OpenAI Pauses ChatGPT’s ‘Browse With Bing’ as Users Bypass Paywalls

OpenAI Pauses ChatGPT’s ‘Browse With Bing’ as Users Bypass Paywalls

ChatGPT can be used for a wonderfully broad variety of applications — with mixed results, of course. Less than a week after introducing its integration with Bing, ChatGPT pulled the plug on the collaboration as users discovered they could use it to bypass paywalled websites.

Last week, OpenAI officially unveiled Browse with Bing for ChatGPT Plus, which would allow users to more effectively get answers to their questions via the search engine on the chatbot’s mobile app, according to TechCrunch. OpenAI hoped that the beta feature would be most useful for current events as the company says that ChatGPT’s training data doesn’t extend beyond the year 2021. However, as of Monday, OpenAI has amended its original announcement of the feature in a blog post informing users that the feature will be shutting down.

“As of July 3, 2023, we’ve disabled the Browse with Bing beta feature out of an abundance of caution while we fix this in order to do right by content owners. We are working to bring the beta back as quickly as possible, and appreciate your understanding!” Michael Schade of OpenAI wrote in the post.

Schade writes that the Browse feature may “display content in ways we don’t want” as a reason for the shutdown, but Windows Central reports that users were able to bypass paywalls. The outlet points to the r/ChatGPT subreddit, in which a user posted that Browse with Bing basically turned the chatbot into a web browser that can display the full contents of a paywalled website when a user provides the chatbot with a URL.

Despite this hiccup, Microsoft and OpenAI have had quite a fruitful relationship as the tech corporation invested billions in the AI startup earlier this year. One of Microsoft’s first moves was to add ChatGPT to the Bing search engine as a way to bolster the search engine against its main competitor Google. Last month, Microsoft announced it would be essentially doing the reverse — sticking Bing into ChatGPT — with Browse with Bing. Presumably, it will return when the kinks have been worked out.

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