Inconsistent file access using assistant api

Description: I’ve encountered an issue with the Assistant API related to file handling. When using the Assistant API’s playground, it appears to have access to files uploaded to the assistant. However, when the API is called programmatically, its behavior is inconsistent.

Steps to Reproduce:

  1. Upload files to the Assistant.
  2. Test file access in the API playground - files are accessible.
  3. Make an API call to query the files (e.g., “What files do you have?”).
  4. Attempt to perform operations on these files through the API (e.g., summarizing content or answering questions based on the file contents).

Expected Behavior: The API should be able to access and interact with the files consistently, both in the playground and when called programmatically. This includes performing tasks like summarizing content or answering questions based on these files.

Actual Behavior: The API successfully acknowledges and lists the files when queried. However, when asked to perform tasks involving the content of these files, it fails to access them, despite the fact that file IDs are attached and visible in the API response.


I’m having similar issues. The playground does seem to behave differently, but when using the python SDK wrapper around the API:

  • It can’t/won’t retrieve files
  • It complains about missing magic module in the environment
  • It complains about not being able to read ISO-8859-1 files
  • It can’t parse a basic .csv file (this has been a known issue for some time)
  • When it does read a file, it’s an AWS PDF manual clearly marked as such, and it tried to use if for something completely different
  • It refuses to follow instructions

I have given up trying to use this API with lack of streaming and chain of thought introspection. I’m switching to the Completions API with functions for RAG.