ChatGpt internet plugin: AI can now connect to the Internet

ChatGpt internet plugin: AI can now connect to the Internet

ChatGPT has reached a new milestone in its evolution by introducing extensions (plug-ins) that grant access to the Internet and a multitude of online services. This groundbreaking enhancement opens up endless possibilities, expanding the capabilities of this incredible chatbot to unprecedented heights.

ChatGPT continues to evolve at a crazy pace. And subscribers to the paid ChatGPT Plus offer – at $20 per month – can now take advantage of early access plug-ins. Until now, the AI was restricted by its training data, which stopped in 2021, the tool being therefore unable to provide correct answers on subsequent queries, in particular in relation to current events. Above all, the chatbot was until then disconnected from the Internet, which prevented it from searching for information on the Web or using online services to feed its answers.

Some of the limitations of ChatGPT have been lifted with the introduction of plug-ins, software extensions that enable the addition of new functions to the AI. Similar to popular applications like Photoshop, Chrome, or Firefox, these plug-ins greatly expand the capabilities of the chatbot. One significant development is the experimental plug-in that grants real-time internet access, allowing ChatGPT to utilize a vast array of online content to provide more comprehensive responses. OpenAI has also formed partnerships with selected partners to develop innovative services, making ChatGPT a versatile and multifunctional assistant. However, the use of plug-ins is currently limited due to cautious progress in navigating the potential challenges and abuses associated with this new feature.

© OpenAI

Should ChatGPT be able to access the Internet?

One of the most significant extensions, known as Web browsing, grants ChatGPT access to the Internet. This enables the AI to retrieve information from the web using the Bing search API and display the visited sites as sources for its answers. Users can independently verify the information by directly accessing the sources themselves. For instance, in OpenAI's example, a user asks ChatGPT about the winners of the 2023 Oscars. The AI browses sites like CNN and ABC News to gather the information and mentions notable films like "Everything Everywhere All At Once," which rightfully received numerous awards. This extension encourages users to delve into the sources and ensure the accuracy of the information provided by ChatGPT.

OpenAI has integrated a wide range of plugins, numbering over 70, to enhance the capabilities of ChatGPT. These include popular services like Expedia, FiscalNote, Instacart, Kayak, Klarna Shopping, Milo Family AI, OpenTable, Shop, Speak, Wolfram, and Zapier. With these plugins, ChatGPT can effectively serve as an assistant, supporting various instructions that directly interact with these services. Users can make restaurant reservations through OpenTable, shop at local stores via Instacart, purchase plane tickets with Expedia, book hotels, arrange product deliveries, and more. These plugins open up a multitude of new possibilities, catering to a wide range of user needs and enabling seamless integration with diverse services.

© Unsplash

The integration of plugins brings remarkable functionalities to ChatGPT. For instance, the OpenTable plugin enables the chatbot to assist users in searching for restaurant reservations. With the Instacart plugin, users can request the ingredients for a vegetarian recipe and seamlessly order them from their local grocery store. ChatGPT swiftly provides the ingredient list, fills the shopping cart, and generates a payment link for the user to complete the transaction on the merchant's site.

Another powerful example is the combination of the Expedia and Kayak plugins, allowing users to effortlessly organize trips by finding flights within specific dates and budget ranges, as well as booking accommodations based on desired conditions and budgets. Additionally, the Zapier module connects AI with services like Google Sheets, Trello, and Gmail, enabling the automation of various tasks. This addition benefits both businesses, as they can attract a wider customer base, and OpenAI, as it obtains real-time data from third-party services to enhance the accuracy of its responses. The integration of these plugins significantly expands the capabilities and practicality of ChatGPT.

The Code interpreter plug-in, currently in its alpha phase, enables ChatGPT to utilize the Python language within a secure environment equipped with storage capabilities. This plug-in empowers users to upload files to ChatGPT and retrieve the resulting output. When presented with a query involving calculations, ChatGPT sets up a protected execution environment akin to a sandbox, complete with a firewall and temporary disk space. Users can then develop dedicated software by writing code to address the task at hand and execute it for completion. If data is provided, ChatGPT can perform the necessary operations and deliver the result in the desired format, be it a graph, presentation, or other formats. OpenAI suggests that this plug-in proves particularly valuable for solving mathematical problems, analyzing and visualizing data, and converting files between different formats.

How to use ChatGPT extensions?

Subscribers to the paid ChatGPT Plus plan are the only ones who can take advantage of the plugins – at least, initially. For that, they have to go through a new beta panel in the settings, which will be rolling out over the next week. Here is the procedure to follow to activate the new functions:

  • Click on your username at the very bottom in the left column.
  • A drop-down menu appears. Click Settings.
  • Click on Beta features in the left column of the pop-up.
  • Check Web browsing and Plugins.

How is OpenAI managing plug-ins for ChatGPT?

OpenAI is carefully introducing the concept of plug-ins for ChatGPT, inviting developers to explore the documentation and submit their applications to join a waiting list. The deployment process is gradual, and the exact timeline remains undisclosed. Initially, access to plug-ins is limited to ChatGPT subscribers who opt for it. OpenAI is focussed on a cautious approach, intending to expand access gradually as they gather insights from plugin developers, ChatGPT users, and eventually users of APIs interested in integrating the plug-ins into their products.

While the integration of external tools brings immense possibilities, it necessitates diligent development due to potential security risks. Incorporating plugins into a generative AI introduces concerns such as fraud, abuse, and hacks. The recent release of chat histories by ChatGPT adds to these considerations. Enabling the chatbot to act on behalf of users poses challenges, especially considering instances where AI has been exploited for cyberattacks. However, developers and users have the opportunity to join the waiting list for ChatGPT plug-ins, understanding and assuming the associated risks involved. OpenAI acknowledges the need for caution in this evolving landscape.

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