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June 28, 2023

OpenAI Revolutionizes ChatGPT Plus with Browsing Feature

Introduction of the browsing feature to ChatGPT Plus represents a significant advancement

OpenAI, the leading AI-powered chatbot provider, has just unveiled an exciting addition to its premium subscription service, ChatGPT Plus. Subscribers can now access the Browsing feature on the ChatGPT app, allowing them to conduct web searches using the powerful capabilities of Bing, Microsoft's search engine.

To enable Browsing, users can simply navigate to the New Features section in the app settings. From there, select "GPT-4" in the model switcher and choose "Browse with Bing" from the drop-down menu. This feature is available on both iOS and Android versions of the ChatGPT app.

OpenAI emphasizes that Browsing is particularly beneficial for inquiries related to current events and other knowledge that surpasses ChatGPT's original training data. By enabling Browsing, users can expand their access to information beyond the 2021 knowledge cutoff point. Browsing represents a significant enhancement to ChatGPT, transforming it into a more valuable assistant, especially for research purposes. Prior to this update, asking ChatGPT questions like "Who won the 2023 March Madness women's tournament?" would yield limited or incorrect results. Now, with Browsing, users can expect more accurate and up-to-date responses.

However, some users may find it disconcerting that ChatGPT's browsing capabilities are limited to Bing. While the motivations behind this choice are clear—OpenAI's close partnership with Microsoft, which has invested over $10 billion in the startup—it may be seen as a somewhat user-hostile move. Bing, although continuously improving, is not the sole comprehensive search engine available.

In the past, Bing has faced scrutiny for potentially favoring Microsoft-related results over those of its competitors. Moreover, a recent Stanford study raised concerns about the presence of disinformation in Bing's top search results. This limitation means that if Bing fails to deliver accurate information, ChatGPT users are left without alternative search options.

On a lighter note, OpenAI also announced a less controversial update to the ChatGPT app. Tapping on a search result now takes users directly to the relevant point in the conversation. This convenient enhancement, coupled with the Browsing feature, will be rolled out this week.

While the limitation to a single search engine may raise some concerns, it undeniably enhances ChatGPT's utility as a research tool. OpenAI's commitment to continually improving the app experience is evident with the added convenience of tapping on search results to navigate conversations seamlessly.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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