OpenAI, the organization backed by Microsoft and responsible for ChatGPT, has made a significant announcement. The AI chatbot, known for its impressive language abilities, can now access up-to-date information from the internet, marking a substantial expansion in its capabilities.
Previously, ChatGPT’s knowledge base was limited to data up until September 2021. However, this recent development means that premium users will soon have the ability to ask the chatbot about current events, obtain real-time news updates, and engage in discussions about the latest happenings.
OpenAI has confirmed that this feature will be made available to all users in the near future, democratizing access to real-time information.
Earlier in the same week, OpenAI had also disclosed plans for ChatGPT to support voice conversations, further enhancing its conversational capabilities.
ChatGPT and similar AI systems rely on vast datasets to generate human-like responses to user queries. These AI systems have the potential to revolutionize how people search for information online.
Until now, ChatGPT was confined to the knowledge it possessed up to September 2021, and it couldn’t browse the internet in real time. This limitation meant that if you asked the chatbot about recent events, it would respond with, ‘I’m sorry, but I cannot provide real-time information.’
This restriction had deterred some potential users who sought the latest information from AI chatbots.
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, noted, ‘If this functionality or capability weren’t there, you would need to go to Google or to Twitter or to your preferred news outlet. Now, you can treat this as a source of the latest news, gossip, and current events.’
However, Mr. Chamorro-Premuzic also cautioned that using ChatGPT for real-time information could have its pitfalls. He highlighted concerns about accuracy and the lack of sourcing for information provided by ChatGPT, emphasizing the need for reliable information.
OpenAI has faced scrutiny from US regulators over concerns about ChatGPT generating false information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had previously sought information from OpenAI regarding how it handles risks to people’s reputations.
The decision to enable ChatGPT to access real-time internet information came after careful consideration of several factors. These included computing costs, potential inaccuracies introduced by real-time data, and ethical concerns, particularly related to copyrighted content without proper permissions.
This development underscores the ongoing challenge in the AI sector—balancing the need for increased capabilities with the responsibility to mitigate risks and ensure accurate, reliable information in an age where AI systems are playing an increasingly prominent role in information dissemination.