What is OpenGPT and How It Differs from ChatGPT?

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Presentation of OpenGPT

OpenGPT is an open source project designed as an alternative to OpenAI’s GPT models and the Assistant API, offering improved flexibility. It is developed on the basis of LangChain, LangServe and LangSmith technologies. As an open source project, it allows developers and researchers to access, modify and use large language models (LLMs) similar to GPT-3 and GPT-4 for various applications. This project is instrumental in democratizing access to powerful language models that have typically been the domain of large technology companies due to their resource-intensive nature.

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source: LangChain · GitHub

Developed and maintained by LangChain AI, OpenGPT’s primary goal is to provide a free, community-driven API alternative to the commercial language model. It allows users to build and deploy their own applications based on language models. The initiative focuses on flexibility and customization, allowing users to integrate different tools and functionalities according to their specific requirements.

Why OpenGPT?

The NLP landscape has been deeply shaped by large-scale language models (LLMs) such as OpenAI’s GPT-3 and GPT-4. These models have set new standards in language comprehension and generation, finding applications in fields ranging from creative writing to technical support. However, their proprietary nature often limits accessibility and adaptability, especially for independent developers, researchers and small organizations. OpenGPT emerges as a response to this gap, aiming to make the benefits of such advanced models more widely available.

Goals and vision

The main goal of OpenGPT is to democratize access to advanced language model technology. By providing an open source alternative, it allows a wider range of users to experiment, modify and implement language models in different contexts. This has the potential to drive innovation in NLP and is in line with the broader movement towards open source technology and knowledge sharing.

Development and contributions

GitHub Repository: OpenGPT is hosted on GitHub, where it is continuously updated and improved by LangChain AI and the wider development community. The repository reflects a collaborative effort with contributions spanning code improvements, documentation improvements, and active problem resolution.​​​​ OpenGPT is licensed under the MIT license and has received over 5000 stars on GitHub

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API and extensibility: At the heart of OpenGPT is its API, which serves as a bridge between users and the language model. The API documentation is comprehensive and covers various aspects of model interaction, including creating assistants, configuring functions, and integrating into various applications. This focus on extensibility and adaptability is a key feature of OpenGPT​​.

Community Engagement: The project emphasizes community-driven development, evident in its active engagement with user feedback, bug reports, and feature requests. This approach not only ensures continuous improvement, but also promotes a sense of ownership and participation among users.

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source: DALL·E

OpenGPT customization and integration capabilities

Choice of Language Models: Users have the flexibility to choose from over 60 different language models provided by LangChain, tailoring the core AI engine to their specific needs.

Customizing prompts: With LangSmith, users can fine-tune and debug the prompts they use, increasing the efficiency and precision of interactions.

Tool Integration: OpenGPTs offers the option to include over 100 tools from LangChain’s extensive library or even add custom tools written by users, thus extending its functionality.

Vector Database Integration: Users can choose from more than 60 vector database integrations available in LangChain, enabling more sophisticated data processing and extraction.

Extraction Algorithm Flexibility: OpenGPT provides the ability to select and configure the extraction algorithm, allowing optimized information extraction based on user requirements.

Chat History Database Management: The platform also allows users to select and manage the chat history database, ensuring efficient storage and retrieval of chat data.

Difference between ChatGPT and OpenGPT

Core Technology: ChatGPT developed by OpenAI is based on the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) series with versions such as GPT-3.5 and GPT-4. ChatGPT is fine-tuned specifically for conversational interactions, making it adept at generating human text in dialog formats. OpenGPT, on the other hand, is an open source project developed with a focus on providing a more flexible and affordable alternative to these proprietary models. OpenGPT is built on top of technologies like LangChain, LangServe and LangSmith.

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Training models and data: ChatGPT models such as GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 are trained on huge amounts of data and their training data is updated periodically. OpenGPT training data and model updates will depend on community input and the direction set by the developers involved in the project.

Customization and flexibility: OpenGPT offers a high degree of customization, allowing users to change various parameters to create a chat experience that suits their specific needs. ChatGPT, while offering conversational fluidity and a diverse knowledge base, operates within the parameters set by OpenAI. Its customization options, especially for developers, are more limited compared to OpenGPT’s open source.

Community and Support: OpenGPT relies heavily on community support and input for its development and support. ChatGPT powered by OpenAI takes advantage of the organization’s resources and structured development process.

Application and Usage: ChatGPT, as an OpenAI product, is primarily used for applications requiring conversational AI, such as chatbots, virtual assistants, and customer support automation. OpenGPT, with its open source model, caters to a wider range of applications, especially when customization and integration into different systems is required.

Pricing and Availability: ChatGPT, based on OpenAI’s GPT-3, was initially available for free, and with the advent of GPT-4, OpenAI introduced a subscription service, ChatGPT Plus, priced at approximately $20 per month, offering enhanced features and capabilities. Because OpenGPT is open source, it does not have a similar pricing structure and is generally more affordable, especially for those looking to modify or extend the model’s capabilities.

Challenges and future prospects

OpenGPT, like many open source projects, faces challenges including sustainability, community management, and competition with established, well-funded proprietary models. In the future, the project can focus on expanding the model’s capabilities, improving usability, and building a stronger support network. These efforts are essential to maintaining the relevance and utility of OpenGPT in the rapidly evolving field of AI and NLP.

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Conclusion

OpenGPT represents a paradigm shift in the realm of large language models, championing open source principles in an area traditionally dominated by proprietary technologies. Alongside platforms like Hugging Face, which also promotes open source collaboration in AI, OpenGPT stands as a beacon for community-driven innovation. Offering a platform that is powerful, accessible, and adaptable, it, along with similar initiatives, holds great promise for reshaping the landscape of language models and their applications. As these projects develop, they illustrate the significant impact of open source approaches in the field of artificial intelligence.

Image source: Shutterstock

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