OpenAI suspends Bing integration in ChatGPT to protect content owner rights.

OpenAI, a renowned American artificial intelligence (AI) research laboratory known for creating the AI chatbot ChatGPT, has announced that it is putting a new ChatGPT feature called Browse with Bing on hold. This feature, which was introduced as a beta earlier this year, allowed ChatGPT users to search the internet for recent information to help answer questions.

OpenAI has discovered that ChatGPT’s “Browse” beta occasionally displays content in unintended ways. For example, if a user specifically asks for the full text of a URL, the feature may unintentionally fulfill this request. OpenAI is disabling Browse while they fix this issue in order to respect content owners.

— OpenAI (@OpenAI) July 4, 2023

How did Browse with Bing work? It was supposed to be an effective integration of ChatGPT with Bing, making the flow of information more dynamic and current, revolutionizing how humans use artificial intelligence. Essentially, Browse with Bing was an innovative plugin added to ChatGPT Plus that granted AI access to the internet for real-time information. The feature allowed ChatGPT to search using Bing’s search results and provide the most accurate and up-to-date answers to users’ queries. It was available only to those subscribed to ChatGPT Plus membership.

The feature was in beta version, and during its observation, OpenAI discovered that Browse with Bing was violating the rights of content owners. Users found a way to bypass paywalls using the feature, allowing them to retrieve the full text of articles behind paywalls without subscribing to the respective websites.

One highly discussed case was a screenshot of a Browse session shared by a member of the r/ChatGPT subReddit. The user asked the chatbot to “print the text” of a link to a paywalled article from The Atlantic and received the full text without the paywall.

OpenAI responded promptly:

“As of July 3, 2023, we’ve disabled the Browse with Bing beta feature out of an abundance of caution while we fix this issue to respect content owners. We are working to bring the beta back as quickly as possible and appreciate your understanding!”

OpenAI does not rule out the possibility of resuming the Browse with Bing feature for ChatGPT. Currently, they are focused on improving their service and adding other tools that could enhance users’ experience with ChatGPT.

ChatGPT has the ability to generate almost unlimited content by gathering publicly-available information from the internet, expanding its own databases, and creating new answers. However, ownership of the content varies depending on the sources of the training database, the database owner, and the similarity between the database and the generated output. Therefore, using ChatGPT-generated output may result in copyright infringement if it includes protected material such as text, images, or audio without proper authorization from the original creator. This is exactly what happened in June when ChatGPT faced a class-action lawsuit in California for allegedly using private user information from the internet. The same issue applies to the Browse with Bing feature.

OpenAI’s response is a significant step in the AI industry, demonstrating that AI companies should not shy away from making difficult decisions when it comes to respecting content creators’ rights.

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