Ever since ChatGPT plugins arrived a few weeks ago, it’s been an all-you-can-eat buffet of new ways to use OpenAI’s chatbot. There are over 70+ plugins that enhance ChatGPT’s capabilities with a wide range of uses. Some of Mashable’s favorites include a Spotify plugin that makes custom playlists, tools for scraping and summarizing the contents of a web page from a URL link, and cutting through the noise of real estate listings on sites like Zillow.
But amongst the useful ChatGPT plugins, there are a few duds. They may not be as helpful as they claim to be from their descriptions, or they don’t add much value to ChatGPT’s pre-existing capabilities. Some might be interesting in theory, but in reality, aren’t quite ready for prime time. Here are the ones to skip for now.
5 ChatGPT plugins that do what they promise
The ChatWithVideo plugin says it uses information and metadata from a video to provide a summary, analyze its content, and then answer questions about the video, like “What are people saying in the comments?” This sounded useful for recapping long YouTube videos or quickly learning about reactions from commenters, but in reality, it’s pretty limited. The first attempt was the three-hour senate hearing with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, but ChatWithVideo told me there was an issue loading it because it was too long. So much for helpful summarization.
The second attempt was a clip from an interview with actor Matthew Macfadyen on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. ChatWithVideo successfully summarized this short video, but when asked what the comments said, it couldn’t provide an answer because ChatGPT’s knowledge cutoff is September 2021. That’s a little bit on ChatGPT because ChatWithVideo uses its data training, but still not a great look for the plugin.
ChatWithVideo was only half helpful.
Like The Sims or Animal Crossing, the Algorithma plugin is a simulation game that builds a journey for your character as you follow up with different prompts. After creating a simple baby character, Algorithma provided four choices about what to do next: play with toys, try to say a first word, crawl around the house, or take a nap. Choosing one of these options resulted in an uptick in happiness, health, appearance, or intelligence. The first one or two follow-ups were fun, but it quickly got boring.
It felt more like using one of those Tamagotchis from the 90s instead of interacting with advanced intelligence. It also became clear that the best part of playing a simulation game is visually seeing the choices and the results, but because the Algorithma plugin only gives updates in text form, it’s not very engaging. I quickly abandoned my infant character and started looking at other plugins.
No visuals kinda takes the fun out of a simulation game.
ChatGPT has been touted as an advertising tool for writing conversational and snappy copy. RoboAd does this by analyzing the content of an e-commerce site and generating ads for the products it sells. This is one of those examples of a plugin that doesn’t really add much value to ChatGPT, since it’s already very easy to generate ad copy without a plugin.
With iced coffee on my mind, I plugged in the Dunkin Donuts website to see what kind of ads it would generate. The result was a line of generic text for each product that took longer to generate than an ad copywriter could’ve written, i.e. “Add delicious flavor to your coffee with Dunkin’ Creamer!”
For a plugin that claims to write “compelling headlines, descriptions, and calls to action that are tailored to the specific brand and product or service,” this one fell way below the mark.
This ad copy is bare minimum at best.
The Ambition plugin is one that falls in the category of “let me Google that for you.” The plugin which was created by job listings site RemoteAmbition basically just pulls current job listings based on your criteria, except not as comprehensively as a Google search or bigger sites like Indeed. A query for a real estate agent in NYC showed just five results. According to RemoteAmbition’s website(opens in a new tab), soon you’ll be able to import your resume/CV into ChatGPT, which would definitely make the plugin more useful, but for now, you’re better off with a search engine.
Wake us up when the job listing plugin does more than a Google search.
PortfolioPilot compiles information about specific stocks and economic trends, which is a little troubling since it’s well-established that ChatGPT can be inaccurate and make hallucinations, but the major red flag is that makes “actionable recommendations on how to improve your portfolio” and can “automatically improve your portfolio by applying top recommendation based on your risk profile” if you share your portfolio with it.
There are known risks of sharing personal or sensitive information with ChatGPT. A bug revealed user payment information, and unless you opt-out, your information is used to improve the model. Sharing your investment portfolio with a plugin that uses ChatGPT’s large language model for all the reasons above seems like a bad idea.
This screams “red flag.”