Browse With Bing In ChatGPT Integration Disabled Because Of Users Bypassing Paywalls

OpenAI's chatbot ChatGPT gained a new feature last week exclusively for subscribers, but Browse with Bing was halted after users discovered a way to bypass publisher paywalls.

Browse with Bing enables ChatGPT to search the internet to help answer questions that benefit from recent information, such as breaking news stories on publisher sites.

“We have learned that the ChatGPT Browse beta can occasionally display content in ways we don't want,” Michael Schade, engineer at OpenAI, wrote in a post.

For example, he wrote, if a user specifically asks for a URL's full text, it might inadvertently fulfill this request.

On July 3, 2023, OpenAI disabled the Browse with Bing beta feature “out of an abundance of caution” while the loophole is being fixed “to do right by content owners.”

Microsoft had promised to bring the Bing integration to the platform to enhance the search experience. After integrating the new feature into the chatbot, OpenAI discovered there were instances in which it malfunctions.

Jeff Kirdeikis, CEO at TeamFinance and TrustSwap, tweeted that the bug seemed like a feature. “Other [large language models] are going to provide this regardless,” he wrote. “An open internet is a net-positive. Paywalled sites will fall. There [are] other places to get the same info for free.”

OpenAI has been dealing with multiple legal disputes over copyright and privacy violations, as well as pushback from publishers using content to train large language models.  

One complaint alleged OpenAI used copyright-protected books as data to train AI systems without getting permission from or paying the authors.

The allegation, Tremblay v. OpenAI, suggested ChatGPT could summarize the authors’ works, absorbing the contents of the copyrighted books. The PM lawsuit accused OpenAI of collecting data from hundreds of millions of users without obtaining appropriate consent or attribution.

Bloomberg Law reported that a complaint filed in the San Francisco federal court in June alleged that ChatGPT’s machine learning trained data from books and other texts are “copied by OpenAI without consent, without credit, and without compensation.”

The missteps could damage OpenAI’s reputation and take down Microsoft Bing along with it.

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