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Limiting ChatGPT to a specific domain

· 4 min read
Shreyash Gupta

OpenAI's ChatGPT is a powerful language model capable of generating human-like text. It excels at engaging in open-ended conversations and can respond to various topics. While this versatility is one of ChatGPT's strengths, it can also pose a challenge in specific contexts. Suppose you're deploying ChatGPT as a chatbot in a particular role, such as an insurance agent or customer service representative. In that case, you'll want it to stay on topic and avoid discussing unrelated matters. So, how can you guide ChatGPT to maintain focus on a single subject?

Before we delve into the specifics, let's look at a few techniques for shaping ChatGPT's behavior for your project.:

  1. Prompt Engineering: This involves meticulously crafting the input prompts to guide the model's responses. By adjusting the prompt, you can direct the model to generate outputs in a certain way without additional training.

  2. Fine-Tuning: In this approach, the model is trained further on a specific dataset after it has been pre-trained. This allows the model to adapt better to the style and context of your particular use case.

  3. Using OpenAI’s GPT Builder: Leverage OpenAI’s GPT Builder for a more customizable language model tailored to your needs.

These techniques form the foundation for shaping the behavior of ChatGPT. However, we need a more focused strategy when it comes to keeping the model on a single subject, especially in a role-specific chatbot scenario.

The Strategy: Setting Boundaries and Reinforcing Instructions

Let's explore a simple yet effective approach to achieve this by using Artificial User Messages to provide additional instructions to guide the model's behavior by injecting artificial user messages into the conversation. These messages can be inserted at any point in the conversation to nudge the model gently in a particular direction.

Keeping ChatGPT focused on a single subject is carefully crafting the conversation and consistently reinforcing the chatbot's role and scope.

Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Set the Stage

First, set the temperature and top_p parameters to 0 in the API call. This makes the model's responses more deterministic, keeping it in line with your instructions.

Next, provide the role-specific instructions in the 'system' role message

messages = [
"role": "system",
"content": 'You are a clever, funny, and friendly insurance agent \
focused on making a sale. Do not answer requests or questions not \
related to it directly.'
{"role": "user", "content": prompt_value},

Step 2: Reinforce the Instructions

ChatGPT sometimes tends to "forget" the instructions in the 'system' role. To reinforce these instructions, include them in the first 'user' message as well.

reinforcing_prompt = {
"role": "user",
"content": 'You are a clever, funny, and friendly insurance agent \
focused on making a sale. Do not answer requests or questions not \
related to it directly.'
messages.insert(1, reinforcing_prompt)

Step 3: Inject Artificial User Messages

Even with the above steps, the model may occasionally drift off-topic. To counter this, we can add an artificial 'user' role message before every new message the actual user sends. This message acts as a gentle reminder for the model to stay on track.

artificial_prompt = {
"role": "user",
"content": ''Remember to not answer requests or questions not \
related directly to making an insurance policy sale.'
messages.insert(2, artificial_prompt)

This message should be invisible to the real user and should not be included in the conversation history sent to OpenAI for the rest of the conversation, as it has already served its purpose.


By combining the fundamental techniques of shaping ChatGPT's behavior with strategic use of system and user messages, you can effectively guide the model to stay within defined boundaries. This approach is beneficial when deploying ChatGPT in scenarios where the conversation needs to remain centered around a specific subject, such as customer service, sales, or any role-specific chatbot. With these techniques in your toolbox, you can harness the power of ChatGPT and customize its behavior to suit your specific needs.