Customisable versions of ChatGPT – what this means for Technical Writers

OpenAI’s announcement of customisable versions of ChatGPT, called GPTS, provides some new opportunities for Technical Writers.

You can now create custom versions of ChatGPT that combine instructions, extra knowledge, and any combination of skills.

You have control over:

  • Behaviour
    • You can give it a detailed set of instructions to guide its answers.
    • For example: Act like a Technical Writer, a tutor, or a mentor.
  • Knowledge base
    • You can add your own knowledge base for the AI to draw information from.
  • Capabilities
    • You can use either OpenAI’s existing capabilities or your custom capabilities (other actions the AI can perform).
    • For example: Zapier integration.

We asked ChatGPT what impact this announcement might have on Technical Writers:

  1. Enhanced documentation tools
    • Technical Writers can create custom GPTs to assist in generating and updating documentation more efficiently.
    • By using a GPT tailored for technical writing, you could automate parts of the content creation process, such as generating standard descriptions, API documentation, or even responses to common user queries.
  2. Improved content personalisation
    • With the ability to customise GPTs for specific tasks, Technical Writers can create more personalised content that caters to different user segments or specific corporate clients, without the need for extensive manual rewriting.
  3. Education and training
    • Custom GPTs can be used to create interactive educational content for training new technical writers or for onboarding users to new software products.
    • These AI-driven guides can adapt to the user’s knowledge level and provide personalised learning experiences.
  4. Content distribution
    • The upcoming GPT Store will provide a platform for Technical Writers to share custom GPTs with a broader audience.
    • This could open new avenues for distributing their content and could potentially become a new revenue stream if their GPTs are widely adopted.
  5. Increased productivity:
    • With the ability to integrate GPTs into real-world tasks, Technical Writers could automate certain aspects of their work, such as data analysis and email communication, saving time and increasing productivity.
  6. New skills and roles
    • The emergence of GPTs might require Technical Writers to acquire new skills in customising and managing AI tools.
    • There may also be new roles or services required, such as AI customisation specialists within technical writing teams.
  7. Innovation in content creation
    • Community-built GPTs could lead to innovative approaches in technical writing, with shared expertise leading to new formats and methods for creating user guides and knowledge bases.
  8. Competitive edge
    • Enterprises that quickly adopt and use GPTs for creating internal documentation could gain a competitive edge by streamlining their processes and offering enhanced documentation services to their users.
  9. AI as a co-writer
    • Technical Writers can use GPTs as a co-writing tool to refine and polish their work, leveraging the AI’s ability to suggest improvements or alternative ways of explaining complex concepts.

See also: Using Generative AI in technical writing training course

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