What you need to know
- OpenAI has temporarily pulled the plug on the Browse with Bing beta feature.
- The feature was launched to help enhance the search experience in ChatGPT.
- Users have discovered a new trick that lets them bypass paywalls using the chatbot.
Last week, OpenAI's chatbot, ChatGPT, gained a new feature dubbed Browse with Bing. The feature shipped exclusively to ChatGPT Plus subscribers.
Microsoft promised to bring Bing integration to the platform to enhance its search experience during its annual developer conference for developers, Build 2023. Before this inclusion, ChatGPT depended on OpenAI's GPT-4 model, which limited its capabilities. This is because the chatbot could only access information up until September 2021.
However, shortly after incorporating the new feature into the chatbot, OpenAI discovered that there are instances where it malfunctions. "For example, if a user specifically asks for a URL's full text, it might inadvertently fulfill this request," said OpenAI.
As such, the company disabled the Browse with Bing beta feature on July 3, 2023. According to OpenAI:
In most cases, paywalls are used to get users to subscribe to a site. Users without a subscription to the site are restricted from accessing the information published. But as spotted in the r/ChatGPT community on Reddit, some users have found a new way to bypass these paywalls and access the information without having to get a subscription.
The users went on to share other ingenious tips and tricks that they use to bypass these paywalls in the thread. And as illustrated on Reddit, several users were able to bypass these paywalls using ChatGPT by prompting the tool to print the text on an article behind a paywall.
To this end, it's unclear when OpenAI will restore the feature and what configuration changes it will make on the platform to prevent this from occurring again.
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Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.