ChatGPT Code Interpreter: What Is It and How It Works?

OpenAI has finally added Code Interpreter to ChatGPT, the most anticipated feature that opens the door for so many possibilities. After ChatGPT Plugins, people have been waiting for Code Interpreter, which is now out of Alpha and released in Beta to ChatGPT Plus users. But what exactly is ChatGPT Code Interpreter and how does it work? To learn in detail, read on.

What is Code Interpreter in ChatGPT?

Code Interpreter is the latest feature in OpenAI ChatGPT (specifically, with the GPT-4 model) that allows you to run Python code in a live working environment. It’s basically a sandboxed Python environment where you can execute Python code to perform any task you like. It may sound like a feature built for coders, but it can also help general users with many tasks.

choose code interpreter in chatgpt

For example, you can ask Code Interpreter in ChatGPT to convert a PDF file using OCR, trim a video file or change the format, solve a mathematical problem, perform data analysis and visualization, create graphs, charts, and much more. As a result, Code Interpreter allows you to directly upload local files to ChatGPT in multiple formats.

code interpreter file format support

Code Interpreter gives a temporary disk space as well to upload your files. It supports a wide variety of file formats including popular ones such as TXT, PDF, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, PNG, MP4, AVI, CSV, JSON, XML, XLS, XLSX, CPP, PY, HTML, PDF, DB, SQLite, and much more. This is not an exhaustive list and a popular representation of file formats across various categories. You can check out the complete list in the tweet below.

In simple terms, with Code Interpreter in ChatGPT, you get access to a computer right inside the chatbot with compute resources and disk space. You can do just about anything you want through natural language. That said, bear in mind that you can’t install Python libraries on your own. It’s a sandboxed, firewalled environment that comes preinstalled with 300+ libraries and packages.

How Does Code Interpreter Work in ChatGPT?

As mentioned above, Code Interpreter runs Python code to perform a task in the ChatGPT interface. So, for example, if you ask it to make an image-based PDF searchable using OCR, it creates a custom Python script on the fly and executes it then and there. You just need to upload your PDF file, and it will do everything in the backend. You can check all the libraries it’s using, where it’s getting stuck, etc.

code interpreter terminal working

OpenAI has not mentioned the file size limitation for Code Interpreter. Many have suggested that it can handle files below 100MB, but we uploaded a 170MB PDF file and it worked fine. You can try it on your own and check how well it processes big files. That said, uploaded files are discarded after your exit from the chat session.

Who Can Access Code Interpreter in ChatGPT?

Code Interpreter is not available on the free version of ChatGPT. You need to subscribe to ChatGPT Plus (costs $20 per month) and switch to the GPT-4 model in order to use it. Starting this week, OpenAI is bringing Code Interpreter to all paying users so you’re likely to get it in a few days. You can follow our tutorial on how to use Code Interpreter in ChatGPT for detailed steps.

comment Comments 2
  • LEONNES says:

    I really enjoyed the article

  • Alkis Piskas says:

    What is the ChatGPT Interface shown in the screenshot at start (Section “What is Code Interpreter in ChatGPT”) ? What device and what app is it from?

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