PrivateGPT: Your Personal AI Chatbot

By Michael J. Sammut

In the realm of artificial intelligence, a new project is making waves. PrivateGPT is a private, open-source tool that allows users to interact directly with their documents. This cutting-edge AI tool is currently the top trending project on GitHub, and it’s easy to see why. It offers a unique way to chat with your documents (PDF, TXT, and CSV) entirely locally, securely, and privately.

What is PrivateGPT?

As the name suggests, PrivateGPT is a private version of ChatGPT. It’s a large language model that can access only the data you feed it. It doesn’t require an internet connection, and your data isn’t uploaded to train the public AI. This makes it a perfect tool for those who value their privacy and want to secure their data.

How to Install PrivateGPT

GitHubThe installation process of PrivateGPT is straightforward. First, you need to install Git and Python on your machine. You can download Git from here and Python from here. Once installed, you can confirm their installation by typing git --version and python --version or python3 --version in your terminal.

Next, you need to clone the PrivateGPT repository from GitHub. Use the command git clone https://github.com/imartinez/privateGPT.git to fetch the whole repo to your local machine. Navigate to the PrivateGPT directory using the command. cd privateGPT.

One of the files in the directory, example.env, needs to be renamed to .env. If you’re on Mac, use the command mv example.env .env. If you’re on Windows, use ren example.env .env.

The next step is to install the required Python packages. In the requirements.txt file, you’ll find some Python packages that must be installed. To install all at once, use the command pip install -r requirements.txt. If you’ve installed python3, use pip3 instead of pip.

PythonFinally, you must download the Large Language Model (LLM) file and move it into the PrivateGPT directory. The LLM file ggml-gpt4all-j-v1.3-groovy.binis a large 3.8 GB file that contains all the training required for PrivateGPT to run. After downloading, create a new folder inside PrivateGPT named “models” and move the LLM file into it.

Using PrivateGPT

PrivateGPT supports various file formats, including CSV, Word Document, HTML File, Markdown, PDF, and Text files. To feed any file of the specified formats into PrivateGPT for training, copy it to the source_documents folder in PrivateGPT.

After feeding the data, PrivateGPT needs to ingest the raw data to process it into a quickly-queryable format. To do this, use the command python ingest.py. If you’re using python3, use python3 instead of python.

Once the ingestion process is complete, you can run PrivateGPT and ask questions about your documents. To start PrivateGPT, use the command python privateGPT.py. If you’re using python3, use python3 instead of python.

Applications of PrivateGPT

PrivateGPT can be used in a variety of ways. For instance, if you have an ebook in a supported format, you can feed it to PrivateGPT and ask questions about philosophy, science, math, etc. You can also give it a fiction book and ask it to summarize each chapter within a few words.

Another practical application of PrivateGPT is in understanding complex documents like insurance policies. These documents are often lengthy and filled with jargon, making them difficult for the average person to understand. With PrivateGPT, you can feed the policy document into the system and pose your doubts directly to the AI. This can also be applied to software, organization, and employment terms.

black and yellow striped lineA Word of Caution

While PrivateGPT is a powerful tool, it’s important to note that it’s highly RAM-consuming. This means your PC might run slow while it’s running. You might also encounter errors like “gpt_tokenize: unknown token ‘�’”. However, if the program isn’t terminated, you can hopefully get a response.

The Future of PrivateGPT

PrivateGPT is currently a proof-of-concept and not production-ready yet. However, it’s regularly updated for a much-optimized experience. As AI evolves, tools like PrivateGPT will become more refined and capable, offering users a unique way to interact with their data.

In conclusion, PrivateGPT is a groundbreaking tool taking the internet by storm. Using a large language model, it offers a private, secure way to interact with your documents. Whether you’re looking to summarize a book, understand an insurance policy, or explore the capabilities of AI, PrivateGPT is a tool worth checking out.

For more information and updates, keep an eye on the official GitHub link of PrivateGPT. Happy exploring!

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