How To Use The OpenAI API Key?


OpenAI has made huge breakthroughs in language AI with models like GPT-3 that can write eerily human-like text. Now they have released the key to accessing these advanced models: the OpenAI API. With this API, anyone can integrate OpenAI’s AI into their own applications! All you need is an OpenAI account and an API key to get started. In this post, let’s take our own API key and let me show you how to use the openai API key and code a simple ChatGPT clone to see OpenAI’s semantic search AI in action. Fascinated? Read more!

Demystifying the OpenAI API key

The OpenAI API key gives you access to AI models such as Codex (coding), DALL-E (graphics), and Claude (semantic search) to power your apps.

It is an authentication code associated with your OpenAI account for making API calls. Each user receives their own personalized API key.

With this key you can quickly build apps using OpenAI’s AI behind chatbots, content generators, programmers and more!

Here are some important aspects to know about API keys:

  • Access control: Keys control and monitor permissions for OpenAI’s AI.
  • Security: Treat keys like passwords and store them securely without exposing them in code or public areas.
  • Usage quota: Keys come with free usage limits above which paid subscriptions apply.

How do I use the OpenAI API key?

Ready to get your own powerful API key? Let’s see how.

  1. Visit
  2. Navigate to Menu > Developers > Overview.
  3. Click your profile image (top right) > View API Keys.
  4. Click + Create new secret key.
  5. Enter an optional Name for future use.
  6. Alternative:
    • Make sure you are logged into your OpenAI account.
    • Go to

Note: To prevent unauthorized use and consumption of API credits, do not share your API key in public repositories. For secure key management, see the blog ‘8 tips for securely using API keys’.

Install OpenAI Python library:

To use the OpenAI API, install the Python library via pip:

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pip install openai

To set OpenAI API key locally:

  1. Save the API key as an environment variable (for example, OPENAI_API_KEY) on the command line:

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echo "export OPENAI_API_KEY='sk-xxxxxxxxxx'" >> ~/.zshrc

  1. Update the shell with the new variable:

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source ~/.zshrc

  1. Check the API key:

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To use it in Python:

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import os import openai openai.api_key = os.environ['OPENAI_API_KEY'] openai.Model.list() # List all OpenAI models

Text generation with OpenAI:

Text generation models include Chat Completions (gpt-4, gpt-3.5-turbo) and Completions (text-davinci-003, text-davinci-002, davinci, curie, babbage, ada). The default value is Chat Completions.

To use chat completion API:

Example 1 – Testing:

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import os import openai openai.api_key = os.getenv("OPENAI_API_KEY") prompt = "Hello!" completion = openai.ChatCompletion.create( model="gpt-3.5-turbo", messages=[ "role": "system", "content": "You are a helpful assistant.", "role": "user", "content": prompt ] ) print(completion.choices[0].message)

Example 2 – Blog Summary Generator:

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import os import openai prompt = "Please generate a blog outline on how a beginner can break into the field of data science." completion = openai.ChatCompletion.create( model="gpt-3.5-turbo", messages=[ "role": "system", "content": "You are a helpful assistant with extensive experience in data science and technical writing.", "role": "user", "content": prompt ] ) print(completion.choices[0].message)

To create a simple ChatGPT-like chatbot:

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import openai messages = ["role": "assistant", "content": "How can I help?"] def display_chat_history(messages): for message in messages: print(f"message['role'].capitalize(): message['content']") def get_assistant_response(messages): r = openai.ChatCompletion.create( model="gpt-3.5-turbo", messages=["role": m["role"], "content": m["content"] for m in messages], ) response = r.choices[0].message.content return response while True: display_chat_history(messages) prompt = input("User: ") messages.append("role": "user", "content": prompt) response = get_assistant_response(messages) messages.append("role": "assistant", "content": response)

Improving the response generated by LLM:

Experiment with temperature and top_p parameters for creativity:

  • Temperature (0 to 1): 0 for conservative, 1 for creative.
  • Top_p (0 to 1): Cumulative probability to reduce less likely words.

Tips for using OpenAI API keys safely and responsibly

While access to advanced AI models heralds exciting potential, here are some tips to keep things ethical:

Anonymize data: Remove personal information from datasets used to train AI models.

Check for bias: Audit models for signs of unintentional bias during test cycles.

Set ethical guardrails: Engineering models such as self-driving cars where safety is central.

AI allows us to push boundaries like never before. So move forward responsibly by taking social impact into account in addition to functionality.

Small adjustments during design thinking can go a long way in driving innovations that benefit everyone.

The democratization of AI is here!

Just a few years ago, advanced AI was limited to PhDs at elite universities and engineers at tech giants.

But today, startups and citizens can access the same state-of-the-art models through OpenAI’s API!

I predict that innovative apps in healthcare, education and transportation will unlock opportunities for millions by augmenting human intelligence.

What life-changing ideas can you build with AI? Share your thoughts below.

The future is what we code it for, one API key at a time!

🌟 Do you have burning questions about using the OpenAI API Key? ? Do you need some extra help with AI tools or something else?

💡 Feel free to send an email to Arva, our expert at OpenAIMaster. Send your questions to and Arva will be happy to help you!

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