September 6, 2023

When to use OpenAI Playground

When to use OpenAI Playground

What is Playground

Playground is most useful when you want to use ChatGPT for the same kind of task, again and again. You have a high degree of control over the AI, and you can save and share your templates.

Playground is a “behind the scenes” way to use GPT, the same AI model that powers ChatGPT. You will encounter more “knobs” that you can control. While this may seem complex at first, you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

When you sign up, you will get $5-13 in credit (depending on OpenAI’s latest policy!) and that’s enough to try it. If you love it, you pay-as-you-go. For most of us, our usage will cost less than $5 per month.

Numbered labels correspond to the key features below.

Key Features of Playground

  1. System. You’ll see “System” on the left-hand side. A system message is an overall instruction to the AI. It’s your opportunity to tell the AI your scenario and what role you want the AI to play. ChatGPT has a built-in system message that you can’t see. Here, you can set the system message to provide blanket instructions.
  2. Example:
  3. You are helping a high school teacher create three questions based on students' essays.Questions should take into account what the student has written and require them to conduct outside research to more deeply understand concepts mentioned in their essay. You will be shown student essay, one at a time. You will generate the questions in a numbered list.
  4. User. The user message is what you typically type in ChatGPT. You can assume the AI will apply the instructions in the system message to each user message. In this example, we want the AI to provide questions based on individual student essays. Each user message can be an individual student essay.
  5. Assistant. This is the AI’s response. Notice that you can add an assistant message and pretend to be the AI responding! This can help control the AI because it responds to future message, based on how it responded in past messages.
  6. Mode. Choose Chat. Avoid the other options.
  7. Model. Choose gpt-3.5 if you want quick and dirty answers. Choose gpt-4 if you want high quality or nuanced answers. gpt-4 is more expensive.
  8. Temperature. This is a measure of randomness. Think temperature ~ kinetic energy ~ randomness. If you are doing a task that involves evaluation, choose temperature 0. If you are generating content and want creativity, choose temperature 1.
  9. Maximum length. This is the maximum length of the AI’s response, measured in tokens. A token is several letters. You can get a sense of it by pasting any text into this tokenizer. You can start with this set to 500, and you can increase it if you are running out of space.
  10. Save. If you like your template, you can save it! You will be able to find it in the dropdown next time.
  11. Share. If you want to share your template with your friend, you can click share to copy a link. Your friend can then see your saved settings.
  12. You can ignore the other features on this page. They are less useful for our purposes.

Use cases for Playground

  • Tasks that require specific instructions for the AI, such as:
  • Creating content that fits a specific format
  • Writing lesson plans
  • Writing IEPs
  • Tasks that you do again and again, such as:
  • Creating content for different units or topics
  • Generating projects or ideas for individual students
  • Writing recommendation letters

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