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ChatGPT can now access the internet with new OpenAI plugins

Artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT can now retrieve information from online sources and interact with third-party websites via a new plugin feature introduced by its creator, OpenAI.

The plugin feature is still in its “limited” alpha phase and will only be available to a small set of users initially before rolling out to “larger-scale access. Users must add themselves to a waitlist in order to access the new feature on Chat GPT Plus, the firm said in a March 23 announcement.

Initially, there are only 11 plugins available. These plugins range from allowing users to check the scores of live sporting events to booking an international flight and purchasing food for home delivery. The firm added that it is “gradually rolling out plugins” so that it can assess its real-world use.

“Plugins are tools designed specifically for language models with safety as a core principle, and help ChatGPT access up-to-date information, run computations, or use third-party services,” said OpenAI.

Among the cohort of websites that are supported by the new plugin feature are e-commerce platforms Shopify, Klarna and Instacart and travel search engines Expedia and KAYAK.

It also supports math computer Wolfram to carry out calculations, and Slack, one of the largest business messaging apps, according to the announcement.

A screenshot of the API on ChatGPT when connecting to third-party plugins. Source: OpenAI

Other apps include FiscalNote, Milo Family AI, OpenTable, Shop, Speak and Zapier.

How does it access the web?

ChatGPT utilizes the Bing API to search for information along with a text-based web browser to navigate results and interact with websites.

It is able to synthesize information across multiple sources to give a more grounded response. It also cites the sources it used so users can verify where ChatGPT derived its response from.

OpenAI said the plug-in capabilities came on the back of high demand from its user base since the firm launched ChatGPT on Nov. 30.

Mitchell Hashimoto, the founder of software firm HashiCorp and an early user of the ChatGPT plugin API told his 94,300 Twitter followers on March 23 that it is one of the most “impressive” computer applications he has ever used:

Being able to use plugins that access the internet could improve one of ChatGPT’s arguably biggest shortfalls, as it is trained with data only up to September 2021 and does not have access to the internet to grab more recent information

The typical answer given when ChatGPT is asked a question requiring up-to-date data. Source: Open AI

Related: How to solve coding problems using ChatGPT?

Earlier this month, OpenAI released the latest version of its artificial intelligence Chatbot, ChatGPT-4.

So far, the new version has already managed to successfully pass many of the toughest U.S. high school and law school exams in the 90th percentile.

Using the same version, Cointelegraph recently launched an experiment using GPT-4 to invest in cryptocurrencies using information fed from Cointelegraph Markets and a selection of Cointelegraph’s daily news, with the aim of understanding how it interprets news to make trading decisions.

So far, the cryptocurrency portfolio is up 6.08% over seven days. It currently has an allocation consisting of 55% Bitcoin (BTC), 35% Ether (ETH), 5% Cardano (ADA) and 5% XRP (XRP).

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