ChatGPT can now search internet to provide more accurate responses, says OpenAI

ChatGPT can now browse the internet and is able to provide users with up-to-date information sourced online, maker OpenAI has said.

Until now, the generative AI model’s responses have been based on data up to September 2021 on which it had been trained.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, OpenAI said the updated version of the model was first being made available to its Plus and Enterprise users, but would be made available to everyone “soon”.

The update means the programme will be able to accurately discuss current affairs and provide more authoritative information, OpenAI said.

“ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It is no longer limited to data before September 2021,” the company said in its post.

“Browsing is particularly useful for tasks that require up-to-date information, such as helping you with technical research, trying to choose a bike, or planning a vacation.”

Earlier this week, the artificial intelligence firm revealed that ChatGPT would soon gain the ability to speak – enabling users to have a voice conversation with the software for the first time.

This would bring ChatGPT closer to rivals such as Amazon’s Alexa.

In addition, OpenAI said it was also introducing “image capabilities”, meaning users could share photos with ChatGPT and discuss details about what is in the picture.

Both new features are being introduced to the app’s premium users initially.

“Voice and image give you more ways to use ChatGPT in your life. Snap a picture of a landmark while travelling and have a live conversation about what’s interesting about it,” OpenAI said in a blog post.

“When you’re home, snap pictures of your fridge and pantry to figure out what’s for dinner (and ask follow up questions for a step by step recipe). After dinner, help your child with a maths problem by taking a photo, circling the problem set, and having it share hints with both of you.”

On Wednesday, Facebook parent firm Meta became the latest tech giant to launch a chatbot – Meta AI – which users will be able to converse with via the firm’s range of messaging platforms, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

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