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OpenAI gives ChatGPT its web browsing capabilities back

ChatGPT will no longer be limited to older information.

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Source: KnowTechie

OpenAI has announced that its language model, ChatGPT, will once again have the ability to scour the internet for up-to-date information.

This feature, known as Browse with Bing, allows ChatGPT to provide answers derived from “current and authoritative” sources, which are then cited in its responses.

For the time being, this feature is exclusively available to Plus and Enterprise subscribers, but OpenAI has plans to extend this service to all users in the near future.

The ability to fetch live information from the web is not a new concept.

Microsoft’s Bing Chat on Windows, the Edge browser, and third-party browser plugins have been offering this feature. Google’s Bard also has similar capabilities in Chrome and other browsers.

Both Bing Chat and Bard provide links when conducting searches, a feature that ChatGPT’s Browse with Bing now also offers.

Meta has also recently announced at Meta Connect that it will utilize Bing to power real-time web results in the Meta AI Assistant, which will be integrated into WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.

Getting ChatGPT to perform a web search can be a bit tricky

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Image: KnowTechie
Log into your account
First, make sure you have an active subscription and you’re logged into your account.
Open the settings menu
Look for the three dots (also known as the more or options menu), usually located at the bottom left corner of the screen. Click on this to open a dropdown menu.
Navigate to Settings and Beta
Find and click on the Settings and Beta option in the dropdown menu. This will take you to a new page or panel with various settings options.
Look for Beta Features
In the Settings page or panel, look for the Beta Features option. Click on this to explore the latest additions to the platform.
Select Browse with Bing
In the Beta Features section, you should see the Browse with Bing feature. Click on this to enable it.
Start a new chat
Once you’ve enabled Browse with Bing, return to the main interface and start a new chat.
Make sure Browse with Bing is selected
As you start a new chat, select GPT-4 as your assistant, and select the Browse with Bing option.
Type your query
Ask your questions of ChatGPT and it will search its own databanks plus the current state of the internet, as provided by Bing.

This should enable your searches to return information from current websites. The process might be a bit slow, but it does work. When ChatGPT provides an answer to your question, you can click the link to the cited site to compare the answers.

This feature is a significant improvement, as it allows users to verify the information provided by the AI, reducing the risk of misinformation. It also provides credit to the original source of the information.

For instance, when I asked ChatGPT to tell me what it knew about KnowTechie, it browsed our About page and replied back with information that we wrote on the page. This information can be verified by visiting the link provided by ChatGPT.

ChatGPT response to web browsing: KnowTechie is a tech blog that provides engaging content about various tech topics in a jargon-free, conversational tone to make technology enjoyable and accessible to a broad audience.
Image: KnowTechie

Why did OpenAI remove ChatGPT’s web browsing feature in the first place?

OpenAI had previously introduced the internet browsing feature in its ChatGPT iOS app in late June, but it was quickly removed.

Users had discovered that they could manipulate the chatbot into providing content that was otherwise behind a paywall by directly feeding a URL to it.

In response to this, OpenAI’s automated crawler, which supplies information to the model powering ChatGPT, now identifies itself with a user agent.

This allows sites to exclude OpenAI from crawling their websites simply by updating their Robots.txt file.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nick

    October 21, 2023 at 2:05 am

    The Utopia P2P browser continues to lead in online privacy and security. The seamless integration of ChatGPT into the browser enhances user interactions without the need for separate software or applications.

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