Until now, OpenAI’s powerful artificial intelligence tool, ChatGPT, was limited by its lack of access to recent internet searches. This provided a sense of security for many but also served as a natural constraint on the tool. It was only a matter of time before this limitation was removed.
OpenAI has announced today that ChatGPT can once again browse the web for current information, providing answers sourced directly from “current and authoritative” sources, which it cites in its responses.
The feature, called “Explore with Bing,” is currently only available to Plus and Enterprise subscribers, but the company says it will expand it to “all users soon.”
An option that already existed in other services
The chat feature in Microsoft’s Bing on Windows, in the Edge browser, and in third-party browser extensions could already provide real-time web information, as could Google’s Bard in Chrome and other browsers.
Both also offer links when searching, similar to what the “Browse with Bing” feature in ChatGPT does now. Meta has also announced during Meta Connect that it will use Bing to enhance real-time web results in the Meta AI assistant being added to WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.
For those who remember, OpenAI added the ability to browse the internet in its ChatGPT app for iOS at the end of June but quickly withdrew it because users discovered they could convince the chatbot to provide them with paid content by directly entering a URL.
Since then, OpenAI’s automated crawler, which provides information to the model that powers ChatGPT, has started to identify itself as a user agent so that websites can voluntarily exclude themselves from its analysis by updating their Robots.txt file to prohibit it.
From now on, ChatGPT becomes a much more powerful tool. Being up-to-date with current events and having the ability to browse the internet makes it an AI with more potential, which also means it can be more of a potential concern, depending on how you look at it.