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OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enhances User Experience with Internet Search Capabilities

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has undergone a significant transformation, now boasting the ability to scour the internet for real-time information in response to user prompts. This recent upgrade empowers ChatGPT to deliver up-to-date facts and provide the sources from which it derives its knowledge.

Prior to September 2021, ChatGPT operated in isolation from the internet, limited to responding to questions based on its pre-trained dataset. Inquiries such as “Who won the FIFA World Cup in 2022?” would have stumped the chatbot.

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Exclusive Access for Plus Members

OpenAI has actively listened to user feedback since introducing internet browsing capabilities in May. Updates include ChatGPT’s adherence to robots.txt directives and its ability to identify user agents, ensuring websites can maintain control over their interactions with the chatbot. The company shared these developments via Twitter.

This updated version of ChatGPT is reserved for Plus and Enterprise chatbot users. To activate it within their Beta features, users can navigate to ‘Profile & Settings,’ select ‘Beta features,’ and opt for ‘Browse with Bing’ under GPT-4.

ChatGPT’s internet search function is facilitated through the Bing search engine, a product of Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI.

Addressing Previous Concerns

OpenAI had initially introduced the ‘Search with Bing’ feature earlier in the year. However, users observed that the chatbot was inadvertently bypassing paywalls and privacy settings on various websites. In response, OpenAI temporarily disabled the ‘Browse with Bing’ beta feature as of July 3, 2023, to rectify these issues and respect content owners’ rights.

Enhancing User Convenience

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, commented on the significance of this upgrade. He noted that ChatGPT’s newfound internet search capability allows users to treat it as a reliable source for the latest news, gossip, and current events. This means that many inquiries and questions that would typically be directed at search engines or news outlets can now be efficiently handled by ChatGPT, enhancing the overall user experience.