How to Use ChatGPT API in Python: The Complete 2023 Guide

ChatGPT has captured the world’s attention with its eloquent conversational abilities. Now anyone can tap into this AI power by using the ChatGPT API in their own Python projects.

In this comprehensive tutorial, we’ll cover everything you need to start building Python apps, websites, and scripts powered by ChatGPT.

Overview of the OpenAI API

The ChatGPT model was created by OpenAI and made accessible through their public API. Some key facts:

  • Provides access to ChatGPT and other AI systems like GPT-3.5, Codex, DALL-E.
  • Available via simple API keys – no complex setup required.
  • Usage is based on a credit system where credits equal the number of tokens (characters) processed.
  • API clients are available for Python, JavaScript, Ruby, C#, Java, Go and more.
  • OpenAI offers paid tiers with higher limits and lower prices per token.

By integrating the API into your Python app, you can query ChatGPT to generate text, code, images and more.

Getting Set Up with an OpenAI API Key

First, you’ll need to signup for an API key at

  1. Create an account with your email address.
  2. Once logged in, go to your account settings and API keys.
  3. Click “Create new secret key” and confirm the popup.
  4. On the API keys page, copy the secret key provided. This will authenticate your API requests.
  5. Keep this private key secure – anyone with it can use your credits.

And that’s it – you now have access to start using the OpenAI API in your own projects!

Installing the OpenAI Python Library

The official OpenAI Python library makes integrating with the API straightforward.

Install it via pip:

pip install openai

This will download the package from PyPI and make the openai module available in your Python environment.

Initializing an OpenAI Client

With the library installed, we can now initialize the OpenAI client in our code:

import openai

# Add your secret key 
openai.api_key = "YOUR_API_KEY 

This API client will manage interactions with the API and token usage.

We’re ready to start using ChatGPT!

ChatGPT Conversations with the Python API Client

The OpenAI client provides a ChatCompletion class for simple back-and-forth conversations with ChatGPT.

Let’s try it out:

response = openai.ChatCompletion.create(
  messages=[{"role": "user", "content": "Hi!"}]  


This sends a message to ChatGPT and prints the response. Try more complex conversations by passing previous messages to the messages parameter.

For longer conversations, using a ChatSession instance is better for maintaining context:

session = openai.ChatSession(model="gpt-3.5-turbo")

response = session.send_message("Hello, how are you doing today?")

response = session.send_message("That's great to hear! What are your hobbies?")

The session tracks the dialogue history to provide coherent, relevant responses.

Generating Text with ChatGPT in Python

We can also leverage ChatGPT for text generation without an interactive conversation using the Completion class:

prompt = “Write a poem about artificial intelligence”

response = openai.Completion.create(


This generates a poem based on our prompt.

The `max_tokens` parameter controls the length. We can generate any kind of text by customizing the prompt.

## Working with Images using DALL-E

In addition to text, OpenAI APIs can generate images. Here's an example with the DALL-E model:

response = openai.Image.create(
prompt=”An armchair in the shape of an avocado”,

image_url = response[‘data’][0][‘url’]

This prints out a URL to download the newly generated avocado armchair image!

We can integrate images into apps and websites using the same simple API.

## Analyzing Text Tone, Sentiment and More

Beyond generation, OpenAI APIs provide advanced text analysis through the `Completion` class:

response = openai.Completion.create(
prompt=”The food was delicious but the waiter was rude”,


By constructing the prompt carefully and echoing back the input, we can get ChatGPT to output helpful analysis like:

The food was delicious but the waiter was rude

This statement expresses a mixed sentiment. The first part about the food is positive, while calling the waiter rude is negative. Overall this evaluates the food positively and the service negatively.

This demonstrates ChatGPT’s natural language understanding capabilities exposed through the API.

Next Steps and Resources

We’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible by integrating ChatGPT into Python applications using the OpenAI API.

Some next steps and resources for learning more:

I hope this gives you a solid foundation for leveraging the flexibility and capabilities of OpenAI and ChatGPT in your own Python projects! Let me know if you have any other questions.


With just a few lines of Python code, you can integrate the amazing ChatGPT model into your own projects and workflows!

The OpenAI API provides flexible access to ChatGPT in addition to other models like Codex, DALL-E, and more.

As AI advances, APIs like OpenAI will enable developers to tap into the latest innovations.


How much does the ChatGPT API cost?

Usage is based on a credits system. 1000 tokens costs $0.002 so costs can add up for large volumes.

Are there limits or quotas on API usage?

Yes, OpenAI enforces usage limits. By default you’re limited to 12000 tokens per month on the free plan.

What Python version do I need?

The OpenAI library requires Python 3.7+. Make sure you have an up-to-date Python install.

What can I build with the ChatGPT API?

Some ideas are chatbots, personal assistants, content generators, AI tutors, conversational search engines, and more!

Is it easy to switch to other OpenAI models besides ChatGPT?

Yes, the same API key grants access to GPT-3.5, Codex, and other models. Just change the Model parameter.

Can I run ChatGPT locally instead of via API?

Not currently – the API is the only authorized way to access ChatGPT. There is no downloadable version.

Are there limits on how I can use ChatGPT content commercially?

Yes, be sure to review OpenAI’s usage policies. Commercial use cases may require additional licensing.

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