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Native JSON Output From GPT-4

Native JSON Output From GPT-4

2023-06-14 14:07:43

When integrating LLMs in your merchandise, you typically need to generate structured information, like JSONs, with a purpose to course of the output with code. With the assistance of function calling (launched June thirteenth 2023), this course of has change into a lot less complicated! 

On this publish I’ll discover the brand new API.

Operate calling permits GPT to name a operate as an alternative of returning a string. On the time of writing, this function is offered for the chat fashions gpt3-turbo-0613 and gpt4-0613.

For this function, two new parameters have been launched within the Chat Completions API:

  • capabilities: An array of capabilities accessible to GPT, every with a identify, description and a JSON Schema of the parameters.

  • function_call: You’ll be able to optionally specify none or { "identify": "<function_name>" }. You’ll be able to pressure GPT to make use of a selected operate (or explicitly forbid calling any capabilities)

I spotted that by setting the function_call parameter, you’ll be able to reliably count on JSON as responses from GPT calls. No extra strings, yay!

Lets see it in motion with a demo app, Recipe Creator.

Recipe Creator is an app the place the consumer inputs the identify of a dish and is supplied with directions on tips on how to cook dinner it. In fact, it may be used to generate recipes for fully fictional dishes; in case you can identify it, there’s a recipe for it!

Our frontend developer has requested us to create a backend API which returns a JSON like this one:

  "elements": [
    { "name": "Ingredient 1", "amount": 5, "unit": "grams" },
    { "name": "Ingredient 2", "amount": 1, "unit": "cup" },
  "directions": [
    "Do step 1",
    "Do step 2"
  "time_to_cook": 5 // minutes

Let’s get began.

First, let’s create a JSON schema primarily based on the instance dataset.

schema = {
  "kind": "object",
  "properties": {
    "elements": {
      "kind": "array",
      "gadgets": {
        "kind": "object",
        "properties": {
          "identify": { "kind": "string" },
          "unit": { 
            "kind": "string",
            "enum": ["grams", "ml", "cups", "pieces", "teaspoons"]
          "quantity": { "kind": "quantity" }
        "required": ["name", "unit", "amount"]
    "directions": {
      "kind": "array",
      "description": "Steps to organize the recipe (no numbering)",
      "gadgets": { "kind": "string" }
    "time_to_cook": {
      "kind": "quantity",
      "description": "Complete time to organize the recipe in minutes"
  "required": ["ingredients", "instructions", "time_to_cook"]

Now, let’s name the OpenAI API and move the JSON schema outlined above:

import os
import openai

openai.api_key = os.getenv("OPENAI_API_KEY")

completion = openai.ChatCompletion.create(
    {"role": "system", "content": "You are a helpful assistant."},
    {"role": "user", "content": "Provide a recipe for spaghetti bolognese"}
  capabilities=[{"name": "set_recipe", "parameters": schema}],
  function_call={"identify": "set_recipe"},


Right here’s the results of working the above code: recipe for spaghetti bolognese

    {"name": "spaghetti", "unit": "grams", "amount": 400},
    {"name": "ground beef", "unit": "grams", "amount": 500},
    {"name": "onion", "unit": "pieces", "amount": 1},
    {"name": "garlic cloves", "unit": "pieces", "amount": 2},
    {"name": "carrot", "unit": "pieces", "amount": 1},
    {"name": "celery stalk", "unit": "pieces", "amount": 1},
    {"name": "canned tomatoes", "unit": "grams", "amount": 400},
    {"name": "red wine", "unit": "ml", "amount": 125},
    {"name": "olive oil", "unit": "ml", "amount": 30},
    {"name": "salt", "unit": "teaspoons", "amount": 1},
    {"name": "pepper", "unit": "teaspoons", "amount": 1}
  "directions": [
    "Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion, carrot, celery, and minced garlic and cook until softened.",
    "Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until browned.",
    "Pour in the red wine and let it simmer until the alcohol has evaporated.",
    "Add the canned tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.",
    "In the meantime, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package instructions until al dente.",
    "Drain the spaghetti and add it to the pan with the Bolognese sauce. Toss well to combine.",
    "Serve the Spaghetti Bolognese with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top."
  "time_to_cook": 90

Excellent! ????‍????

I consider the brand new API will change the way in which we work together with OpenAI LLMs past the plain use-case of plugins.

You may already generate JSON output with the assistance of immediate engineering: You set some json examples as a part of GPT’s context window and ask it to generate a brand new one (few shot prompting).

This strategy works properly for easy instances however is liable to errors. GPT makes easy errors (like lacking commas, unescaped line breaks) and typically will get fully derailed. You may also deliberately derail GPT with immediate injection.

Which means that that you must defensively parse the output of GPT with a purpose to salvage as a lot usable data as potential. Libraries like Langchain or llmparser assist on this course of, however include their very own limitations and boilerplate code.

With decrease stage entry to the big language mannequin, you are able to do significantly better. I don’t have entry to GPT4’s supply, however I assume OpenAI’s implementation works conceptually much like jsonformer, the place the token choice algorithm is modified from “select the token with the very best logit” to “select the token with the very best logit which is legitimate for the schema”.

Which means that the burden of following the precise schema is lifted from GPT and as an alternative embedded into the token era course of. 

The instance above used 136 immediate tokens and 538 completion tokens (Costing $ 0.036 for GPT4 or $ 0.0013 for GPT 3.5).

When you have been to make use of few-shot studying to get the identical outcomes, you’ll have wanted extra immediate tokens for a similar process.

Decrease token utilization means sooner and cheaper API calls.

See Also

The extra stuff you ask of GPT on the identical time, the extra possible it’s to make errors or hallucinations.

By eradicating the directions of following a selected JSON format out of your prompts, you simplify the duty for GPT.

My instinct is that this will increase the chance of success, that means that your accuracy ought to go up.

Moreover, you would possibly have the ability to downgrade to a smaller GPT mannequin in locations the place the JSON complexity made it in any other case infeasible, and acquire velocity and value discount advantages.

I used to be shocked by the little quantity of code wanted to construct the recipe instance. Doing one thing like this used to take way more boilerplate code in my earlier makes an attempt with out operate calling.

It is vitally cool which you can “code” an “clever” backend API in pure language. You’ll be able to construct such an API in a number of hours.

The method is straightforward sufficient which you can let non-technical individuals construct one thing like this by way of a no-code interface. No-code instruments can leverage this to let their customers outline “backend” performance.

Early prototypes of software program can use easy prompts like this one to change into interactive. Operating an LLM each time somebody clicks on a button is dear and gradual in manufacturing, however in all probability nonetheless ~10x cheaper to supply than code.

You are able to do Chain of Thought Prompting and even implement ReAct as a part of the JSON schema (GPT appears to respect the definition order of object properties).

OpenAI’s API appears to assist JSON Schema options like #ref (recursion) and oneOf (a number of selection); that means that it’s best to have the ability to implement extra complicated brokers and recursive thought processes by way of JSON schema in a single API request (so long as it suits within the context window).

This implies which you can embed complicated methods right into a single API name which makes your brokers run sooner and devour fewer tokens (because you don’t move the identical context throughout a number of API calls).

Not each JSON Schema function is supported (if/else appears to be ignored, as are consts), however I do surprise if the supported options are sufficient to show the schema language right into a turing-complete one.

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