ChatGPT by OpenAI Resumes Real-Time Web Search Capabilities Once More


OpenAI's ChatGPT has reintroduced its real-time web search feature, which was disabled earlier this year due to concerns over bypassing paywalls. This move, facilitated through a partnership with Microsoft's Bing search engine, aims to provide users with the most current and authoritative information.


OpenAI's decision to disable the web search capability in July arose from concerns that it was being exploited to access paywalled content. However, recognizing the feature's importance, OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, has decided to relaunch the browsing feature.

Key Features and Advantages

  • Integration with Bing: ChatGPT's browsing capability is powered by Bing, Microsoft's search engine. This collaboration is notable, given that Microsoft is a significant investor in OpenAI.
  • Up-to-date Information: This reintroduced feature allows ChatGPT to pull current data from the internet, moving beyond its last training cut-off in September 2021. As a result, users can access the latest information on various subjects, enhancing the tool's versatility.
  • Robust Feedback Mechanism: OpenAI has taken into account feedback from its initial launch, introducing updates that respect site restrictions (using robots.txt) and ensuring transparency with user agents.
  • Diverse Use Cases: With the ability to browse, ChatGPT can assist users in a variety of tasks that demand contemporary information. Examples include technical research, product recommendations, and vacation planning.

Limitations and Availability

Currently, the browsing feature is exclusively available to Plus and Enterprise subscribers. However, OpenAI has plans to roll it out to the broader user base shortly. For users keen to enable this feature, OpenAI guides them to select "GPT-4" followed by "Browse with Bing." There have been reports from users facing challenges in activating the search function. At present, it seems the feature is only accessible via the web interface and corresponds to the "September 27" version release.


OpenAI's decision to reinstate ChatGPT's browsing capability reflects its commitment to keeping the AI tool relevant and up-to-date. While concerns over bypassing paywalls led to its temporary suspension, the partnership with Bing and the implemented safeguards signal a more responsible and user-centric approach. This move, coinciding with Meta's announcement of AI experiences incorporating Bing search, underscores the rising prominence of real-time information retrieval in AI systems.

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