I Finally Bought a ChatGPT Plus Subscription—and It’s Worth It! OpenAI’s revolutionary web browsing beta feature convinced me to take the plunge and upgrade my account. Let me tell you, the experience has been nothing short of mind-blowing! Buckle up, folks, because I’m about to take you on a wild ride through the fascinating realm of ChatGPT Plus.

Now, what’s all the hype about? Is it worth shelling out $20 a month for a chatbot subscription? I had the same skepticism, but let me assure you, it’s a game-changer. As a self-proclaimed nerd who revels in entertaining conversations with artificial intelligence, I initially thought the free version would suffice. Little did I know what ChatGPT Plus had in store for me?

On that fateful day, May 12, OpenAI dropped the bombshell announcement. ChatGPT Plus subscribers would gain access to beta versions of the chatbot with web browsing and plugins. The allure of these new features was too irresistible to resist. So, I made a sacrifice—a night of takeout turned into a meal of leftover mystery casserole—as I upgraded my ChatGPT account.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. How do you make the most of your ChatGPT Plus subscription? It’s a breeze, my friends. Follow these simple steps to unlock the wonders of web browsing with ChatGPT.

  1. Log in to your OpenAI account or create a new user profile. Remember, ChatGPT Plus comes with a monthly fee of $20.
  2. Visit chat.openai.com to access ChatGPT. In the bottom left corner, spot those three dots next to your email address. Click on them and select “Settings,” followed by “Beta features.” Ensure that the “Web Browsing” button is toggled on and shining a glorious green.
  3. Return to the main page of ChatGPT, open a new chat window, and feast your eyes on the GPT-4 option at the top of the screen. Hover your cursor over “GPT-4” and choose “Browsing.” Now, you’re ready to let the chatbot scour the internet for answers to your burning queries. Keep in mind that web browsing prompts are limited for subscribers.

But wait, before you dive headfirst into this extraordinary feature, let’s clear up a little confusion. There’s a difference between the web browsing option and the tantalizing world of ChatGPT plugins. Plugins take the experience to a whole new level of specificity and involvement. Imagine ordering groceries through Instacart or booking flights on Expedia—all powered by ChatGPT. These plugins hold immense potential, and while I need to conduct further testing before fully endorsing them, the web browsing aspect alone justifies my subscription.

So, how does it all come together? Let me share some compelling use cases I encountered during my explorations with ChatGPT Plus.

Picture this: I’m all hyped about the latest installment of the Zelda game series, “Tears of the Kingdom.” Naturally, I turned to ChatGPT for tips on getting started. It searched the web for a “new Zelda game beginner’s guide.” The chatbot even simulated clicking on a helpful article at Polygon, diligently visited the site’s homepage, and made a few detours to its YouTube page. Although ChatGPT blamed “time constraints” for not providing a comprehensive answer, it managed to distill key details from Polygon’s strategy.

If you’re in the mood for a thrilling horror movie night on Netflix, ChatGPT is here to assist. It recommended, “Psycho” (1960) based on a Paste article and “Hush” (2016) based on an Uproxx blog. But what about catching a flick at the local theater? After work, I tested ChatGPT’s abilities by requesting showtimes at the nearby AMC. The chatbot remembered my location in San Francisco from a previous prompt and swiftly provided multiple nighttime screenings of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and “Blackberry.”

Naturally, my curiosity led me to inquire about ChatGPT’s internet browsing capabilities. While the chatbot had a canned response from OpenAI, explaining that it’s not solely reliant on Google Search for web queries, it remained scant on further details. For now, the browsing seems limited to text-based information on web pages. Keep in mind that paywalled content is inaccessible with the current beta version.

Now, let’s test the boundaries of this web browsing feature. I decided to take on the role of a woman living in Alabama seeking information about accessing the abortion pill. After my prompt, ChatGPT diligently searched for information on “how to get abortion pills in Alabama” and followed up with a query on “how to get abortion pills from overseas.” The chatbot provided guidance, pointing out the potential illegality of obtaining medication by mail in the state and citing an article from Politico about a group called Aid Access. The subsequent response shed light on the possibility of murder charges and provided phone numbers for abortion clinics outside the state. It’s a stark reminder of the power and complexity of this technology.

These examples only scratch the surface of what this remarkable chatbot can accomplish. From discovering popular drinks at a nearby bar to planning a weekend getaway to Yosemite based on weather forecasts, ChatGPT’s web browsing feature has the potential to transform how we interact with online information.

As someone constantly immerses themselves in the vast expanse of the internet, having a virtual assistant that can effortlessly scan the web is genuinely awe-inspiring. However, I find myself torn as a writer who crafts online articles. ChatGPT even cited an explainer I wrote for WIRED when I asked about a creepypasta called “The Backrooms.” The shiver that ran down my spine was undeniable.

Yet, despite my reservations, I cannot deny the usefulness and allure of ChatGPT’s web browsing capabilities. As this feature matures and eventually emerges from its beta stage, I’m eager to uncover more about this electrifying technology that I may need to be more accurate with.

The future is unfolding, and ChatGPT Plus is leading the charge. So, my fellow tech enthusiasts, if you’re contemplating a ChatGPT Plus subscription to embark on the web browsing beta journey, dive right in. Embrace the exciting possibilities, but also be mindful of the immense power and responsibility that comes with it.

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