OpenAI has introduced a new capability for ChatGPT, enabling the AI to browse the internet for real-time information. This feature, named “Browse with Bing,” leverages Microsoft's Bing search engine to provide users with up-to-date and authoritative answers, complete with direct links to sources. The enhancement marks a departure from the AI's previous limitation of only supplying information available up to September 2021.
Named “Browse with Bing,” this feature utilizes Microsoft's Bing search engine to furnish users with answers that are not only up-to-date but also authoritative, accompanied by citations to the sources. This development signifies a pivotal shift from the AI's prior constraint of providing information that was only available up until September 2021.
Enhanced Access and User Interaction
ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It is no longer limited to data before September 2021. pic.twitter.com/pyj8a9HWkB
— OpenAI (@OpenAI) September 27, 2023
The decision to integrate Bing is not coincidental, considering Microsoft's substantial investment in OpenAI and the pre-existing incorporation of GPT-4 in Microsoft's Bing Chat chatbot. This partnership is a testament to the ongoing collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI, with the former gaining privileged access to the latter's technological breakthroughs. However, it is worth noting that this new integration is not directly linked to Bing Chat but rather the Bing search engine.
Users seeking to leverage this feature will find a series of instructions provided by OpenAI for the browser version, guiding them through the activation process. Once activated, users can initiate a new chat, select GPT-4, and opt for “Browse with Bing” to start receiving information directly from current websites. Despite being described as somewhat slow, the feature has been received positively for its functionality and the ability to verify the AI's responses with the original sources.
Addressing User Needs and Ensuring Compliance
OpenAI underscores the practicality of this enhancement for a myriad of tasks that require the most recent information, such as conducting technical research, making informed product choices, and planning vacations. To address the ethical and legal aspects of web interaction, the update incorporates compliance with robots.txt and identifies itself with a user agent. This allows websites to exercise control over ChatGPT's access, addressing the earlier challenges where users could potentially retrieve paywalled content by feeding specific URLs, leading to a temporary retraction of the browsing capability in the ChatGPT iOS app.
Competition and Future Developments
With the advent of “Browse with Bing,” ChatGPT finds itself amidst a competitive landscape featuring other major tech entities like Google's Bard and Microsoft's own Bing Chat, both of which offer real-time web results. Additionally, Meta has recently disclosed its plans to integrate Bing to power real-time web results in its new Meta AI Assistant across a variety of platforms, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.
OpenAI remains committed to advancing ChatGPT's functionalities. Recent enhancements include the introduction of voice interaction and image analysis features for mobile applications. Moreover, OpenAI has launched DALL-E 3, an upgraded version of its renowned AI image creator, showcasing its continuous efforts to push the boundaries of AI technology.