OpenAI has introduced a new browsing feature for ChatGPT Plus premium subscribers. This new integration is expected to enhance the utility of its AI-powered chatbot significantly.
The feature, aptly named Browsing, allows users to engage ChatGPT in web-based searches through Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.
Users can navigate to the New Features section in the app settings to enable Browsing. Then, choose the ‘GPT-4’ option in the model switcher and select ‘Browse with Bing’ from the dropdown list. The browsing feature is available across iOS and Android versions of the ChatGPT app.
OpenAI has underscored the Browsing feature’s relevance for current events inquiries, which is especially important for information outside ChatGPT’s initial training data scope.
Without the Browsing feature, the chatbot’s knowledge would be confined to information until 2021. The advent of Browsing could mark a turning point for ChatGPT, especially for research purposes. Prior to this update, questions regarding contemporary events, such as, “Who won the 2023 March Madness women’s tournament?” would fail to yield accurate or useful results.
Concerns, Enhancements And More
Despite the tangible benefits of Browsing, the decision to limit the chatbot’s web search capabilities exclusively to Bing has sparked some criticism.
This constraint appears to be influenced by business considerations, including OpenAI’s close collaboration with Microsoft, which has invested over $10 billion in the startup.
The integration of Bing into OpenAI’s ChatGPT app demonstrates an ambitious step towards enhancing the chatbot’s functionalities.
However, Bing’s performance and reliability as a search engine have been subject to scrutiny and doubt. An analysis in 2011 suggested that Bing might be biased towards Microsoft-related results over Google links. Furthermore, a Stanford study indicated that Bing’s top search results contained a troubling quantity of disinformation.
Microsoft continues its efforts to enhance Bing’s algorithms. Meanwhile, ChatGPT’s Browsing feature faces the challenge of users not having any other search engine options when Bing falters.
However, some experts have praised this new integration. According to them, it’s an era of increasing reliance on accurate and timely information.
Besides the Browsing feature, OpenAI also announced another user-friendly change to the ChatGPT app. Now, tapping on a search result leads users directly to the respective point in the conversation. Both Browsing and this additional update are expected to roll out this week.
Adding the Browsing feature to the ChatGPT app is seemingly a big step in improving its abilities. However, the exclusive reliance on Bing for web searches could potentially hinder the feature’s full potential.
With both the positives and negatives in perspective, only time will tell how users respond to these changes.