If you’ve decided to stop resisting the pull of AI and give it a go, OpenAI is the best option to turn to, and you can begin by learning how to set custom instructions for ChatGPT. If you’ve tried out these online chatbots and found them to be very unhelpful, it could be because you’re turning to the wrong tool for your particular needs or because you’re not using these bots to their full potential. Despite its many flaws, if you figure out how to optimize ChatGPT and set personalized instructions that suit the task, you’ll find the results cater to your requirements much more accurately. 

We’d advise against turning to ChatGPT for research and scientific explorations, but it does have the potential to help you brainstorm and start your creative process or planning somewhere. 

Using ChatGPT

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Exploring How To Custom Instructions on ChatGPT

OpenAI has caused a global pivot towards AI and its AI tools have had their fair share of early adopters and vocal disbelievers. Regardless of where you land on the spectrum, you might have been expected to build your expertise on the tool for aiding you at work, or at least asked to explore whether it can help your team do better. Exploring the many ways of using ChatGPT can give you a better estimate of its potential and versatility and that’s why learning how to use custom instructions in ChatGPT is so useful.

What Are Custom Instructions on ChatGPT?

ChatGPT has a very standard, generic approach to most prompts unless it is specifically instructed to adopt a different tone or approach. If you ask ChatGPT how you should introduce yourself, it might give you very generic instructions on what to say to a new social circle. This isn’t helpful if you’re looking for information about introducing yourself in an interview or corporate setting. 

If you establish the baseline context indicating that you want it to adopt a formal tone and perspective when it answers your prompts, you’ll find the responses to be much more relevant to you. That’s what it means to set custom instructions in ChatGPT. It ensures that every time you start a new chat, you don’t have to re-establish the context and explain your preferences in order to get accurate responses. Especially when you have long code inputs or extensive material you’re working with, having the instruction established before you begin can be very helpful. 

ChatGPT understands context quite effectively sometimes, using the previous prompts to answer the next query within a chat, but this doesn’t always work perfectly. Sometimes, you may not remember to shift to the right chat thread each time to get the desired responses, which is why it’s better to fix the custom instructions on ChatGPT.

Steps to Optimize ChatGPT With Custom Instructions 

Setting custom instructions on the platform is unbelievably easy. What’s harder is deciding how exactly to frame your instructions in a way that clearly conveys your preferences. The title “prompt engineer” is growing more common lately because it isn’t easy to perfect a prompt to where it does exactly what you ask for. However, you can certainly master it for your own needs with some trial and error. 

To set custom instructions in ChatGPT on the website, follow these simple steps.

  • Open the ChatGPT page and log into your account
  • Click on the two horizontal lines on the top left corner of your screen
  • Find your name on the bottom of the screen and click on it
  • When an additional menu opens, click on “Customize ChatGPT”
  • A pop-up will appear on your screen to introduce the customization feature to you
  • Click on “OK” to be redirected to the final step
  • You will be presented with two questions, “What would you like ChatGPT to know about you to provide better responses?” and “How would you like ChatGPT to respond?”
    You have 1,500 words in each section to explain your requirements to the AI.
  • Once you’re satisfied with your entry, ensure the toggle to “Enable for new chats” is turned on and then click “Save”
  • Start a new chat with the AI and assess how well it is performing. If you feel like it’s still a little off the mark, try to edit your instructions and start another chat to test until you’re satisfied.

Deciding on personalized instructions for ChatGPT

The steps to set custom instructions on ChatGPT are quite straightforward, but do you know what you’re expecting from the AI? The two questions the platform asks you are designed to understand your requirements well but you need to be clear about your own goals and the guidelines surrounding it.

If you manage a film review website and use ChatGPT to generate ideas for marketing, future directions for film, banner content, etc. then you need to understand the identity of the website well. Your answer to the first question “What would you like ChatGPT to know” should be very detailed and go into the specifics of your website. You can talk about the kind of movies you cover, the target audience that usually interacts with the website, the design concept behind the website, the different genres and subcategories that are covered, etc. For the second question “How would you like ChatGPT to respond?” you can have a more specific guideline of the tone the AI needs to maintain.

If you maintain a humorous stylistic preference, define it. Explain the approximate length of your content, the complexity levels, the values and principles you want it to try to convey, etc. Now ChatGPT will never be able to write an original film review for your website that has any authentic opinion on the film, but what it can do is answer your content a little better. For example, if you ask it to rewrite a sentence or create some ideas on how to advertise this particular website, it should be able to create an approximate perspective for you to brainstorm with.

Using ChatGPT should be much easier after you set these custom instructions and edit them until they suit your goals. These custom instructions are far from perfect but now that the feature is around, you could benefit from giving it a go.