Overcoming ChatGPT Limitations with ChatGPT Plugins & Mantium – Mantium

Overcoming ChatGPT Limitations with ChatGPT Plugins & Mantium

May 19, 2023   ·   8 min read
Overcoming ChatGPT Limitations with ChatGPT Plugins & Mantium

This article explores how ChatGPT plugins, particularly through the use of Mantium, enhance the AI’s functionality by overcoming its inherent limitations, such as knowledge cutoffs, lack of real-time data access, and personalization, thereby enhancing its versatility and value in diverse applications.

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OpenAI’s ChatGPT has been integral to the artificial intelligence landscape, providing meaningful and interactive dialogues with users across various domains. However, like any AI system, ChatGPT has its limitations. While it’s excellent at general-purpose text generation, it lacks specific functionality for certain tasks, such as real-time data access, handling complex mathematical computations, or interfacing with external systems. This is where ChatGPT plugins come into play, acting as powerful extensions that augment the capabilities of ChatGPT, addressing its limitations, and making it even more versatile and valuable. In this article, we will delve into how these plugins help overcome the limitations of ChatGPT, discussing some notable examples.

ChatGPT Limitations

Before we dive into how plugins can solve these problems, let’s first understand the inherent limitations of ChatGPT.

Knowledge Cutoffs

ChatGPT undergoes training on a vast internet text dataset. However, the training includes data only until a specific point, called the “knowledge cutoff.” The knowledge cutoff was in September 2021 – which means the AI’s base knowledge doesn’t include any events or information that surfaced after this date.

Real-Time Data Access

ChatGPT doesn’t have the ability to access real-time or current data from the internet or any other external databases. This means it can’t provide updates on current events, stock prices, or sports scores, for example.

Lack of Personalization

While ChatGPT can generate responses based on the input it receives, it can’t learn from specific user interactions over time. It lacks personalization and can’t tailor its responses to individual users’ unique preferences and behaviours.

Understanding ChatGPT Plugins

ChatGPT plugins are essentially software add-ons that enhance the functionality of ChatGPT, providing it with new capabilities or allowing it to interface with external systems. These plugins can range from simple add-ons that modify the behavior of ChatGPT to more complex ones that integrate with third-party systems or APIs.

OpenAI Plugins

Overcoming Limitations with Plugins

Due to its design and training methods, ChatGPT has certain limitations, as shared above, despite its power. Here’s how plugins can help overcome these limitations:

Access to Real-Time Data

ChatGPT, as of its training cutoff in 2021, doesn’t have access to real-time data or the ability to browse the internet. This can be a limitation for users who want to use ChatGPT for tasks that require up-to-date information. However, plugins can address this issue. For instance, the “World News” plugin provides real-time news delivery worldwide, overcoming ChatGPT’s inherent limitation of not having access to real-time information.

World News Plugin

Updating Knowledge with Browser Plugin

The browser plugin is one of the solutions to overcome the knowledge cutoff and real-time data access limitations. With this tool, ChatGPT can issue queries to a search engine, read the results, click on search results to read full articles, and store helpful information to reference later. ChatGPT can access information beyond its knowledge cutoff and provide real-time data.

Browser Plugin

Enhanced Computations and Data Analysis

While ChatGPT can handle basic mathematical operations as a language model, its design doesn’t cater to complex computations or data analysis. However, plugins like “Wolfram” empower ChatGPT with advanced computation, math, and real-time data analysis capabilities. With this plugin, users can ask ChatGPT to perform tasks like creating a genealogical tree, creating an audio spectrogram, illustrating anatomy, and much more functions that are impossible with ChatGPT alone.

Wolfram Plugin

Interfacing with External Systems

ChatGPT doesn’t have native capabilities to interface with external systems or APIs. However, plugins can extend ChatGPT’s capabilities in this regard. For example, the “Zapier” plugin allows users to interact with over 5,000 different work apps directly from within ChatGPT, streamlining workflows by eliminating the need to switch between various applications. Similarly, the “Instacart” plugin integrates with Instacart’s services, allowing users to get recipes and buy ingredients in real time without leaving the ChatGPT interface.

Instacart Plugin

Retrieval Plugins and the Power of Mantium

A retrieval plugin is an information database that ChatGPT can tap into during a conversation. In the image below, I asked about the “Role of Data-Augmentation,” described in a recent paper about Self-Supervised Learning Training and Deployment. Notice the response I got from ChatGPT due to its knowledge cutoff.

ChatGPT’s response without Plugin

How does a retrieval plugin fix this? When you pose a question, the plugin fetches the most pertinent information from its database to generate ChatGPT’s response. Users can load this database with a myriad of content, ranging from files like PDFs, knowledge management in Notion, and Marketing data in HubSpot, to public documentation or any other data source they select.

So, when a plugin (the PaperQA plugin) connects to a PDF data source with access to the research paper, ChatGPT can provide a more factual and detailed response to the above question, as shown below.

ChatGPT’s response with Plugin created by Mantium’s Plugin Wizard

The above is the power of Mantium. With Mantium, effortlessly and swiftly build custom plugins tailored to your specific use case. Leverage the simplicity and speed of Mantium’s data pipeline to seamlessly integrate your data into ChatGPT. It’s a quick and easy process designed to save you time and effort.

Mantium provides access to quite several data sources. The source connectors are a powerful feature that enhances the utility of plugins, primarily through their data aggregation capabilities. They are connectors that enable users to ingest data into the Mantium platform from various sources, including Files, Notion, Hubspot, and Slack. This diversity of data sources is a distinguishing feature of Mantium, as it allows users to consolidate data from different formats, such as PDFs, Docx, and CSVs, into a single plugin, a capability not commonly found in other tools.

The user-friendly interface of Mantium makes this process straightforward and efficient. For example, users need to select the Notion data source to import data from Notion, connect it with their Notion pages and databases, and bring the data into Mantium. This eliminates the need for users to write any code or manually create an integration with Notion, as might be required with other platforms.

Another key feature of the Data Sources connector is its ability to refresh the data. Once users ingest data into the Mantium platform, they can actively set up a sync job to run at specified intervals. This ensures that the data in Mantium is always up-to-date, providing users with the most current information for their needs.

Mantium’s Data Sources provide a robust, user-friendly, and efficient way for users to aggregate and refresh data from various sources, enhancing the overall plugin experience. Making it easy to query the documents to answer questions, generate content, and provide summarization—all within ChatGPT.

Summary of the steps in Mantium

First, set up the OpenAI API key. Then, download and import data from ArXiv using the PDF Data Connector. Once you’ve completed the sync, create a new dataset where you can apply transformations and enrichments to the retrieved data without impacting the original content.

Once you have your PDFs in Mantium, the next step is to set up a Mantium Plugin for your use case in ChatGPT. The plugin wizard guides you through this process in a few easy steps. After creating the plugin, you can set it up in the ChatGPT interface by copying and pasting the Plugin URL into the Enter your website domain field on the OpenAI setup.

Now you are ready to chat with your data. The plugin allows you to ask questions, generate summaries, and create custom documentation using your document as a reference.

Read the full tutorial here, or watch the video here.


The retrieval plugins and Mantium’s plugin wizard significantly enhance ChatGPT’s functionality, overcoming the limitation of its fixed knowledge base. The incorporation of retrieval plugins with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, as demonstrated by Mantium, signifies a substantial evolution in AI applications.

Mantium allows for the seamless integration of various data sources, enabling ChatGPT to access real-time, personalized information and overcoming its inherent limitations. Such enhancement elevates ChatGPT’s functionalities, increasing its adaptability for diverse and complex applications. The future of AI, empowered by Mantium, promises enhanced productivity, personalized interactions, and dynamic decision-making capabilities.

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