Gerwitz analyzes ChatGPT’s web browsing

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David Gerwitz, a notable voice from ZDNET, has weighed in on OpenAI’s decision to enhance ChatGPT for its premium Plus and Enterprise customers. The update includes web browsing capabilities and access to post-2021 data.

Dubbed “Browse with Bing,” this new feature is currently in beta and exclusive to ChatGPT Plus users. To activate it, users can navigate to the Settings menu, where they’ll find the Beta features section. Here, they can select from a trio of options: Browse with Bing, Advanced Data Analysis, or various plugins.

The precise functionality of “Browse with Bing” remains shrouded in mystery, as both Microsoft and OpenAI have chosen to remain tight-lipped about its inner workings. This discretion may stem from a previous attempt by ChatGPT to access the web last summer, which encountered issues, including overcoming paywalls.

ChatGPT’s web access relies on a two-step process involving searching and retrieving. It formulates search queries based on user prompts and leverages Bing’s extensive internet database to generate search results.

Subsequently, it retrieves webpage content, manages advertisements, and furnishes contextually relevant responses. Curiously, the user interface suggests actions such as “clicking” and “scrolling,” which likely do not involve physical mouse interactions, prompting questions about their purpose.

In comparison, ChatGPT users have been relying on the WebPilot plugin to access web data, which appears to offer a more dependable and comprehensive experience than Browse with Bing, according to Gerwitz’s assessment. In conclusion, while OpenAI’s ChatGPT continues to evolve impressively, the efficacy and purpose of the Browse with Bing feature remain uncertain.

The sources for this piece include an article in ZDNET.

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