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OpenAI Expands ChatGPT’s Data Access With Web Browsing Feature


OpenAI, the artificial intelligence (AI) startup backed by Microsoft, has introduced a new browsing feature for its popular chatbot, ChatGPT.

This update allows ChatGPT users to surf the web, expanding the data the chatbot can access beyond its previous limitations, Reuters reported Wednesday (Sept. 27). The browsing feature, initially available to Plus and Enterprise users, will enable websites to control how ChatGPT interacts with them.

To enable browsing, users can choose the “Browse with Bing” option in the selector under GPT-4, according to the report. OpenAI plans to expand this feature to all users in the near future.

OpenAI had previously tested a feature that allowed ChatGPT users to access information through the Bing search engine, but later disabled it due to concerns that the technology could let users bypass firewalls, the report said.

ChatGPT has experienced remarkable growth, becoming the fastest-growing consumer application in history earlier this year, with 100 million monthly active users in January, per the report. This surge in popularity has attracted significant investor interest, with reports suggesting that OpenAI is discussing a possible sale of existing shares at a much higher valuation than a few months ago.

The new browsing capability comes as part of a series of updates to ChatGPT, including voice conversations and image interactions, bringing the chatbot closer to popular AI assistants like Apple’s Siri, according to the report.

When announcing the addition of voice conversations and image interactions on Monday (Sept. 25), OpenAI said, “ChatGPT can now see, hear and speak,” noting that the days of communicating with the generative AI chatbot by typing are coming to an end. 

“Voice and image give you more ways to use ChatGPT in your life,” the company said in a blog post. “Snap a picture of a landmark while traveling and have a live conversation about what’s interesting about it. When you’re home, snap picture of your fridge and pantry to figure out what’s for dinner (and ask follow-up questions for a step-by-step recipe).”

A day later, on Tuesday (Sept. 26), it was reported that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was interested in creating a native hardware device to house the company’s generative AI software. This fully integrated product strategy would be similar to the one that has made Apple the most valuable company in the world, PYMNTS reported Wednesday.

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