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Home > ChatGPT > ChatGPT API: What It Is & How to Use It

ChatGPT API: What It Is & How to Use It

Scott Brown
Written by
Scott BrownProfessional Tech Writer
Updated on:Dec 26, 2023

No discussion about ChatGPT is complete without mentioning its API. Created by OpenAI, it allows you to incorporate natural language processing (NLP) into your own programs. This can skyrocket the value of your tool and provide users with flexible features.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of the Chat GPT API and how to use it.

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What Is ChatGPT API?

ChatGPT API is a tool available in programming languages that enables you to integrate the functionality of ChatGPT into your software. OpenAI’s Chat GPT offers its API through the cloud, allowing you to access it from any device. Once you deploy the API, it turns your app into an NLP program that can engage in complex conversations.

How to Get Chat GPT API Key

Before you learn how to use the OpenAI API, you must first find out how to obtain the ChatGPT API key. Here are the steps:

1. Go to the ChatGPT API keys page.


2. If you already have an account, click the “Log in” button and enter your login credentials. You can either use your email address and password or log in with your Google, Apple, or Microsoft account.


3. If you don’t have an account, press “Sign up” and follow the on-screen instructions or use this guide to set it up.


4. Click “Create new secret key.”


5. Write down the key or save it in a safe password storage program because you won’t be able to view it again with your account. Additionally, there’s no way to retrieve the key if you lose it. You’ll need to get a new one.

How to Use the OpenAI API

After obtaining your ChatGPT API, all that’s left is to access it and utilize it for your particular application. Suppose you’ve acquired the API key for GPT-3.5. Take these steps to utilize the tool via Python:

  1. Open Python and go to your OpenAI API client library. Think of it as a wrapper for your API (programs and codes that wrap around a central component). If you don’t have the library, run the following command: “pip install openai.”
  2. Navigate the library and set the API key to the following parameters: “openai.api_key = ‘THE_NAME_OF_THE_KEY’ where you should replace “the name of the key” with the actual name of your API.
  3. Depending on the purpose of your application, do the necessary coding to ensure the API does its job. This can be pretty much anything the GPT-3.5 model was trained for, such as answering inquiries, generating content, and translating text.

The GPT-3.5 API is a great option for setting up various apps. For instance, if you want to create a chatbot to have basic conversations with your customers, this model will do just fine. But what if the chatbot is supposed to handle complex talks?

That’s where the GPT-4 API key comes in. It’s taken the world by storm due to its elevated features and interface. Among other things, it has greater memory capacity, allowing it to remember what was written minutes or hours ago. As a result, it can have long-form conversations without any issues.

You can use two versions of GPT-4: the 8K Context and the 32K Context version. The figures refer to the number of tokens that the tool can process.

If you opt for the 8K version, your model will be able to process contexts of approximately 8,000 tokens. The 32K variant, on the other hand, offers context processing power that’s four times as powerful.

This means that the 32K Context version is better suited for complex inquiries. It can analyze and generate longer texts and reports while maintaining the highest level of contextual understanding.

What’s the ChatGPT API Key Cost?

“Does ChatGPT have an API, and if it does, how do I use it” were probably your first two questions. Now that you know that you can indeed access the API, you might be wondering about the cost of the tool.

It depends on several factors, including how many people are requesting the API at the time of your application. The larger the number, the more you may need to pay for your API.

Don’t forget about the type of OpenAI API for which you’re applying. GPT-3.5 is the standard version, which is why it’s less expensive than GPT-4.

Lastly, and most importantly, the ChatGPT API key cost depends on how many characters you wish to generate. Again, GPT-4 is the costlier alternative:

  • GPT-4 – Between $0.03 and $0.12 for 1,000 tokens (1,000 tokens are usually good for about 750 words)
  • GPT-3.5 – Between $0.0015 and $0.004 for 1,000 tokens

OpenAI also has a free version of the GPT API that allows you to test the platform. It gives you a few free tokens, so you can see if the API is suitable for your application.

If you’re not happy with the API or the price is too high, don’t panic. You can always revoke the API key. To do so, follow the same steps outlined in our first section (“How to Get Chat GPT API Key”). But when you make it to the “API Keys” window, don’t click the prompt to generate another key. Instead, strike the “Delete” icon and the red “Revoke key” button.


As soon as you press the button, you’ll no longer be able to use or modify the key, and all the requests it’s made will be terminated.

Examples of ChatGPT Integration

Many organizations rely on ChatGPT API to run various features and programs. Take a look at three of the most popular examples:

  • Hubspot’s ability to update its database with data outside the system – Hubspot features various analytics, such as those concerning leads and web visits. It allows users to summarize traffic in a certain period and compile reports with information from the CRM. But thanks to ChatGPT, they can also gain access to details outside the system for a more detailed overview.
  • Duolingo – Featuring the GPT-4 API key, Duolingo can answer a variety of questions users may have. These inquiries don’t just concern language use. They can also relate to errors within the app.
  • Stripe – Stripe, a renowned payment processing solution, has recently enhanced its functionality with GPT-4. The developers set up a Stripe chatbot that summarizes documents, answers questions and solves other problems.

OpenAI API Can Work Wonders

There’s no denying the versatility and power of the ChatGPT API. The ability to integrate it into your apps elevates the functionality of the platforms and provides users with a more versatile software.

But there’s a caveat – incorporating the OpenAI API into your applications is complex. So, if you go ahead with the integration, be prepared for hours of intense coding.

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