File search + vector store confusion

assistants: an endpoint with individual assistants that are a collection of instructions.

files endpoint: where you upload any files to be used, with several purposes besides assistants.

vector store: the places where your chunked document files go. When you add uploaded files to a vector database, text extraction is performed, chunking is performed on the text, and embeddings metadata is added allowing semantic search on those pieces to find the most relevant results.

File search: the function the AI can call to submit searches and receive results based on similarity.


A single vector store can be attached to an assistant. It doesn’t have a default one.
A single vector store can be created when you attach files to a thread’s messages (which don’t appear alongside the message).


Retrieval-augmented generation to me is automatic retrieval first (based on the conversation), then generation that is augmented by that. Not what assistants have.

Search is just that: an AI “Googling” of your documents, without basis in keywords but in meanings, and returning larger pieces as the end result.

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