OpenAI, a startup focused on artificial intelligence, has announced a new feature that will allow their popular chatbot, ChatGPT, to connect to the web. Previously, ChatGPT was only able to access information from its training data, which was limited to data from 2021. However, with the new plug-in support, the chatbot will be able to browse and interact with specific websites. This new feature will greatly enhance the capabilities of the chatbot, and allow it to serve as a broad interface for various websites and services.
OpenAI has announced that they will offer access to these plug-ins to a small group of users, with 11 initial plug-ins for third-party sites such as Expedia, OpenTable, Kayak, Klarna Shopping, and Zapier. The company has also provided some of its own plug-ins, including one for interpreting code and another for browsing the web.
The company has implemented several preventive measures to address safety and security concerns associated with allowing a chatbot to take actions on behalf of a user. Initially, access to the plug-ins will be limited to a small group of developers and users of OpenAI’s paid service, ChatGPT Plus.
In a video posted on Twitter, OpenAI demonstrated how ChatGPT could be used to find a recipe and then order the necessary ingredients from Instacart. The chatbot automatically loads the list of ingredients into the shopping service and directs the user to the site to complete the order. OpenAI has also demonstrated how the browsing plug-in can be used to answer questions by showing the sources it looks at before giving an answer.
This new feature is similar to Microsoft’s new Bing engine, which delivers information to chatbots from the internet. However, OpenAI’s plug-ins not only provide real-time information but can also bind to APIs, allowing the chatbot to perform actions on behalf of the user. While this feature has the potential to enhance the capabilities of ChatGPT, OpenAI has taken precautions to address concerns associated with its use.