It is the year 2023, and with artificial intelligence (AI) in the mix, the playground looks a little different than you may remember it. We’ve traded swings and slides for artificial intelligence. Instead of using the sandbox for building sand castles, we’re using it to test code. You’re not building your preschool social network, you’re building neural networks. Safety and fun require equations now. 

What remains the same between the playground we experienced as a kid and today’s AI API Playgrounds? Our desire to explore, learn, and grow. 

Whether you’re an AI newcomer, a seasoned AI enthusiast, an experienced developer, or you just landed your first role as an AI researcher, you’re here to learn about the best AI API playgrounds on the market. We’ve got you covered on key features, strengths, potential use cases, and more. 

Reading Paths

Not everyone needs to read this whole article on AI API playgrounds (although we’d very much appreciate it if you do). We acknowledge our readers' different experience levels with artificial intelligence and APIs. Here is a quick breakdown of a few different reading paths to get the most out of this guide.

  • For readers new to AI and API Playgrounds

    • Read the article straight through. We will get you up to speed with what an API is, the purpose of an API playground, and its benefits. This will give you the foundational knowledge to confidently navigate learning about today’s best API playgrounds.  

  • For newer developers and researchers

    • You may find value in starting with the benefits of an API playground. If that feels too junior, just jump ahead to the list of today’s best API playgrounds.

  • For experienced AI enthusiasts, developers, and researchers 

    • Jump right to today’s best AI API Playgrounds if you haven’t already. The best awaits you!

What is an API?

Application programming interfaces lie at the core of modern software and are vital to the artificial intelligence ecosystem. An API defines the data formats and methods applications can use to request and exchange information. Think of an API as the ultimate universal translator (move over Google Translate!), ensuring understanding between applications, even when they may “speak” different languages. Put simply, API structure defines a lingua franca for separate software systems to communicate and transact with one another.

Once you’ve got a basic  understanding of APIs and how to make computers talk to them, you can unlock your soon-to-be new favorite playground and its benefits!

What is an API Playground 

An AI API Playground is where you can feel free to experiment with various APIs, test your ideas, and learn how different systems interact, all without affecting live environments. Let it not be mistaken for a full-fledged development environment. AI playgrounds are not designed for deploying production-level applications. Think of them as your safe space for experimentation. Rest assured that noo outcome will put you in timeout. We hope this puts your inner child at ease. 

Benefits of an API Playground

Beyond an API playground being a safe testing environment, what benefits can you expect from playing in this digital sandbox? Here are five.

  1. Rapid Prototyping. No time is wasted with an API playground. Mock up and test new integrations quickly to speed up your development process.

  2. Skill Enhancement. For those newer to the API playgrounds, this is a key learning tool. Get a hands-on understanding of how different APIs function and interact. 

  3. Iterative Collaboration. Working on a team project? API playgrounds offer shared spaces for team members to experiment together. This will give your team's collaboration the boost you didn’t know it needed.

  4. Cost Effectiveness. Full-fledged development environments and resources can be costly. An API playground is a more economical route (even some API playgrounds are free!) to test and develop. Special shoutout to our startups and independent developers. You deserve these savings. 

  5. Immediate Feedback. You don’t have to wait for a swing to become available on an API playground. Get instant feedback on your API calls. Enjoy refining and perfecting your approach in real time.

The Best AI API Playgrounds in 2023

EleutherAI’s API Playground

EleutherAI is known for producing one of the biggest open-source language models yet, NeoX 20B. Founded by Connor Leahy, Sid Black, and Leo Gao in 2020, the company emerged from Discord chatter about GPT-3. As time went on, EleutherAI evolved into a major nonprofit hub for large-scale machine learning research. You could say EleutherAI’s API playground is the result of a transformative glow-up: from chatroom to AI powerhouse.. 

EleutherAI profess They believe in the importance of free and open access to cutting-edge AI research. For example, the nonprofit research lab is behind open datasets like The Pile, which is part of the training data for OpenAI’s GPT family of models, Expanding access to AI technology and advancing the field through collaboration and open-source development.

Believe it or not, it’s genuinely free. You don’t even need to sign up to jump into this playground. 

Key features you can look forward to exploring:

Models: NeoX 20B and GPT-J 6B

Meet GPT-J with its 6 billion and GPT-NeoX boasting 20 billion parameters, respectively,  they are currently among the top dogs in open-source language models. You can think of them as cool cousins to OpenAI's GPT-3 Curie. Versatility is the name of the game here.

Temperature: Turn Up the Spice

Think of 'temperature' as the creativity dial. You get to determine how spicy the model outputs get. Crank it up for more feral outputs or dial it down to keep things more on track. Note: Temperature range is often between 0 and 1, but the range of this hyperparameter can be model-specific. Read the docs first, and take this into account as you play.

Show Abilities: Least Likely, Most Likely, and Full Spectrum

These show options allow you to see the unexpected top predictions and explore the whole range.

EleutherAI’s API playground is your (free-for-hire) co-pilot, delivering use cases to experiment with and evaluate AI models. For you developers and researchers craving more from this AI playground, you can also explore other options and longer sequence lengths at GooseAI.

Deepgram's AI Playground

Granted, we’re kind of biased here, but we think Deepgram is pretty nifty. The company is on a mission to build the category-defining toolkit for building with Language AI. The end goal is that every voice is heard and understood. Deepgram gives any developer access to world-class Language AI and offers faster, more accurate, more scalable automatic speech recognition (ASR) through its end-to-end deep learning approach. That’s the why and how.

How does Deepgram make this happen?

As a developer-first company, Deepgram makes APIs for processing streaming and batch-recorded audio data. But that’s a deep rabbit hole. Rather than diving head-first, it’s probably a good idea to test out your ideas before implementing them in code. Deepgram’s API Playground has entered the chat!

Deepgram introduced its API Playground in May 2023 and comes with key features from which all AI practitioner levels can benefit. You can expect support for all Deepgram language options, and model options (Nova, Enhanced, Base & Whisper), along with a JSON explorer and transcription view of the response, to name a few.

What goodies might make this playground your favorite:

Audio Intelligence Features

Say hello (y hola!) to topic detection, entity detection (beta), redaction, and summarization! These state-of-the-art audio intelligence features are available in English and Spanish variants.

Developer Tools

Developers (new and experienced) will benefit from the developer tools in Deepgram’s API Playground. Everything from starter apps that provide working code templates to open source projects, CLI, Python SDK, and more!

Utilization is Rewarded

It pays to play with Deepgram. Your fun rewards await you!

Customers and developers building for virtually any industry could benefit from spending some time in Deepgram’s API Playground. We leave you with a few use cases to get the juices flowing:

Healthcare:

  • Transcription of medical records and patient interactions. 

  • Voice-enabled assistance for disabled or elderly patients.

  • Summarization of medical seminars or conferences. 

Customer Service:

  • Automated voice response systems for handling customer queries.

  • Analysis of customer calls for quality assurance and training. 

  • Redaction of sensitive information in recorded calls. 

Legal Industry:

  • Transcription of legal proceedings and dispositions. 

  • Entity detection for legal research and case preparation.

With Deepgram aiming to be the top name in understanding human language, you can get to enjoy a $200 credit (up to 45,000 minutes), absolutely free, when you sign up for their API Playground. No credit card is needed. It’s giving game-changer energy, the fastest model on the market for automatic speech recognition.

HuggingFace’s API Playground

Hugging Face, co-founded by Clément Delangue and Julien Chaumond in 2016, began with chatbots. As time went on, the company embraced the broader world of natural language processing. Hugging Face’s community-driven transformers library has become a go-to for many Python users, simplifying work with well-known models like BERT and GPT-4. Beyond that, the inclusive platform offers a model hub for sharing various AI models and a dataset library that caters to global NLP needs. (Dare we say Mr. Worldwide but for NLP?) 

Are you ready to collaborate with a community?

Hugging Face’s API Playground has become a major open-source machine learning hub for experienced AI practitioners and enthusiasts alike. One of the platform’s most unique features, Spaces, offers a collection of open-source ML apps hosted by Hugging Face. Being community-generated, building powerful ML projects has never been more accessible. 

Need two more reasons to visit this playground?

Build Your Portfolio

Showcasing your AI chops is easy; just whip up a quick demo for your portfolio. All the Spaces you create are shown directly in your user or organization profile. Could this take away the need for an external portfolio completely? You tell us. 

Craft Collaboratively

Collaboration is great, but is it easy? Offering built-in version control out of the box and git-based workflows, your team will easily collaborate to create magic apps to showcase your models.

Recently, Hugging Face introduced the BigCode-StarCoder model for code generation in 86 programming languages. You now know someone who can “speak” 86 languages, and you can call them BigCode for short. We hope you two get to hang out together on the playground soon!

OpenAI's API Playground

Last but certainly not least, OpenAI. Founded in December 2015 by Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, and Sam Altman (who is now CEO) with a big goal: make sure artificial intelligence is a win for all.

OpenAI is known for its research and advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Their most notable contribution yet - the GPT models. This series comprises state-of-the-art language models designed to generate human-like text based on given prompts with models. Even with the most recent model GPT-4, AI enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting GPT-5 (will it be this year?).

If you have a ChatGPT account (free or paid) then you already have access to OpenAI’s API Playground

Let’s get right to the cool stuff you can do in this API playground.

Craft Content

Wrestling with writer’s block? Need to write in a different language altogether? Nudge this (in)famous LLM with a prompt, and watch it whip up content, translate languages, and more. It might just become your favorite creative co-pilot. 

Research and Development

If you're into AI research or development, this is your playground. Experiment, create, and build on top of OpenAI's language models. If you’re willing to pay, there are even plug-ins to maximize market research.

Ready to code?

Choose from Python, Node.js, cURL, and JSON to integrate your prompts and settings into your application.

Whether you’re writing prose or Python, project plans or performance reviews, you’ll no doubt find many of OpenAI’s models to be a helpful assistant on many everyday work tasks and beyond. Example: Folks in finance are using it to spot fishy transactions while healthcare is knocking out tedious admin tasks. This is just scratching the surface.

There is a whole world to be explored in the OpenAI API Playground. Nonetheless, we hope to see even more models on the playground soon.

Conclusion 

As we've journeyed through the digital playgrounds of 2023, it's clear that AI has reshaped our “traditional” playground experiences.

From Deepgram's voice intelligence to EleutherAI's open-source magic, and Hugging Face's community-driven platform, there's a world of AI tools to explore. And let's not forget OpenAI, with its GPT series, offering a space for both enthusiasts and pros alike.

Dive in, share your experiences, and let us know which playground you're hanging out at in Deepgram’s Github discussion forum.

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