OpenAI’s AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT can now browse the web — in some cases.
Today, OpenAI released plugins to ChatGPT. These plugins extend the bot’s functionality by giving it access third-party knowledge resources and databases, such as the web. OpenAI has made the plugins available in beta to ChatGPT users, developers on the waitlist. It says it will initially prioritize ChatGPT Plus subscribers and ChatGPT Plus users before rolling out larger-scale API access.
OpenAI’s web-browsing plugin for first-party chat is the most interesting plugin. It allows ChatGPT draw data from the internet to answer various questions. ChatGPT was able to access data from the web, but only dates, events, and people before September 2021. This plugin pulls information from the internet using the Bing search API. It shows all websites visited when crafting an answer and cites its sources in ChatGPT’s responses.
OpenAI’s research shows that a chatbot with internet access is a dangerous prospect. The WebGPT AI startup created an experimental system in 2021. It quoted data from unreliable sources, and incentivized users to cherry-pick data from websites it believed would be convincing. Meta’s now-disbanded BlenderBot3.0 also had internet access and quickly went off the rails. It explored conspiracy theories and found offensive content when prompted.
Live web is not as well-curated and filtered as static training data. Although search engines such as Google and Bing have their safety mechanisms in place to minimize the chance of unreliable content rising to the top, these results are still susceptible to manipulation. These results are not representative of all the web. The New Yorker reports that Google’s algorithm favors websites that use the most modern web technologies, such as encryption, mobile support, and schema. As a result, many websites that have otherwise high quality content are lost in the shuffle.
This gives search engines a lot more power over data that could inform web-connected language model’s answers. Google has been shown to prioritise its services in Search, such as answering travel queries with data from Google Places, instead of TripAdvisor, which is richer and more social. Bad actors can also be attracted to the algorithmic search approach. Pinterest used a flaw in Google’s image search algorithm in 2020 to show more of its content on Google Image searches, according to The New Yorker.
OpenAI acknowledges that ChatGPTs with web access might engage in undesirable behavior, such as sending spam and fraudulent emails, bypassing safety regulations, and otherwise “increasing bad actors’ capabilities to defraud, mislead, or abuse others.” However, the company says it has “implemented many safeguards” that were informed by both internal and external red teams. They will only be confirmed over time.
OpenAI also released a chatbot code interpreter, which provides a Python interpreter in a firewalled and sandboxed environment with disk space. It allows you to upload files to ChatGPT, and download the results. OpenAI claims it is particularly useful for solving math problems, data analysis, visualization and converting between file formats.
ChatGPT was created by a number of early collaborators, including Expedia and FiscalNote, Instacart. These plugins allow ChatGPT users to join OpenAI’s own ChatGPT, such as Shopify, Shopify.
They are largely self-explanatory. Chatbots can search for restaurants in order to find available bookings. ChatGPT can place orders at local stores with the Instacart plugin. Zapier is the most flexible of all the plugins. It connects to apps such as Google Sheets and Trello, and triggers a variety of productivity tasks.
OpenAI has released a “retrieval plugin” to encourage the creation of new plugins. This plugin allows ChatGPT access snippets from documents such as files, notes, emails, or public documentation. ChatGPT can ask questions in natural language to get these snippets.
OpenAI posted in a blog that they are working on plugin development and bringing them to a wider audience. We have much to learn and we are looking forward to building something useful and secure with the help everyone.
ChatGPT plugins are an interesting addition to its development timeline. ChatGPT’s capabilities are now much greater than it was previously, and plugins may even be less risky. Experts accuse OpenAI, who is allegedly profiting from ChatGPT’s unlicensed work. ChatGPT’s data contains many public websites. However, plugins can help to address this issue by allowing companies full control of their data.