OpenAI, the AI research organization with backing from Microsoft, announced a significant enhancement to its ChatGPT application on Wednesday, granting users the ability to browse the web. This development broadens the scope of data accessible to ChatGPT beyond its previous cutoff in September 2021.
The new browsing feature allows ChatGPT to access and interact with websites, providing users with more comprehensive and real-time information. OpenAI emphasized that website owners will have control over how ChatGPT interacts with their sites, ensuring a safe and tailored browsing experience.
In their announcement on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), OpenAI stated, “Browsing is available to Plus and Enterprise users today, and we’ll expand to all users soon. To enable, choose Browse with Bing in the selector under GPT-4.”
Additionally, OpenAI revealed a major update earlier in the week, enhancing ChatGPT’s capabilities to engage in voice conversations with users and interact using images. These updates bring ChatGPT closer to popular AI assistants like Apple’s Siri, providing a more dynamic and interactive user experience.
Previously, OpenAI had tested a feature allowing users to access the latest information through the Bing search engine within its premium ChatGPT Plus offering. However, concerns about potential bypassing of paywalls led to the feature’s temporary disablement.
ChatGPT has experienced exponential growth in consumer usage, becoming the fastest-growing consumer application in history earlier this year. It achieved a significant milestone, boasting 100 million monthly active users in January. This growth has attracted substantial investor interest in OpenAI, with recent reports, including from Reuters, suggesting that the startup is in discussions with shareholders regarding a possible sale of existing shares at a significantly higher valuation than just a few months ago. The trajectory of ChatGPT and OpenAI continues to shape the landscape of AI-driven applications, captivating both users and investors alike.