In a groundbreaking move, OpenAI, the tech giant renowned for its advanced artificial intelligence models, has officially rolled out real-time internet browsing for ChatGPT, its widely popular chatbot. This development comes after weeks of testing and refinement, marking a significant step in OpenAI’s mission to enhance ChatGPT’s capabilities and bring it into the present moment.
Historically, ChatGPT has been limited to data sets up until September 2021. Any inquiries about current events were met with a standard response: “I don’t have the ability to browse the internet in real time.” However, OpenAI has been dedicated to expanding ChatGPT’s data and search engine capabilities to include the most recent information.
The journey towards real-time internet browsing has not been without its challenges. OpenAI introduced a web-browsing plugin for a select group of users in March, followed by the debut of Browse with Bing in May. However, the feature was temporarily halted in June due to concerns about users bypassing paywalled content. OpenAI has since addressed these issues, allowing site owners to opt out of web crawling. As of Tuesday, Browse with Bing is officially out of beta, demonstrating OpenAI’s commitment to making real-time internet browsing a core feature of ChatGPT.
Additionally, ChatGPT has gained a new artistic skill — generating images using OpenAI’s DALL-E 3, the latest iteration of its image-generation artificial intelligence model. Although this capability is currently in beta mode and accessible to specific users, it represents a remarkable stride in the integration of AI technologies.
“From a simple sentence to a detailed paragraph, ask ChatGPT what you want to see, and it will translate your ideas into exceptionally accurate images,” OpenAI explained in its release notes.
ChatGPT’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. Launched in November, it quickly became the fastest-growing consumer application ever recorded, boasting approximately 100 million monthly active users within two months, according to a UBS study. This success triggered an AI arms race, prompting tech giants to innovate and develop new features, applications, and user experiences to distinguish their chatbots from the competition. OpenAI, alongside its competitor Bard from Google, has been at the forefront of this race, continually pushing the boundaries of what AI-driven conversational agents can achieve.
OpenAI’s expansion has also attracted significant investments. Earlier this year, Microsoft, a key player in the tech industry, increased its investment in OpenAI by an additional $10 billion, making it the most substantial AI investment of the year, according to PitchBook. In April, OpenAI reportedly closed a $300 million share sale, valuing the company between $27 billion and $29 billion. Notable investors include firms such as Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
As OpenAI continues to evolve and innovate, the integration of real-time internet browsing and image generation capabilities into ChatGPT underscores the company’s dedication to advancing AI technology. For users in South Africa and around the world, this means a more interactive and responsive chatbot experience, ushering in a new era of AI-driven interactions.
For more information, please refer to the table below:
|March||Experimentation with ChatGPT web-browsing plugin for select users|
|May||Introduction of Browse with Bing feature|
|June||Temporary suspension of web browsing due to concerns about bypassing paywalls|
|October||Official rollout of Browse with Bing out of beta|
|October||Introduction of image generation capability using DALL-E 3 in beta mode|
OpenAI’s strides in artificial intelligence not only shape the future of technology but also redefine how we interact with AI-driven applications, bringing us closer to a more connected and intelligent world.