AI is the hot ticket right now with the likes of Bing Chat and ChatGPT constantly making headlines. But it’s not just big company products, even indie developers are building cool AI projects that you can get from places like GitHub.
However, there is a cost behind all of this. Access to the servers is critical to being able to make the AI do its job, and for most of these smaller tools, you’ll need to provide your own OpenAI API key.
OpenAI provides the backend, but in all but the largest cases it is more efficient (and cost-effective) to provide your own API key from your own OpenAI account. Otherwise, there would be dollar costs involved to use the app. OpenAI isn’t free to use either, but after your free trial, you’ll only be billed for what you use instead of paying a flat fee to keep the app up and running.
However, if you’re looking to get started, here’s what you need to do to get an OpenAI API key.
How to create an OpenAI account and get a private API key
To obtain an OpenAI API key, you will first need to create an account. It’s free to sign up for personal use, though as noted, if you use it regularly, you’ll have to pay once your free trial credit expires.
If you don’t want to use your email address, there are options to simply sign in with your existing Google or Microsoft accounts if you prefer.
From there, you’ll need to enter your name and a cell phone number for a verification code to be sent to you, and you’re all set. Once you see the dashboard, now it’s time to go ahead and generate an API key.
To get your API key, follow these steps:
1. Click your avatar in the upper right corner of the board.
2. Select View API keys.
3. Click Create new secret key.
Your key will only be displayed once, so be sure to copy it and keep it in a safe place if you won’t be using it right away. Once you close the popup box, you won’t be able to see that key again and will have to generate another one.
The key is just a string of characters that you can paste into your third-party tools and allow them to communicate with OpenAI. Of course, never share your key with anyone else, unless you want to pay the bill for your access.
But that’s all there is to it to generate a key for your personal use. Go and AI all things.