OpenAI has just made an exciting announcement for subscribers to ChatGPT Plus, the premium version of its AI-powered chatbot. Users can now enjoy a new feature called Browsing, which allows ChatGPT to search the web for answers to their questions. However, there is a catch—ChatGPT can only browse the web via Bing.
To enable Browsing, users can navigate to the New Features section in the app settings. From there, they can select “GPT-4” in the model switcher and choose “Browse with Bing” from the drop-down list. This feature is available on both the iOS and Android versions of the ChatGPT app.
OpenAI highlights that Browsing is particularly useful for inquiries related to current events and other information beyond the model’s training data, which currently cuts off in 2021. This new capability enhances ChatGPT’s usefulness as a research tool, allowing users to obtain up-to-date information.
While Browsing with Bing expands ChatGPT’s capabilities, limiting its search functionality exclusively to Bing may be viewed as a user-hostile move. It is apparent that this decision stems from OpenAI’s close partnership with Microsoft, which has heavily invested in the startup. However, Bing is not regarded as the most comprehensive search engine available. Past analyses have suggested that Bing may favor Microsoft-related results, and a recent study from Stanford raised concerns about the presence of disinformation in Bing’s top search results.
Although Microsoft is undoubtedly working to improve Bing’s algorithms, the limitation to a single search engine poses a challenge. If Bing fails to deliver accurate or satisfactory results, ChatGPT users will have no alternatives at their disposal.
In other news related to the ChatGPT app, OpenAI has implemented a change that allows users to tap on search results and be directed to the relevant point in the conversation. This enhancement, coupled with the introduction of Browsing, is set to roll out during the current week.
While the addition of web browsing capabilities to ChatGPT is undoubtedly a step forward, the exclusive reliance on Bing as the search engine may raise concerns for some users. However, with OpenAI’s commitment to innovation, it remains to be seen whether alternative browsing options will be made available in the future.