ChatGPT has been around for a while now, as has ChatGPT Plus — OpenAI’s $20 per month subscription to its AI chatbot. And with this latest update, you might finally get your money’s worth.
In the latest addition to the ChatGPT release notes (opens in new tab), OpenAI announced that it is rolling out new features this week to ChatGPT Plus beta users. This includes ChatGPT plugins, which allow users to enable OpenAI third-party partners to insert their products into ChatGPT.
A prime example of this is Expedia’s ChatGPT plugin, which allows users to plan trips and offer direct links out to Expedia so you can book whatever is needed. There are similar plugins slated to come from Instacart and other well-known companies.
To enable plugins, go to the Settings menu of your ChatGPT Plus account and then click on Beta features. Then, toggle on Plugins. The beta panel is rolling out to Plus users over the course of this week.
While OpenAI has touted ChatGPT Plus features such as access to ChatGPT even when demand is high, faster response speeds and priority access to new features when they become available, the reality is that ChatGPT Plus has struggled to give us a compelling reason to use it. Now with access to plugins finally live, ChatGPT Plus might be able to convince regular users as opposed to just AI enthusiasts to part with $20 a month.
ChatGPT Plus connects to the web: OpenAI responds to Google and Bing
Aside from allowing users to connect third-party plugins for travel planning, finding recipes and more, OpenAI is also officially plugging ChatGPT into the internet.
With web browsing, ChatGPT Plus users will now be able to use a new version of ChatGPT that can choose when it needs to browse the internet to respond to your prompts and queries. According to OpenAI, this version of ChatGPT “knows when and how how to browse the internet to answer questions about recent topics and events.”
So, for example, if you asked ChatGPT if you were dead, it could choose to search the internet to find that information and verify that you are, in fact, alive, rather than assume that you’re dead based on the out-of-date information it was initially trained on (ChatGPT was trained up until 2021).
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This seems to be a feature directly aimed at Microsoft, whose Bing Chat has added a GPT-4 chatbot to Bing’s search engine. But it also seems to be a direct response to Google and its new Search Generative Experience announced at Google I/O 2023. This new version of Search replaces the typical search engine results page with an AI-powered snapshot to answer your questions.
If you want ChatGPT to be able to browse the web, you’ll need to go to the Settings menu of your ChatGPT Plus account and then click on Beta features. Then, toggle on Web browsing. Again, the beta panel is rolling out to Plus users over the course of this week.