OpenAI, the parent company, made an announcement on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, stating that their Artificial Intelligence chatbot, ChatGPT, now has the capability to independently search the Internet.
In a Twitter thread, OpenAI explained that ChatGPT can now browse the web to provide users with up-to-date and credible information, along with direct links to the sources. This enhancement has freed ChatGPT from its previous limitation, which confined its knowledge to data available up to September 2021. This new browsing capability is made possible through integration with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Initially, this feature is exclusively available to paying users, but OpenAI has plans to extend it to all users in the near future. This decision comes after considering valuable feedback from a previous, unsuccessful attempt to grant the large language model access to live internet content.
OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, retweeted the announcement, expressing enthusiasm with the declaration “we are so back.” It’s worth noting that ChatGPT briefly offered web browsing in March but had to disable the feature due to concerns about its use for bypassing website paywalls. OpenAI clarified that this loophole has since been addressed, and the chatbot now adheres to websites’ “robots.txt” code, preventing unwanted indexing.
Responding to the promotional posts on X, some users questioned what defines “authoritative” information. ChatGPT’s initial release led to extensive discussions on its apparent political biases, which seemed to align with the perspectives commonly found in Silicon Valley, making it challenging to mitigate.
Microsoft Bing has been running its own large language model since February, claiming to surpass ChatGPT in terms of power. Microsoft’s AI has been offering web browsing for several months.
In addition to web browsing, OpenAI recently revealed that ChatGPT can now analyze images and engage in audio conversations. The company also introduced a new version of its image generation AI, Dall-E 3, which incorporates some of ChatGPT’s language processing and conversation algorithms.
Furthermore, OpenAI disclosed that the CIA’s Open Source Enterprise division is actively developing a ChatGPT clone capable of delivering information sourced from open source intelligence streams on the live internet. However, unlike OpenAI’s model, Langley’s bot will be confined to the 18 agencies comprising the U.S. intelligence community. Despite OpenAI’s claim of avoiding “high-risk” government or military contracts, Microsoft’s recent $13 billion investment in the company has provided the tech giant and its intelligence community clients with access to some of OpenAI’s most sought-after AI tools.