Open AI has disabled the Bing search feature it has added to its ChatGPT AI service. “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,” Open AI posted.
Open AI said it is working on bringing the feature back but for now it had to disable the feature because it reportedly allowed access to paywalled content.
Browse with Bing. Open AI added Bing Search to ChatGPT as a premium service in May. Doing so added to ChatGPT more up-to-date information and timely information powered by Bing Search. ChatGPT has a data set from 2021 or earlier, which is why using Bing Chat provided a better experience for more timely questions. With Bing Search in ChatGPT, the service can “provide timelier and more up-to-date answers with access from the web,” the company wrote.
The service was for ChatGPT Plus subscribers.
Disabled on July 3rd. On July 3, 2023, Open AI disabled the Browse with Bing feature on ChatGPT. It was disabled “out of an abundance of caution,” the company wrote. “Ww are working to bring the beta back as quickly as possible,” the AI company added.
Paywalled content loophole. Last week, many noticed that ChatGPT’s Browse with Bing feature was able to access content behind a paywall. Here is a tweet I spotted back then:
ChatGPT Plus users can use Browsing Mode to navigate around paywalled articles:
Tested this on a paywalled article from Fortune Magazine.
After GPT-4 Browsing printed the article, I paid for the Fortune subscription to confirm – it was the same text. ChatGPT did not… pic.twitter.com/YI8ohiY11H
— AI Breakfast (@AiBreakfast) June 26, 2023
Mikhail Parakhin from Microsoft replied to that on Twitter, saying, “In Bing Chat we have a mechanism to prevent paywalled content from leaking into answers (if publisher set up the “paywall” flag).” “I will let OpenAI know they should double-check this,” he said back then. I guess Microsoft Bing is working with Open AI’s ChatGPT team to resolve the issue on Open AI’s side. I do not believe this impacts Bing Chat.
What it looks like. Here is a screenshot showing how it is enabled for Plus subscribers:
Why we care. The Browse with Bing feature in ChatGPT made the service even more useful to searchers and people with questions. It is unclear when the feature will return but I suspect it will return soon.