Two ways you can build custom AI assistants with GPT-4o - and one is free!

Getting ChatGPT to perform your desired tasks can require lots of prompting, but it doesn't have to! Building your own GPT saves time and is incredibly easy. Here's how.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Custom GPTs
Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

OpenAI's latest model, GPT-4o, offers unparalleled levels of intelligence through advanced reasoning, logic, and more, which users can leverage for nearly unlimited tasks. That said, getting ChatGPT -- which uses GPT-4o -- to perform your desired task typically requires a lot of prompting. It doesn't have to. 

Also: What does GPT stand for? Understanding GPT-3.5, GPT-4, GPT-4o, and more

By creating a custom AI assistant, you can circumvent elaborate instructions whenever you want to complete a specific function with GPT-4o. You can incorporate instructions, including the task you want it to perform, the tone you want it to use, and more.

If you use ChatGPT for repetitive tasks in your personal life or business workflow, taking a few minutes to set up custom chatbots could save you time in the long run. Setting up these custom AI assistants is easy, and requires no coding.

There are two ways to make custom GPT-4o assistants: ChatGPT and You.com. Both are easy to use, and each offers different perks. If you are a ChatGPT user, staying within the platform may be more convenient for creating your custom GPT; you'll need ChatGPT Plus, however, which costs $20 per month. You.com meanwhile lets you build an assistant with all the most popular models from OpenAI, Meta, Anthropic, Google, and more -- and it's free.

Read on to learn how to use ChatGPT and You.com to create a custom AI assistant.


Getting started with ChatGPT is easy. First, visit ChatGPT and log in to your OpenAI account (create one if you haven't already). Next, click on your profile picture in the top-right corner > My GPTs > Create.

The rest is quite intuitive: ChatGPT prompts you with questions to customize your chatbot, including how you would like the chatbot to interact, the chatbot's tone, what should be avoided, what should be emphasized, and more. You can see some of the questions below. 

Custom GPT
Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

When you're done setting up your custom AI assistant, you can publish it to the GPT store for everyone to see, get a custom shareable link for limited sharing, or keep it private for just your use. Once you hit Create, you can access your creation from the sidebar underneath ChatGPT anytime you want.

Also: Here's how to create your own custom chatbots using ChatGPT

Since I created a custom GPT to translate text into Spanish, the next time I want it to perform that task, I don't even have to ask; I can just input the text I want translated. 


One of You.com's unique features is that its platform lets you explore some of the latest and most advanced models. You can use that to your advantage when creating your AI assistant -- with the ability to build a custom chatbot grounded in GPT-4o, Claude 3 Opus, Llama 3, Gemini 1.5 Flash, and more. 

You.com notes that these models are enhanced by You.com, meaning the experience may not be the exact same that you would have in the native chatbot. However, it is a great and fun way to try all the best models in one place, circumventing the need to open several applications. 

Also: YouPro lets me access every popular premium AI chatbot for $20/month

To create a custom AI assistant, visit You.com, click the "More" button at the top of the search bar, and select the blue "Add new" button, which is next to "Assistants." You will be brought to a window where you can customize your AI assistant, select the base AI model you'd like your assistant to use, and type in a name and instructions.

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Creating an Assistant on You.com is less intuitive, as you must type in all the details you want the assistant to include. For that reason, try to be as detailed as possible. For example, I typed, "Take every text input and translate it into Spanish. Your tone is casual, as you are a friendly Spanish teacher," an instruction that combines the answers into two different ChatGPT questions.

Also: The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT, Copilot and worthy alternatives

Once you're done with your instructions, click "Create." The custom assistant will then populate at the top of the search bar, where you can select it and use it for future tasks. In my case, I can skip the prompting and have my custom AI assistant automatically translate any text into Spanish. 

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