No-code OpenAI chatbot on top of an Excel spreadsheet

by | Oct 26, 2022

Previously, Donald MacCormick posted about an Excel formula bot using OpenAI. His post got me thinking about other uses for OpenAI. Specifically, if we could make OpenAI accessible in a no-code way with Squirrel365?

Remembering a tweet by Josh Tapley where he showcased a chatbot he created in Squirrel, I decided to give building a chatbot using OpenAI and Squirrel365 a go. A couple of hours later and I’m sitting here admiring the results.

Why OpenAI?

OpenAI’s API provides access to GPT-3, which performs a wide variety of natural language tasks. So without needing to train or program anything, I can get sensible* responses to my questions.

For example, typing the question ‘Why is no-code becoming popular?’ into the OpenAI API playground produced the answer:

‘No-code is becoming popular for a number of reasons. First, it enables people with no coding experience to build complex applications without any assistance. Second, it can be used to quickly prototype and test new ideas without the need for costly and time-consuming development cycles. Finally, no-code platforms are often much easier to use and more user-friendly than traditional coding languages, making them ideal for use by non-technical users.’

Accessing OpenAI inside Squirrel365

The integration between OpenAI and Squirrel is delivered using the Squirrel add-on framework. If you are interested in developing add-ons for Squirrel365 you can learn more about the add-on developer program here.

Building the chatbot

The logic for the chatbot is built entirely with Excel formulas. I had to
work out the length of each message, size the text labels accordingly, and then adjust their position as the number of messages increases.

Anyone comfortable with basic spreadsheet logic can do it by using simple formulas containing IF() functions to power the chatbot.

What next for Artificial Intelligence inside Squirrel?

This was an exercise in seeing what’s possible with OpenAI and no-code. Certainly, my chatbot may never see the light of day. But it proves that Artificial Intelligence is within reach of no-coders. 

Now, what other fun and games can I have with OpenAI?