ChatGPT’s Problem With JSON: A Tale of Peculiar Parsing

Structuring JSON Responses and Implementing Function Calls in ChatGPT

How to Structure JSON Responses in ChatGPT with Function Calling

Have you ever used ChatGPT’s UI and asked it for some JSON? If so, you might have come across a strange sight: a JSON object presented in markdown format, flanked by explanatory text. It’s like the information is playing hide-and-seek with us! Though, for us humans, this presentation is relatively easy to understand, it presents a challenge for machines that require data in a precise and predictable schema. Oh, the woes of our machine friends!

Let’s say you want to parse the JSON response from ChatGPT and make it useful in your code. Ideally, you’d want to extract meaningful information, like getting the JSON for an object representing a cat. However, parsing the response reliably can prove to be as hard as deciphering an ancient code. In fact, it’s highly likely that reading the response as JSON will result in a dreaded SyntaxError. Machines are not fond of surprises, after all!

One potential solution is to have JSON returned consistently with a reliable schema. Imagine having the response adhere to a predetermined structure like a well-groomed cat. How delightful! You could assign types to the JSON based on your schema, ensuring the response doesn’t deviate and introduce bugs into your application. Consistency is the key that unlocks the door to a well-structured codebase.

But how can we achieve this harmonious JSON formatting? Fear not, for there are a couple of ways to tackle this quizzical quandary. Let’s dive in and explore the possibilities!

Prompt Engineering: A Whimsical Approach

One possible method to address this issue involves the enchanting realm of prompt engineering. By adding instructions to both the user prompt and the system message in ChatGPT UI, we attempt to coax the model into returning the desired JSON format. It’s like casting a magical spell to guide the model’s response.

This approach works well in many cases, as you can see from the screenshot above. The “Assistant” response is a pure, unadulterated JSON delight that adheres to the specified schema. Ah, how satisfying! However, this approach isn’t foolproof and might falter from time to time. For instance, when the temperature of the model is set above 1, some JSON fields might stray from the values specified in the user prompt. Those mischievous fields just can’t resist a splash of color!

Function Calling: A Heroic Rescue

Enter function calling, a valiant hero that swoops in to save the day! This new feature allows you to communicate with the ChatGPT API in a dynamic and structured manner. Instead of receiving a message as a response, you get a request to call a function. It’s like having a secret power that brings order to the chaos.

You might have encountered function calling before if you’ve used plugins in the ChatGPT UI. These plugins integrate seamlessly with the model’s responses, thanks to function calling lurking in the background. But fear not, for you too can harness this power in your own code.

By using function calling, you gain better control over the data you receive from the model. You can even compel it to return JSON data in a predictable format. How splendid! You simply request ChatGPT to call a function of your choosing and specify its description in the functions array. With a wave of your hand (or rather, a line of code), you instruct ChatGPT to expect this function call as part of the response. Marvelous, isn’t it?

It’s important to note that these functions don’t need to exist in your codebase. You’re simply informing ChatGPT of their existence and readiness to be called. Oh, the power of illusion!

How to Add Function Arguments: A Magical Twist

Function calling not only brings predictability and structure to the response but also adds a touch of magic to the mix. Remember the secret power of function arguments? Well, here’s where things get truly enchanting.

When you use function calling, you receive an object named function_call in the response instead of a plain string content. This object contains valuable information about the execution of your (imaginary) function. Among its treasures lies the arguments property, which holds a stringified version of the function arguments. You can sprinkle a bit of magic here!

By describing the shape of the expected function arguments, you guide ChatGPT to fill in the arguments value with JSON that adheres to your description. Isn’t that remarkable? For example, if you wanted to create a new cat object, you could describe the schema of the Cat object within a function called createCatObject.

With this approach, you can instruct ChatGPT to create a cat object and transmit it to the createCatObject() function in a specific format. By parsing the arguments received from ChatGPT into your predefined Cat type, you bring structure and clarity to the response. It’s like the cat kingdom aligning perfectly, turning chaos into harmony.

Conclusion: A Paradigm Shift with a Dash of Charm

Function calling not only offers clarity and predictability, but also unveils a whole new world of interacting with machine learning models. This structured approach ensures scalable responses from ChatGPT, making integration into various applications a breeze. Whether you’re building a simple web app or a complex machine learning pipeline, function calling transforms your code into a magical melody.

So, let us embark on this delightful journey of turning JSON parsing conundrums into charmed encounters. Embrace the power of function calling and witness the dance of predictability and structure. May your code be harmonious, your JSON schema purrfect, and your applications filled with magic!

Have you experienced any peculiar JSON encounters with ChatGPT? Share your tales below and let’s discuss how we can triumph over these coding adventures together!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *