Question Regarding API Costs and "Context Length Exceeded" Error

Hello OpenAI community,

I’ve been working with the ChatGPT API and recently encountered the “context length exceeded” error. I understand that this error indicates my input text length has surpassed the maximum allowed limit. However, I’m unsure about the cost implications of this.

  1. When the “context length exceeded” error occurs, am I still charged for that API call?
  2. How does the API’s pricing model handle inputs that are too long?

I couldn’t find explicit details about this in the official documentation. I’d greatly appreciate any clarification or direction to the relevant documentation.

Thank you in advance for your assistance!

The API has simply encoded the input and found that it is too large to pass to an AI model. You are not charged for the refusal.

max_tokens that you set with your API call as space purely reserved for an output will also take away from the input you can provide.

Ultimately, you should use a token-counting library on your end to make automated decisions about what content can be sent and what settings to use, including chat history.

1 Like

Thank you for the swift and clear clarification. It helps a lot to understand the implications of the “context length exceeded” error. I’ll look into implementing a token-counting library as you suggested to manage my input more efficiently. I truly appreciate your guidance on this matter!