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Let’s Set Up OpenAI Playground

Table of Contents

Discover the process of configuring and exploring the OpenAI Playground interface.

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The passage is an extract from Henry Habib’s book, “OpenAI API Cookbook,” which delves into incorporating the ChatGPT API across different fields, spanning from basic wrappers to knowledge-driven aides, multi-model systems, and conversational applications.


The OpenAI Playground serves as an interactive online space designed for users to explore OpenAI’s language models, such as ChatGPT. It offers an opportunity to grasp the capabilities of these models by inputting prompts and observing the generated responses instantly. Acting as a sandbox, this platform caters to developers, researchers, and enthusiasts, enabling them to experiment, learn, and even prototype their concepts.

Within the Playground, users enjoy the flexibility to engage in various activities. They can experiment with different iterations of AI models, testing diverse prompts to gauge the model’s reactions. Additionally, users can manipulate parameters to influence the generated responses. This environment provides a live demonstration of how these robust AI models think, respond, and create content based on user input.

Preparing for Setup

Before diving in, it’s essential to create an account on the OpenAI Platform.

Head over to and log in to your OpenAI account. If you don’t have one yet, you can sign up for free using your email address. Alternatively, you can log in to OpenAI using your Google, Microsoft, or Apple account. Follow the provided instructions to finalize the creation of your account. Depending on the process, you might be required to verify your identity by providing a valid phone number.

How to do it…

  1. Once you’ve successfully logged in, go to Profile in the top right-hand menu, then select Personal, and finally click on Usage from the left-hand side menu. Alternatively, you can directly visit after logging in. This page displays your API usage and importantly, your available credits.
  2. Typically, OpenAI offers a $5 credit for new accounts, which you can find under the Free Trial Usage section on the page. If you have credits, proceed to step 4. If you don’t have any credits, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account.
  3. If you haven’t received free credits but want to set up a paid account, follow these steps: click on Billing from the left-hand side menu, then select Overview. Next, click on the Set up paid account button. You’ll then be asked to enter your payment details and set a dollar threshold, which can be any level you’re comfortable with. Note that the total credits needed to execute all the recipes in this book is unlikely to exceed $5.
  4. Once you’ve created an OpenAI Platform account, you can access the Playground by clicking on Playground in the top menu bar, or by visiting

How it works…

The OpenAI Playground interface is, in my experience, clean, intuitive, and designed to provide users easy access to OpenAI’s powerful language models. The Playground is an excellent place to learn how the models perform under different settings, allowing you to experiment with parameters such as temperature and max tokens, which influence the randomness and length of the outputs respectively. The changes you make are instantly reflected in the model’s responses, offering immediate feedback.

As shown in Figure 1.1, the Playground consists of three sections: the System Message, the Chat Log, and the Parameters. You will learn more about these three features in the Running a completion request in the OpenAI Playground recipe.

Your Playground is now configured and prepared for use. You can utilize it to execute completion requests and observe how adjusting your prompts and parameters influences the response from OpenAI.

Running a completion request in the OpenAI Playground

In this recipe, we’ll put the Playground into action by executing a completion request from OpenAI. Here, you’ll witness the capabilities of the OpenAI API and how it can deliver completions for almost any prompt you provide.

Getting ready

Make sure you have an OpenAI Platform account with available usage credits. If you don’t have one, please follow the instructions in the “Setting up your OpenAI API Playground environment” recipe. This requirement applies to all the recipes in this chapter.

How to do it…

Let’s proceed with testing the model using the Playground to create a marketing slogan:

  1. Go to the OpenAI Playground.
  2. In the System Message box, input the following: “You are an assistant that creates marketing slogans based on descriptions of companies.” This clearly defines the model’s role and context.
  3. In the Chat Log, input the USER message as follows: “A company that writes engaging mystery novels.”
  4. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.
  5. You’ll now receive a completion response from OpenAI. For example, the response could be: “Unlock the Thrilling Pages of Suspense with Our Captivating Mystery Novels!”


Because OpenAI’s Large Language Models (LLMs) are probabilistic, it’s expected that you won’t consistently see the same outputs. Running this recipe multiple times will likely yield different answers due to the inherent randomness of the model. This variability is a natural characteristic of the model’s behavior.

How it works…

In this scenario, the completion response is generated based on both the System Message and the Chat Log. The System Message plays a crucial role in shaping and guiding the responses from OpenAI by defining the model’s persona, role, tone, and context, among other attributes. In our case, the System Message specifies the persona we want the model to adopt: “You are an assistant that creates marketing slogans based on descriptions of companies.”

The Chat Log contains the history of messages that the model has access to before generating its response, including our prompt, “A company that writes engaging mystery novels.”

Lastly, the parameters include more detailed settings that can be adjusted for the model, such as temperature. These parameters significantly influence the completion response from OpenAI. We’ll delve into temperature and other parameters in greater depth in Chapter 3.

There’s more…

It’s important to understand that ChatGPT doesn’t comprehend the meaning behind text in the same way humans do. Instead, its responses are generated based on statistical probabilities derived from patterns observed during training.

The model lacks human-like understanding; rather, it generates completions based on statistical associations and patterns ingrained within its neural network from extensive training data. Now that you know how to execute completion requests using the OpenAI Playground, you can experiment with your own prompts and observe the resulting completions. You might try imaginative prompts like “write me a song about lightbulbs” or more professional queries such as “explain Newton’s first law.”


In summary, the OpenAI Playground presents a dynamic platform for exploring the capabilities of language models like ChatGPT. By setting up your account and exploring its functionalities, you can unlock limitless opportunities for creativity, learning, and innovation. Experiment with various prompts, fine-tune parameters, and observe real-time responses to gain insights into the potential of AI. Whether you’re a developer, researcher, or simply curious, the Playground serves as a sandbox for unleashing your imagination and comprehending the intricacies of AI. With each completion request, you delve deeper into the realm of artificial intelligence, uncovering its subtleties and broadening your horizons. Embark on your journey today and witness the transformative power of AI in action.