How to clear confusion Over OpenAI API’s ‘ChatCompletion’ Attribute

How to clear confusion Over OpenAI API’s ‘ChatCompletion’ Attribute

Understanding OpenAI API Errors and Solutions

Developers integrating OpenAI’s GPT-4 and 3.5-turbo models into their applications have encountered a common error: the API module seemingly lacking the ‘ChatCompletion’ attribute. This confusion arises when attempting to use a method that is either outdated or incorrectly referenced in their code.

Common Problem Description

The error typically appears as: “Module ‘openai’ has no attribute ‘ChatCompletion’, did you mean ‘Completion’?” This occurs when using the OpenAI package version 0.28.1 or similar. The misunderstanding stems from using ‘ChatCompletion’ instead of the correct method, as highlighted in the API’s official documentation.

Standard Approaches to Address the Issue

  • Ensure OpenAI Package is Up-to-Date: An outdated package could be a root cause. Upgrading the package is often the first step:
  • For Python: pip install --upgrade openai
  • For NodeJS: npm update openai
  • Referencing the Correct API Method: The ‘ChatCompletion’ method is often mistakenly used. The correct method is ‘Completion’ for standard API calls and ‘ChatCompletion’ for chat-specific models.
  • Correcting the Method Parameters: The ‘ChatCompletion’ method does not use the ‘prompt’ parameter like ‘Completion’. It requires the ‘messages’ parameter instead.

Specific Solutions

  • Using the Correct Method and Parameters:
   import openai

   completion = openai.ChatCompletion.create(
       {"role": "system", "content": "You are a helpful assistant."},
       {"role": "user", "content": "Hello!"}
  • For Newer Versions of the OpenAI Python API:
  • Import the ‘OpenAI’ class from the openai module.
  • Use the ‘’ method for chat-based models.
  • Example: from openai import OpenAI client = OpenAI() reply = model="gpt-4", messages=[{"role": "user", "content": "Hello world"}] )
  • Reverting to an Older API Version: If necessary, one can install an older version of the API that supports the desired method:
  • pip install "openai<1"


The key to resolving this issue lies in using the correct method and parameters as per the current version of the OpenAI API. It’s crucial to reference the official OpenAI documentation for the most accurate and updated information. For developers experiencing this error, following the above guidelines should provide a clear path to resolution.

In some cases, if there is no definitive solution available in the provided text and I’m not aware of a correct answer, it is important to acknowledge the limitation and suggest further research or reaching out to OpenAI’s official support for more tailored assistance.