ChatGPT Breaks Boundaries: Internet Browsing Enabled, Access to Information Beyond 2021

OpenAI, the artificial intelligence (AI) firm, has made a significant stride by enabling ChatGPT to access the internet, integrating real-time information into its responses. This development was announced in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) on September 27.

The update is currently available to Plus and Enterprise users utilizing the GPT-4 model, as indicated in the post. OpenAI has stated that web browsing functionality will be extended to other users in the near future. However, it remains unclear whether this means GPT-4 will become accessible to non-premium users or if web browsing will be implemented for the existing GPT 3.5 model. OpenAI has not provided clarification on this matter as of now.

As stated in the post:

“ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It is no longer limited to data before September 2021.”

Prior to this update, ChatGPT faced limitations in its knowledge base, with its information cutoff date in 2021. This limitation was a result of the training process for AI models like generative pre-trained transformers (GPT).

OpenAI previously conducted testing on ChatGPT’s web browsing capability, reporting both successes and challenges. In June 2023, it was noted that beta versions of ChatGPT with browsing capabilities were being used to bypass paywalls. However, there were instances of the AI generating inaccurate or mixed information, combining recent and historical data.

This enhancement to ChatGPT’s capabilities comes shortly after OpenAI’s announcement on September 25 that the chatbot would receive a multimodal update. This update enables ChatGPT, including GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, to comprehend spoken queries in plain language and respond using one of five different voices, in addition to being able to view and interpret images.

OpenAI has also recently introduced DALL-E 3, the latest iteration of its image-generation AI.

With these ongoing updates across its product portfolio, OpenAI is generating significant anticipation for its inaugural developer’s conference, OpenAI DevDay, scheduled for November 6 in San Francisco. Attendees will be eager to discover what other advancements and innovations the company has in store.

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