OpenAI has reactivated the web search functionality for ChatGPT, its generative AI tool. Initially launched in May, the feature was temporarily pulled in July due to concerns of users bypassing paywalls. The new search function is powered by Microsoft's Bing search engine, a major investor in OpenAI. This is seen as a crucial step in providing users with real-time, up-to-date information by directly linking to "current and authoritative" sources.
The move comes after receiving valuable feedback from the initial launch. OpenAI has made necessary updates to the system, including adhering to robots.txt instructions. It also worked on the identification of user agents so websites can better control their interaction with ChatGPT.
The ability to search the web in real time provides significant advantages. This is especially true as it gives AI systems like ChatGPT awareness of the present, beyond the data they were trained on. Users can now access the most current and relevant information, making ChatGPT even more useful for a wide array of tasks, from technical research to travel planning.
Initially, this ChatGPT web browsing feature is available for Plus and Enterprise subscribers. However there are already plans to roll it out to all users in the near future. To utilize this feature, users need to select "GPT-4" and then click on "Browse with Bing." Although the feature is currently accessible via the web interface, it's worth mentioning that some users have reported difficulty activating the search function.