29th September 2023

Weekly Prompt: ChatGPT can now search the web and other AI news

ChatGPT can now browse the internet

OpenAI announced a major update to ChatGPT this week. The chatbot can now browse the internet to provide users with up-to-date information for their inquiries, instead of being limited to data prior to September 2021, which is what it had been trained on. The feature called ‘Browse with Bing’ will notify users when it is looking up information from the web and provide citation links with its answers.

Browsing is available to Plus and Enterprise users today and according to OpenAI it: “will expand to all users soon,” though no timetable for the broader roll-out has been given. To enable the feature, users need to choose ‘Browse with Bing’ in the selector under GPT-4.

The company advised that its latest browsing feature would allow websites to control how ChatGPT can interact with them. Some news sites have chosen to block OpenAI's web crawler tool due to unfair web scraping which might lead to copyright infringement and lack of compensation or credit. So, while ChatGPT is connected to the web, it will be missing out on news sites such as the New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Guardian, Reuters, and CNN.

ChatGPT with internet access is a powerful tool but it is not the first chatbot to access real time information. Microsoft’s Bing Chat on Windows and Edge browser can already return live information from the web, as can Google’s Bard in Chrome and other browsers. And now Meta has announced it will also use Bing to power real-time web results in the Meta AI Assistant it is adding to WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

OpenAI has also revealed that ChatGPT will be able to deal with voice commands and image-based queries soon. Users on Android and iOS who opt in will be able to have voice conversations with ChatGPT. The conversations are powered by a new text-to-speech model that can generate "human-like audio from just text and a few seconds of sample speech."  The new image recognition function will mean that users can ask ChatGPT questions about images. As an example, you could show it a picture of what is in your fridge and get it to help to create a meal plan based on the contents. The voice and image features are also only available for Plus and Enterprise users initially preceding a wider roll-out.

Sources: BBC, Mashable, The Verge, Engadget

Additional prompts

Amazon plans to invest up to $4 billion in AI start up Anthropic, upping the stakes in the AI wars. Anthropic is a competitor to OpenAI and best known for its large language model Claude. The move gives Amazon a stake in a foundational AI company to compete with Google and Microsoft. Read more.

Meta is putting AI chatbots everywhere. At the Meta Connect event this week the company announced that the Meta AI assistant is coming to WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, along with dozens of AI characters based on celebrities like MrBeast and Charli D’Amelio. Read more.

Snapchat’s is looking to monetize its new “My AI” chatbot via a new partnership with Microsoft that will see sponsored links inserted into relevant My AI responses in the app. Microsoft Ads clients in the U.S. and selected markets will now be able to engage with Snapchatters through My AI “to seamlessly deliver links that are relevant to the conversation”. Read more

Microsoft is starting to roll out one of its biggest updates to Windows 11 yet. It includes access to the new Windows Copilot, AI-powered updates to Paint, Snipping Tool, and Photos, RGB lighting support, a modernized File Explorer, and much more. Read more.

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