(CTN News) – In a significant development, OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed creator of the popular ChatGPT, has announced that the chatbot is now capable of browsing the internet to provide users with current information.
Previously, this artificial intelligence-powered system was solely trained using data up to September 2021, leaving it unable to access real-time updates.
However, this limitation is now being addressed, allowing premium users to ask ChatGPT questions about current affairs and access the latest news. OpenAI has further stated that this feature will soon be made available to all users.
ChatGPT, like other AI-based conversational systems, relies on vast datasets to generate human-like responses to user queries. The introduction of real-time browsing capabilities is expected to revolutionize the way people seek information online.
Until now, the chatbot’s “knowledge” had remained frozen in time, derived from internet content available up to September 2021.
This meant that when users inquired about recent events or developments, ChatGPT could only respond with, “‘I’m sorry, but I cannot provide real-time information.”
ChatGPT’s New Functionality and the Challenges It Present
This limitation had deterred some potential users who sought up-to-date information. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, highlighted the significance of this new functionality: “Now, you can treat this as a source of the latest news, gossip, and current events.”
He emphasized that ChatGPT could potentially absorb a considerable portion of the queries and inquiries that would otherwise go to search engines or news outlets.
However, Chamorro-Premuzic also raised concerns about the reliability of information provided through ChatGPT. He noted that without clear sourcing, users might assume the information is reliable when it might not be.
Inaccurate or misleading information could be a drawback of relying solely on AI-generated responses.
OpenAI has already faced scrutiny from US regulators regarding the risk of ChatGPT generating false information.
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a letter to OpenAI, seeking information on how it addresses the potential risks to people’s reputations arising from the use of its AI systems.
In response, OpenAI’s CEO expressed the company’s willingness to collaborate with the FTC to address these concerns.
The decision to enable ChatGPT to search the internet for real-time information is significant for several reasons. Firstly, there is the issue of computing cost, as each query incurs a financial cost for OpenAI.
Additionally, the previous limitations served as a safety net, preventing the chatbot from inadvertently spreading harmful or illegal content. It couldn’t disseminate newly uploaded problematic material or misinformation planted by malicious actors.
Navigating the Dilemma: ChatGPT’s Journey to Real-Time Information Access
ChatGPT‘s delay in accessing real-time information can be attributed to several factors. Developing sophisticated language models is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process.
Moreover, using real-time data introduces the potential for inaccuracies in responses. Lastly, there are privacy and ethical concerns associated with accessing real-time information, particularly copyrighted content, without proper permission.
The introduction of real-time browsing capabilities in ChatGPT underscores the broader dilemma facing the AI sector. To enhance usefulness, the guardrails that limit AI capabilities need to be loosened.
However, this also increases the potential for misuse and presents ethical challenges. Striking the right balance between utility and safety remains a key challenge as AI technologies continue to advance.
As OpenAI continues to refine ChatGPT and expand its capabilities, users can expect a more dynamic and up-to-date conversational experience, albeit with the responsibility to critically evaluate the information provided.