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OpenAI Restores Internet Browsing to ChatGPT


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In an exciting development, OpenAI has announced the reinstatement of internet browsing capabilities for ChatGPT, one of the most popular AI chatbots. This new feature empowers ChatGPT to scan the internet and provide users with current and up-to-date responses to their inquiries, marking a significant leap in its functionality.

Previously, ChatGPT’s knowledge base was limited to information available until September 2021. With this latest update, the chatbot can once again access the vast resources of the internet, thanks to its collaboration with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. It can now summarize pertinent contemporary information, offering users real-time insights.

OpenAI highlighted the practicality of internet browsing, especially for tasks that demand the latest information, such as aiding in technical research, assisting with product choices, or planning vacations.

This enhancement follows OpenAI’s earlier introduction of Bing search functionality in May, initially for paying customers. However, concerns arose that this feature might enable users to bypass paywalls implemented by websites, restricting content access to subscribers only. As a result, the browsing capability was temporarily suspended.

It’s worth noting that ChatGPT was not the only AI chatbot to pose a challenge to paywalls. In July, it was reported that Microsoft’s Bing Chat and Google’s Bard exhibited similar abilities, but both companies swiftly addressed this issue.

In response to the reinstatement of internet privileges, OpenAI has implemented new rules and safeguards. This includes respecting websites’ robots.txt files, which provide instructions to web crawlers on what information can or cannot be indexed. Additionally, measures have been put in place to identify user agents, allowing websites to control ChatGPT’s interactions with them.

While OpenAI has not disclosed all the specific safeguards, they have assured users that steps have been taken to prevent the chatbot from circumventing paywalls. OpenAI has also stated that ChatGPT’s reinstated internet privileges are currently limited to Plus and Enterprise users. However, the company plans to extend this feature to all users in the near future, offering even more accessibility.

This update arrived shortly after OpenAI equipped ChatGPT with advanced features, including the ability to listen to users and respond using one of five AI-generated voices. Users can also submit queries accompanied by uploaded images. These enhancements were initially introduced exclusively for paying customers, with a two-week waiting period for free tier users.

OpenAI has been experiencing remarkable growth in its services, with analysts from UBS declaring ChatGPT as the fastest-growing web app of all time back in February. Riding the wave of this success, OpenAI is reportedly exploring the possibility of selling shares held by its employees to investors, a move that could elevate its valuation to a staggering $90 billion.

The reinstatement of internet browsing capabilities in ChatGPT underscores OpenAI’s commitment to enhancing the utility and versatility of its AI models, empowering users with valuable real-time information and insights.

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