ChatGPT’s internet access has been resumed with changes to manage crawling/paywall bypassing.
OpenAI has rolled out a fresh update to its ChatGPT tool allowing it to browse the internet in real time.
ChatGPT’s premium version Plus used to have a “Browse” feature allowing users to get responses with the knowledge of the whole, live internet which the company removed several months ago. The reason was that users were able to ask the chatbot to summarize or access otherwise paywalled content, bypassing revenue generation employed by a large number of leading publications.
With the return of internet access, ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise editions can now access the internet in real-time. This integration is through the Bing search engine, so it will reflect Bing’s search quality.
The feature will also expand to free-tier users later.
ChatGPT’s responses will no longer be limited by its September 2021 information cutoff.
OpenAI posted on Twitter/X with a glimpse into the capability:
This time, ChatGPT will be more careful in tiptoeing around measures such as webmaster-intended robot blocking and possibly also paywalls. The company said, “Updates include following robots.txt and identifying user agents so sites can control how ChatGPT interacts with them.”
If you are a Plus or Enterprise user, you can turn on the feature by going to “Browse with Bing” in the selector under “GPT-4.” Some users have reported that it doesn’t work even when they turn on the feature, so perhaps the rollout is phased or there’s a bug. Some users have been able to turn the feature on but after the chatbot is finished browsing, it fails to give any accurate result and apologizes instead.
Google’s Bard is connected to the internet and uses Google Search to generate responses.