayscale? ChatGPT can write some Python code to programmatically make the edits without any video editing software.
- Plot graphs and visualizations: Just like the above examples, you can upload an Excel spreadsheet and ask ChatGPT to analyze the data for you.
- Convert between file formats: If you’ve ever run into a situation where you need a JPEG image instead of a PNG or a .mp4 file instead of .mov, ChatGPT’s Code Interpreter can save the day. Rather than uploading your file to an unknown website, you can simply ask the chatbot to do it for you.
- Manipulate images: Python developers have written dozens of image-related modules over the years. This means you can use Code Interpreter to crop or manipulate images, perform OCR (extract text), and even stitch multiple images together to create an animated video.
- Write code: All of the above applications involve using a Python script as a means to an end, but you can also use Code Interpreter to directly write and edit raw code. For instance, one user managed to code an entire Flappy Bird clone using some clever prompt engineering.
How to access Code Interpreter in ChatGPT
In order to use Code Interpreter, you’ll need an active ChatGPT Plus subscription. This is because the feature relies on the latest GPT-4 language model, which is also locked behind the subscription. While Plus costs $20 per month, it also unlocks access to ChatGPT plugins and potentially other features coming down the line.
Assuming you’ve already subscribed to ChatGPT Plus, follow these instructions to activate Code Interpreter for your account:
- Navigate to ChatGPT and log into your account.
- Once logged in, click on the three-dots menu to the bottom-left of your screen. It’s located alongside your account’s name.
- Click on Settings and in the dialog that pops up, navigate to the “Beta features” tab.
- Enable Code Interpreter. Optionally, you can also enable the browsing and third-party plugin features from this screen.
- Exit the settings dialog and hover over the GPT-4 pill at the top of your screen. You can now choose between Standard, Plugin, and Code Interpreter modes.
How to use Code Interpreter in ChatGPT
When you start a new chat session, simply ensure you switch to Code Interpreter to use the feature. Once you do that, ChatGPT will allocate a sandboxed virtual machine with a little bit of disk space for as long as your chat remains active. In simpler terms, the chatbot has some dedicated computing resources to write and execute Python code snippets all on its own. It can also store files temporarily, which can either be ones you’ve uploaded or requested the chatbot to create.
To upload a file, simply click on the + icon to the left of the chat box at the bottom of your browser window. You can upload any file type as long as it doesn’t exceed 100MB in size. I’d also recommend typing in some context or instructions for what you want ChatGPT to do with the file.
ChatGPT can only analyze text-based files, even with GPT-4 and Code Interpreter enabled.
Keep in mind that ChatGPT still doesn’t have multimodal capabilities. This means that it can’t actually understand the contents of a video file or even an Excel spreadsheet. Instead, the chatbot makes clever use of the Python programming language to extract all of the text from your uploaded files in a structure that it can understand. So if you upload a PDF file containing images, chances are that even Code Interpreter won’t help ChatGPT make sense of it.
All in all, Code Interpreter is yet another impressive feature that adds several new capabilities to ChatGPT. It also helps the chatbot stand apart from its rivals like Google Bard and Bing Chat, which have their own strength in that they can search the internet for up-to-date information.
No, Code Interpreter requires an active ChatGPT Plus subscription.
ChatGPT Plus currently costs $20 per month.
ChatGPT’s latest GPT-4 language model is worth paying for if you use the chatbot regularly. The ChatGPT Plus subscription unlocks higher quality responses as well as beta features like plugins and Code Interpreter.