Can Prompt to API ask ChatGPT to Access Internet and obtain information?


I notice similar questions have been asked before, such as this one, and this one.

Both seem indicate that API cannot access Internet directly.

However, I make some tests, and find strange results.

  1. I send the prompt “What is the first product reviewed in URL 11 Best Outlook PST Repair Tools (2023)” via API, then get the response as below:
    “The first product reviewed is DataNumen Outlook Repair.” It is correct and the correct answer can only be archived by visiting the URL.

  2. I send the prompt “What is the first product reviewed in URL 10 Best Outlook Plugins (2023) [FREE DOWNLOAD]” via API, then get the response as below:
    “The first product reviewed is Evernote for Outlook.” It is a wrong answer.

So, I am just curious whether the ChatGPT API can Access the Internet and obtain information to answer the question in the prompt?


There are two things that could happen

  1. it’s part of the training data. LLM training data includes a good portion of the internet.

  2. it gives you a likely answer. If a company does a “top ten” blog post where it compares itself to its competitors, it’s probably gonna include itself.

but it certainly doesn’t have realtime access to the internet.

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It may be worth stressing that there’s no “ChatGPT API”, per se.

There’s the API to access the GPT models (eg GPT3.5, 4), and there’s the consumer product ChatGPT.

While ChatGPT has internet access (which is done by using Bing’s Search API as a tool), the GPT APIs (as of writing) do not have internet access/search capabilities.

ChatGPT 3.5 result:
What is the first product reviewed in URL you provided



I’m sorry, but I cannot access external websites, including the URL you provided. If you have a specific question or if there’s something you’d like to know, feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to provide information based on my training data up to January 2022.

Copilot result:

The first product reviewed in the URL you provided is Stellar Repair for Outlook¹. It is a highly trusted PST repair tool that can fix severely corrupt PST files and recover mailbox data. It has a rich and intuitive GUI, supports selective recovery of items, and saves recovered data in multiple file formats¹. It also has a Technician version that can compact, split, and export the repaired PST to Office 365¹.

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