ChatGPT Gains Real-Time Information Access

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OpenAI, with support from Microsoft, has officially announced that ChatGPT can now surf the internet to provide users with the latest information. Previously, this AI-powered system was trained using data up to September 2021. This development allows certain premium users to pose questions about current events and access news via the chatbot.

OpenAI has indicated that this feature will become accessible to all users in the near future. In addition to this update, OpenAI recently disclosed that ChatGPT will soon be capable of engaging in voice conversations with users.

Systems like ChatGPT rely on extensive datasets to generate highly convincing human-like responses to user inquiries. They are expected to revolutionize the way people seek information online.

Until now, the widely-known ChatGPT chatbot has been operating with its “knowledge” frozen in time, drawing its database from the internet’s contents as of September 2021. It lacked the capability to browse the web in real-time, resulting in responses like “‘I’m sorry, but I cannot provide real-time information” when asked about recent events such as earthquakes in Turkey or the current status of Donald Trump.


This limitation has deterred some potential users, as they sought a source of up-to-date information. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, emphasized that ChatGPT’s newfound ability to provide current news and information could redirect user inquiries away from search engines and news outlets, potentially streamlining access to information.

However, Chamorro-Premuzic also raised concerns about the potential for misinformation, as ChatGPT might provide information without clearly stating its sources, potentially leading users to assume the information is reliable.

OpenAI has previously faced scrutiny from US regulators, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) inquiring about how the company addresses risks related to people’s reputations in connection with ChatGPT.

The decision to enable ChatGPT to search the internet for up-to-date information was influenced by factors such as computing costs and privacy and ethical concerns. The move marks a significant shift for ChatGPT and the broader AI sector, as it involves striking a delicate balance between utility and potential risks associated with access to real-time information.

In summary, ChatGPT’s ability to access real-time information brings both benefits and challenges, as it opens up new possibilities for users while also requiring safeguards against misinformation and misuse.

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