OpenAI’s ChatGPT Expands Browsing Capabilities

OpenAI announced on platform X that its chatbot can now access the internet in real-time and provide direct source links. This feature is available for ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise subscribers, allowing them to access information beyond the 2021 cutoff, enhancing the chatbot’s reliability.

The integration with Microsoft’s Bing browser facilitates ChatGPT’s internet connectivity. This collaboration was initially introduced at Microsoft Build in May and later extended to ChatGPT Plus users. However, OpenAI discontinued it after discovering users bypassing paywalls.

To activate this feature:

  • Go to ‘Profile & Settings’
  • Click on ‘Beta features’
  • Turn on ‘Browse with Bing’
  • Select Browse with Bing under GPT-4.

This browsing feature is accessible on both iOS and Android versions of the ChatGPT app.

However, the decision to restrict ChatGPT’s browsing to Bing has raised eyebrows. While OpenAI’s close ties with Microsoft, a major investor in the startup, might explain this choice, Bing’s search engine has faced criticism in the past. A 2011 study indicated a bias towards Microsoft-related results, and recent Stanford research highlighted disinformation in Bing’s top results. While Microsoft is working on enhancing Bing, the limitation means users lack alternative search options within ChatGPT.

OpenAI has assured that this capability will soon be accessible to all users. In the meantime, Bing Chat remains a viable alternative as it’s compatible with GPT-4, offers internet access, cites sources, and is available at no cost.

Recently, OpenAI also revealed that ChatGPT has the ability to “see, hear, and speak,” indicating its capacity to process image and voice inputs and produce voice outputs. The upcoming search and response tools are set to roll out for ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise subscribers in the coming weeks.

ChatGPT’s rapid growth earlier this year made it the fastest-growing consumer application in history, boasting 100 million monthly active users in January. However, its top spot was soon taken over by Meta’s Threads app. This meteoric rise has significantly increased investor interest in OpenAI. Recent reports from sources revealed that OpenAI is currently in discussions with shareholders about a potential sale of existing shares at a valuation much higher than just a few months prior.

The addition of real-time browsing in ChatGPT underscores the AI industry’s challenges. While expanding AI’s capabilities can enhance its utility, it also introduces potential risks and ethical concerns. As AI technology progresses, the balance between functionality and safety becomes crucial. As ChatGPT evolves, users should remain discerning and verify the chatbot’s information for accuracy and reliability.


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