Chat completions powered by OpenAI's GPT can offer a truly magical experience to users. However, when consuming this service through their API, it can be frustrating for the user to wait for the whole API response. Streaming responses can help mitigate this problem. When enabled, the OpenAI server can send tokens as data-only Server-Sent Events (SSE) as they become available, creating a chat-like experience. In this blog, we will explore how to configure and implement streaming in OpenAI's chat completions API. We will also look at how to consume these streams using Node.js, highlighting the differences between OpenAI's streaming API and standard SSE.
Streaming is a technique that allows data to be sent and received incrementally, without waiting for the entire data to be ready. This can improve performance and user experience, especially for large or dynamic data.
For example, imagine you are watching a video on YouTube. You don't have to wait for the entire video to be downloaded before you can start watching it. Instead, YouTube streams the video in small chunks as you watch it. This way, you can enjoy the video without buffering or interruptions.