Artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, can now browse the internet to provide users with current and authoritative information. OpenAI made the announcement on X (formerly Twitter), stating that ChatGPT is no longer restricted to data before September 2021 thanks to its integration with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
This new feature is currently available only to paying users, but OpenAI plans to expand it to all users soon, taking into account useful feedback from a previous unsuccessful attempt to give the language model access to the live internet.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman retweeted the company’s announcement, expressing his excitement by stating “we are so back.” It is worth mentioning that ChatGPT briefly offered web browsing in March but had to disable the feature when it was discovered that users were using it to bypass website paywalls. OpenAI has closed that loophole by ensuring that the chatbot adheres to websites’ “robots.txt” code, which prevents unwanted indexing.
Responding to the announcement, several users on X raised concerns about what qualifies as “authoritative” information. This issue is particularly relevant because ChatGPT’s initial rollout generated controversies and allegations of political bias due to the AI’s tendency to mirror the biases of its Silicon Valley creators.
Microsoft Bing, which has been running its own large language model since February, claims to have a more powerful model than ChatGPT. The AI-powered Bing chatbot has already been offering web browsing capabilities for several months.
In addition to the internet browsing update, OpenAI revealed this week that ChatGPT will be able to scan and analyze images and engage in audio conversations in the future. The company also introduced Dall-E 3, a new version of its image generation AI, which incorporates some of ChatGPT’s language processing and conversation algorithms.
Furthermore, it was disclosed that the CIA’s Open Source Enterprise division is developing its own ChatGPT clone. This CIA bot will focus on delivering sourced information extracted from open source intelligence streams on the active internet. However, unlike OpenAI’s model, the CIA bot will be restricted to use within the 18 agencies that make up the US intelligence apparatus.
While OpenAI claims to avoid high-risk government or military contracts, it’s important to note that a recent $13 billion investment by Microsoft has given the tech giant, and its clients in the intelligence community, access to some of OpenAI’s most advanced AI tools.
Overall, the integration of internet browsing capabilities into ChatGPT marks a significant advancement for the AI chatbot, enabling it to provide users with up-to-date and reliable information. As OpenAI continues to refine and expand the features of ChatGPT, it will be interesting to see how this AI technology evolves and impacts various industries and sectors.