OpenAI announced Wednesday in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide users with up-to-date information for their inquiries instead of being limited to data before September 2021—one of the software’s most notorious limitations.
ChatGPT will use Microsoft’s Bing search engine to process users’ questions and use relevant information from search results to produce an answer.
The update is available to premium users on ChatGPT’s “Plus” and “Enterprise” plans and will “expand to all users soon,” according to OpenAI, which did not disclose the timeline of the update’s rollout.
ChatGPT’s September 2021 knowledge cutoff date, which stopped it from being able to handle some inquiries about current developments or events, was a prominent pain point for some users who said the cutoff would limit their research capabilities on the software.
OpenAI is reportedly in discussions about a potential share sale that would value the rising AI company at up to $90 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Such a valuation would be three times more than what the company was valued at this January.
The use of Bing in ChatGPT’s internet browser feature is likely due to Microsoft’s backing of the company. Microsoft owns 49% of OpenAI, which has told investors it expects to rake in $1 billion in revenue this year and billions more next year, the Journal reported. OpenAI began generating revenue after its release last November. The company brings money in through premium ChatGPT plans and API services that allow developers to use the company’s language models, like ChatGPT, for their own apps and products. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who has argued for the government regulation of artificial intelligence, told Forbes in February that he doesn’t think ChatGPT will replace traditional search engines like Google but an AI system could have the potential to do so one day.
This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.