After being temporarily pulled from ChatGPT on July 3, 2023, the Browse with Bing feature has reappeared on ChatGPT for Plus users.
Update: OpenAI announced that the feature will be available to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise users today and all users soon.
ChatGPT is now browsing enabled. It’s not just able to search, but can also click into webpages (and site owners can choose whether to permit access) to find the most helpful information & links for you. Available to Plus and Enteprise users: https://t.co/CVLA4uyGS4
— Greg Brockman (@gdb) September 27, 2023
The Browse with Bing Beta feature can be found under the GPT-4 menu. Plus and Enterprise users who do not see it should visit their account settings to ensure Beta features are enabled.
While it had difficulty with some requests, it could browse the web and accurately answer a question about local events for the current date.
Also noticeable in ChatGPT’s response using Browse with Bing: a link to the source it used.
Users can also review the links browsed by Bing through the browsing steps.
Why OpenAI Removed The Feature In July
OpenAI removed the feature “out of an abundance of caution” to address copyright concerns and content ownership issues.
Initially launched as a beta option exclusively for ChatGPT Plus subscribers, this function lets the AI chatbot scour the web for up-to-date information to answer questions that may require current data.
OpenAI cited that Browse with Bing was removed to correct unintended behaviors.
Specifically, if a user requested the full text of a URL, the AI could, in some cases, provide the entire content, raising red flags for copyright infringement.
OpenAI emphasized its commitment to “do right by content owners” by working diligently to resolve the issues and bring back the beta feature as quickly as possible.
The removal of the “Browse with Bing” feature had raised eyebrows, considering it was designed to enhance the capabilities of ChatGPT by incorporating real-time web searches.
For OpenAI, the goal is to present information in a way that is accurate and respectful of intellectual property rights.
While some users may have considered the removal an overreaction, industry experts argue that OpenAI’s caution underscores the complexities around AI and copyright laws.
The tech company’s decision to act swiftly and pull the feature rather than wait for a legal impasse indicates the industry’s evolving standards.
Questions Remain About Browse With Bing
The return of “Browse with Bing” to ChatGPT for iPhone is a step forward, but many questions remain unanswered.
Looks like Browsing is back for chatGPT, but it’s only available on the app pic.twitter.com/OqtOvYlks9
— Sully (@SullyOmarr) September 22, 2023
When will the feature reappear on the browser version of ChatGPT? And will the revised part be foolproof against similar issues in the future?
And as AI continues to weave into our digital lives, how will companies like OpenAI adapt to ensure they’re on the right side of the law?
For now, ChatGPT Plus subscribers with the ChatGPT iPhone app can once again use the feature, but the episode serves as a cautionary tale for both users and developers alike.
This incident highlights the constant tug-of-war between technological advancement and legal constraints, particularly in AI and intellectual property.
Featured image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock