Now ChatGPT is coming to your web browser, too

Opera is gaining a new sidebar where it will put a number of generative AI services, while Microsoft's Edge is also incorporating AI features.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Browser maker Opera has announced plans to integrate ChatGPT-powered and Google Bard-powered features into upcoming releases of the browser. 

Opera was quick to jump onto Web3 with its Opera Crypto Browser and now apparently plans to do the same with generative AI. Opera plans to roll out the generative AI features in the sidebar of the browser. 

Also: How to use Opera's Pinboards feature as a kanban board

It's not the first browser to add new AI features: Microsoft has also said it is adding AI to its Edge Sidebar, allowing users to ask for a summary of a company report "to get the key takeaways" for example, and then using the chat function to ask for a comparison to a competing company's financials and automatically put it in a table. Edge can also help you to compose content.

The first AI feature Opera will test is a "Shorten" button, which will quickly create a summary of the currently viewed article. Users can click the Shorten button in the address bar and the browser then generates a bullet point summary of the article in a sidebar window.     

It has posted a demo on YouTube of the feature using OpenAI's WebGPT to summarize an article about NASA's Hubble Telescope -- possibly a reference to Google's recent blunder in its first demo of Bard, in which it incorrectly answers a question related to discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope.

Also: The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other fun alternatives to try

Opera announced the feature on the heels of Microsoft unveiling ChatGPT features for Edge and a new version of the Bing search engine that runs on a newer version of the GPT-3 models than ChatGPT currently is powered by.

Opera says it will add a number of AI-generated content services to the browser sidebar but hasn't revealed what they will be. It's also working on new browser features that will interact with the chatbot. 

The idea behind generating summaries is that Opera expects ChatGPT and similar AI services to pump more content to the web than users can cope with. Hence, it thinks users will need help parsing all that extra information. 

"Users of the Web are constantly flooded by content in amounts that are impossible for us to process. With generative AI helping us create written materials faster, there will only be more and more content," Opera says in a blogpost

As OpenAI explains in its WebGPT experiment, WebGPT was an attempt to use a text-based web browser to improve the factual accuracy of GPT-3's responses and address its "tendency to 'hallucinate' information".  

Also: I'm using ChatGPT to help me fix code faster, but at what cost?

"It is Opera's belief that with AI solutions springing up both for text, image, and audio generation and in countless other forms, we are at the brink of a new era of creativity on the Web. That's why we're reshaping the browser to allow our users to tap into all these resources and to unfold their full potential in the best possible way," said Krystian Kolondra, EVP of PC browsers and gaming at Opera. 

Opera is also looking to use Google's APIs for its generative AI services. In March, Google will offer public access to its Generative Language API, which will initially be powered by LaMDA, the large language model that powers Bard.  

"We see the rise of Generative Intelligence as the beginning of a new future in which consumer app developers like Opera will be able to build experiences on top of AI-based platforms. We are excited to see the rapid roll-out of developer programs for solutions such as Google Bard, for example, and are starting to build and roll out new experiences in web browsing that not very long ago seemed impossible to achieve," said Per Wetterdal, head of strategic partnerships and AI at Opera.

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