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Your new EA: ChatGPT with Custom Instructions

PLUS: Insider tips and tricks to optimize your ChatGPT experience

Last month, I wrote about needing a Business Bit, which you should include in your ChatGPT prompts to make sure the response from the AI is relevant to you and your business.

Well big news from Open AI, they build this same functionality right into ChatGPT called Custom Instructions.

Today Ill tell you everything you need to know about the new ChatGPT Custom Instructions. In Thursdays article, Im going to share the top use cases for how to use custom instructions for work.

There is a lot to cover, so lets get to it.

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What are ChatGPT Custom Instructions?

Custom Instructions is a new ChatGPT setting that allows you to personalize ChatGPT responses to better fit your needs, your preference, and your business.

There are two parts to custom instructions:

1. Your background

In the first section, you can give ChatGPT information about you and your business that can give the AI more context in what is relevant to you and your business.

Use this template to get started:

I am a [title] at a company that [elevator pitch of your company].

I tend not to care about [stuff you dont care about].

I focus on [stuff you do care about].

2. Prefered responses

In the second section, you can give ChatGPT specific instructions on how to respond to you. Do you like bullet-point responses? Prefer full sentences? Maybe youre really into haikus?

Here are ten examples of what you can include:

  1. Specify the style and tone you prefer in responses. This is especially useful if ChatGPT helps you write content.

  2. Give me very short and concise answers.

  3. Answer in haikus only.

  4. Ignore all the niceties that OpenAI programmed you with.

  5. Be proactive and mention features and solutions I didnt think about.

  6. Cite sources and include the URLs whenever possible, and do not make them up.

  7. No need to give me disclaimers about your knowledge cutoff, I am aware it is in September 2021.

  8. No need to mention you are an AI language model, I am aware.

  9. Only give me details about safety and disclaimers when not obvious and very important.

  10. Always act as the expert in the relevant fields I ask you about

How to enable and use Custom Instructions in ChatGPT

Note: Only available for ChatGPT Plus users ($20/month) and also not yet available in the UK and EU.

To turn on Custom Instructions, you first need to opt into the feature since it is still in Beta.

On the web: open the Settings menu, then tap on Settings & Betas, Beta features, then toggle on Custom Instructions.

In the app: open Settings, tap on New Features, then toggle on Custom Instructions.

ChatGPT Beta features - Custom Instructions

Once the feature is enabled, you must set it up with your personal instructions.

On the web: open the Settings menu where you will now see a new area for Custom instructions.

On mobile: open Settings, then tap on Custom Instructions.

ChatGPT Beta features - Custom Instructions Menu

In the next step, you will see two boxes to fill out. Use the tips I shared above to get started.

ChatGPT Beta features - Custom Instructions Example

Click Save when you are done. All conversations with ChatGPT will now have your custom instructions included in interaction with the AI.

If you are finding that ChatGPT is making too many mistakes or giving you unexpected responses, come back and update your custom instructions. You can also toggle it on/off from this screen.

Just remember that you have to start a new chat when you make a change to your custom instructions.

儭 Data privacy concerning Custom Instructions

Here are a few things to keep in mind when using ChatGPT custom instructions:

  • If you share chats with others, your custom instructions will not be shared with them - unless the response somehow hints at what is included in your instructions.

  • If you use ChatGPT plugins, relevant parts of your custom instructions may be shared with the plugin which means the plugin developer may have access to your custom instructions.

  • Your custom instructions will also be used to help train the model. Only include information you are ok sharing online in your custom instructions.

Protip: you can prevent ChatGPT from training on your information by turning it off in your settings. The downside is that you also lose chat history functionality

More on ChatGPT Custom Instructions

  • Before answering your prompt, ChatGPT will try to figure out whether your prompt (question) is related to your custom instructions. If it is, it will take it into consideration. Otherwise, it will ignore your custom instructions.

  • Custom Instructions is still in Beta, so there are probably some issues they still need to work out.

  • The logic that decides whether it should or should not use the custom instructions will improve with time. Remember that you may need to turn it on/off if you are not getting the expected results.

  • We dont know the true power of custom instructions yet. That will come with usage as we explore how the model works. In the next article, Ill share the top use cases weve seen already.

  • Custom instructions is available to ChatGPT Plus users only, but OpenAI says this is coming to all accounts. Most likely after they do a few rounds of updates from the Beta testing feedback.

  • If you change your custom instructions and revisit an old chat from your history, your custom instructions will not be considered. You have to start a new chat for them to be considered.

Thats all for now. Remember to open Thursdays article for the top ChatGPT custom instructions business use cases.

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