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  • Writer's pictureLaura Gemmell

ChatGPT Take 9 - Plugging a Gap

Since beginning this foray into understanding ChatGPT (which includes both my weird attempt to show it as a useful tool, and also try to prove my scepticism correct), I have been plagued by the date September 2021. For those who haven't been with me on this journey, I'm referring to ChatGPT's response:

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don’t have real-time capabilities and my knowledge is up to date only until September 2021.

Or the equally annoying lack of internet access response from the SuperBrain:

ChatGPT: I'm sorry for any confusion, but I don't have the ability to access or browse the internet or external websites, including specific URLs

Finally, I have found a solution to this issue - the paid version (ChatGPT Plus) and the use of the BrowserOp plugin.

Note: both GPT3.5 and GPT4 (the algorithms which power ChatGPT and ChatGPT Plus) were updated on 25th September 2023 (so from now on, it will be telling me it only has knowledge up to this date).


In case you’ve missed my previous ramblings:

My First Foray with ChatGPT - am I doing this right? - 15th May 2023

ChatGPT Take 2 - my new website assistant - 24th May 2023

ChatGPT Take 3 - Write More Like Me - 1st Jun 2023

ChatGPT Take 4 - Code for Me - 22nd Jun 2023

ChatGPT Take 5 - Let's Get Down to Business - 20th Jul 2023

ChatGPT Take 6 - Will You Be My Friend? - 1st Aug 2023

ChatGPT Take 7 - How the Experts Do It - 14th Aug 2023

ChatGPT Take 8 - Money, Money, Money - 5th Sep 2023


What is a Plugin?

A plugin is a tool which adds some functionality (in this case to ChatGPT). They have been built by developers, sometimes for a specific company (like Canva or Expedia), but can be built by any developer who have gone through the waitlist process [I have called this out, because as always when we don't exactly understand how something has been built, or by who, and there is no data privacy policy, it is best to process with an element of cautious]

If you want to read more on ChatGPT plugins, OpenAI have written this blog.

How to Use Plugins

You must be paying for ChatGPT Plus to be able to use plugins. Your ChatGPT Plus interface looks like this:

Steps to turning plugins on in ChatGPT Plus:

Or follow along in the video below

  1. Make sure you are on GPT-4

  2. Click on your name icon in the bottom left corner

  3. Select Settings & Beta

  4. In the pop up window, select Beta Features from the menu on the left hand side

  5. Make sure the toggle for Plugins is to the right and green

  6. Exit the pop up

  7. Click on the GPT-4 icon at the top

  8. Select the Plugins option

  9. A new button for the Plugin Store should now appear, click this

  10. The BrowserOp plugin should be on the first page, if not type this in the search bar

  11. Click Install

  12. There should now be a little orange icon below where it says GPT-4

  13. If not, click on this and make sure the tickbox beside BrowserOps is checked

Remember, every time you log in

The settings reset to the Default, which doesn't have any Plugins enabled. So when you open ChatGPT Plus, remember to click on the GPT-4 button, and click Plugins


L: what can the browser ops plugin do?

ChatGPT: The BrowserOp plugin offers a variety of functionalities that allow users to interact with web content in real-time. Here are the main features of the BrowserOp plugin:

  1. Webpage Interaction: Users can input a URL, and the plugin can engage with the designated webpage to collect or interact with its data. This allows for real-time information retrieval from specific webpages.

  2. Search Engine Responses: If a non-URL string is given, the plugin will handle it as a search inquiry and try to find related real-time news or information. This is useful for obtaining the most recent results from the internet on a specific topic.

  3. Text Rewrites and Translations: Based on the content of a webpage, the plugin can offer services like text rewrites and translations.

  4. Tailored Suggestions: The plugin is designed to comprehend the user's intent and provide tailored suggestions in line with the content and functionality of the webpage at hand.

  5. Diverse Information Retrieval: Whether the user is seeking information about restaurants, rentals, weather, shopping, or any other topic, this tool can connect to the internet and deliver the most recent results.

In essence, the BrowserOp plugin acts as a bridge between the user and the internet, allowing for real-time interactions with web content and search engine results.

L: Can you give an example prompt for using the BrowserOp plugin?


In my usual day dreaming state, I clicked the copy code button and pasted this into the prompt window:

L: transcodeWebPage({
  link: ""

In this example, the `transcodeWebPage` function is used with the URL for the weather in New York City from The BrowserOp plugin would then engage with the webpage, retrieve the relevant weather information, and present it to the user.

Of course, this is just one example. The plugin can be used for a wide range of tasks, from checking news articles to browsing online stores.

Which slightly broke ChatGPT, as BrowserOp was loading was quite a long time:

Finally, I got a response.

ChatGPT: It seems there was an issue accessing the weather information for New York City from the provided URL. The page returned a "404" error, which typically means the page was not found.

You might want to check the URL or try a different source for the weather information. If you have another website or topic in mind, please let me know, and I'll be happy to assist further!

Never trust the SuperBrain kids, always check what it returns to you. If we look back at the response, what has actually happened is ChatGPT was explaining how an API request for the weather would work using BrowserOp. Let's look back again at my prompt Can you give an example prompt for using the BrowserOp plugin? and realising that my Northern Irish sentence structuring does not make it easy for ChatGPT to understand what I'm actually asking when things are typed out.

Let's try again, more specific this time (although still a bit too Northern Irish perhaps):

L: Can you give an example prompt for me to send to you to best use the BrowserOp plugin?

L: Please search for the latest news articles related to "AI advancements in healthcare" from reputable sources and provide a summary of the top 3 articles.

ChatGPT have it's usual answer (a 3 point list, but with headings as titles), but one change due to the BrowserOp Plugin is ChatGPT telling us it's sources. You can see this below in two places: first, after each heading there is a link to the news article itself. At the top of the output this are several toggle buttons. Clicking on these shows the API request and response that BrowserOp used [don't worry about this unless you are interested in how things work].


This has been a whirlwind introduction to using plugins in ChatGPT Plus. We are really looking forward to playing around with the others which exist (including Canva and some video transcription ones).

If anyone has any suggests for what our next blog should focus on, reach out or comment below!

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