ChatGPT has dominated the news cycle recently, with articles appearing in just about every media outlet. For those who haven’t heard about it, ChatGPT is a chatbot driven by artificial intelligence (AI) software. OpenAI developed the service and released a beta version of it at the end of 2022. It can generate a chat – an online conversation – in a natural, almost conversational way. It has been “trained” on a large dataset of information – basically, much of the Internet as it existed in 2021. As such, it can respond to questions on a wide variety of subjects in a knowledgeable way. It is surprisingly robust and has already shown the ability to write articles, research papers, and software code, among other things, quite accurately.
We explored a few ChatGPT and FileMaker coding and integration possibilities when the beta version was released late in 2022. Like most other software services, OpenAI has an application programming interface (API) we can connect to using the Insert From URL command and some cURL options. The first thing we want to do is sign up for an account on the OpenAI API here: https://openai.com/api/.
Once in the API Key section, we’ll click “Create new secret key.”
Let’s copy and save our new key in our favorite text editor. Now, download this sample file and paste the key into the settings area where it says “APIKey.”
We won’t go into the details of the script. It’s a basic InsertFromURL setup with some cURL options. We are sending the prompt to the OpenAI service and parsing the response.
And voila! We should be able to type in a question, hit submit, and get a response. We tried to make this as simple and modular as possible to implement in virtually any FileMaker solution.
But what is a helpful example of how we can use this in a FileMaker solution? At The Support Group, we keep notes on all our client meetings in a FileMaker database. After taking those notes, we send a follow-up email to the client with a copy of our summary. Our initial notes are usually very rough, so we spend a fair amount of time cleaning them up. ChatGPT, however, can do it almost instantaneously. Furthermore, with the FileMaker API integration, we never have to leave our FileMaker application to edit and organize our notes and then email them directly to the client.
For example, here is the request we submitted to ChatGPT:
“Write the following text in a business format:”
General – Company
⁃ Using FM or a long time
⁃ Business has grown
Issues / Pain Points
⁃ 3 computers can’t talk to each other
⁃ Need to upgrade computers and FM
⁃ v18 now
⁃ on Mac
⁃ 3 computers now – no server
⁃ Move to Claris FileMaker Cloud
⁃ Add a container for photos
⁃ Add Orders to DB if not there
⁃ Email Order/Invoice to client w/Photos
⁃ Lori will call back next week to set up a time to start moving forward
This is what we received back:
We have been using FileMaker (FM) for a long time, and our business has grown. However, there are a few issues we are facing which we hope to solve by upgrading our computers and FileMaker.
Our current setup consists of 3 computers which cannot communicate with each other. We have upgraded to v18 on Mac, and all three computers are operating without a server.
Our goal is to move to Claris FileMaker Cloud, add a container for photos, add orders to the database if they are not already present, and email orders/invoices to the client with photos.
Please let us know when would be the best time to start the process of moving forward. We look forward to hearing from you.
Pretty sophisticated. And much easier and quicker than doing it manually. Nonetheless, we’ll likely have to do some editing, and we should double-check the results. For example, we could change the point of view to the first-person voice. In addition, we can re-submit our query, and we’ll receive slightly different and, possibly, better results. So, the AI technology isn’t necessarily turnkey, but it is very productive.
ChatGPT is an exciting new tool. We encourage technologists to sign up for an account and try it.
Google launched in September of 1998 and quickly changed the Internet landscape. Likewise, ChatGPT has the potential to alter the way we use technology on a grand scale. Therefore, it would behoove technology teams and companies to understand its benefits, limitations, and future consequences for specific business models.
ChatGPT has promising potential, and we are excited to see where this new software will take our industry and the world.