ChatGPT adds real-time web browsing feature to compete with Google Bard

The new web-enabled features allow ChatGPT users to obtain up-to-date information and ask inquiries about current events and topics

BS Web Team New Delhi
ChatGPT, OpenAI, web browsing

Photo: Reuters

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With a significant update to the ChatGPT app from OpenAI, users can now use the AI chatbot to browse the internet.
The extremely well-liked tool, which reached 100 million users in record time just two months after its launch in November 2022, was trained on a dataset that ended in 2021, severely restricting its capabilities in comparison to some of its more recent competitors.

The new web-enabled features allow ChatGPT users to obtain up-to-date information and ask inquiries about current events and topics.
Access to more than 70 third-party browser plugins, including travel planning websites like Expedia and Kayak, as well as productivity tools like Slack and Zapier is another one of the new features.

Only ChatGPT Plus subscribers — who pay $20 per month for premium access to the app — can currently access the update.
“We’re rolling out web browsing and Plugins to all ChatGPT Plus users,” OpenAI announced. “Moving from alpha to beta, they allow ChatGPT to access the internet and to use 70+ third-party plugins," it added.

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The update comes shortly after Google overhauled its Bard AI system and integrated it with several of its key services, including Gmail and Maps.
Google also made Bard free for users in 180 countries and regions, eliminating the need to join a waitlist.

Both OpenAI and Google's announcements come amid increased scrutiny of AI safety by lawmakers and regulators.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman will testify before Congress this week about generative AI and the risks it poses to society.

"Artificial intelligence urgently needs rules and safeguards to address its immense promise and pitfalls," said Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the Senate group on privacy and technology.
"This hearing begins our Subcommittee's work in overseeing and illuminating AI's advanced algorithms and powerful technology," he said.

(With agency input)

First Published: May 17 2023 | 10:23 AM IST

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