OpenAI, the organization responsible for the widely recognized chatbot ChatGPT, has officially unveiled the real-time internet browsing feature for ChatGPT. This development comes three weeks after the beta version of the capability was reintroduced, although it has been a journey marked by significant challenges.
For a significant portion of ChatGPT’s existence, its responses were limited to data sets up to September 2021. When users asked about current events, it would typically reply with, “I don’t have the ability to browse the internet in real time.” However, one of OpenAI’s key objectives has been to expand ChatGPT’s data and search engine capabilities to include current information.
In March, OpenAI experimented with a ChatGPT web-browsing plugin for a select group of users. In May, the organization introduced “Browse with Bing,” but in June, the feature was temporarily suspended after some users found ways to bypass paywalls, leading to concerns about content accessibility. OpenAI has since been gradually reintroducing the feature after allowing website owners to opt out of web crawling. As of this week, “Browse with Bing” is officially out of beta and appears to be here to stay.
Additionally, ChatGPT now has the ability to generate images using OpenAI’s DALL-E 3, the latest version of its image-generation artificial intelligence model. However, this capability has been rolled out in beta mode to specific users.
According to OpenAI, “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.”
Since its launch in November of the previous year, ChatGPT has become the fastest-growing consumer application ever recorded, with approximately 100 million monthly active users in just two months, according to a UBS study. This growth has ignited a competitive AI race, prompting tech giants to develop new features, apps, and user experiences to distinguish their chatbots. Two prominent competitors in this race are OpenAI with ChatGPT and Google with its rival, Bard.
Earlier this year, Microsoft made a significant investment in OpenAI, committing an additional $10 billion, making it the most substantial AI investment of the year, as reported by PitchBook. In April, OpenAI reportedly completed a $300 million share sale, valuing the startup between $27 billion and $29 billion, with backing from firms like Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.