ChatGPT, who? Microsoft isn’t letting the conversational chatbot get in the way of its innovation, and has actually teamed up with its creator, OpenAI, to develop the next generation of its Bing search engine. The new AI-powered Bing will deliver responses in a conversational form, much like ChatGPT.
Available in preview right now at Bing.com, the new AI-powered Bing search engine (and Edge browser) promises to deliver better search, more complete answers, a new chat experience, and the ability to generate content. Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft, refers to it as an “AI co-pilot for the web.”
“AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search,” says Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI co-pilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web.”
Microsoft estimates that of the 10 billion search queries made daily online, half of them go unanswered because the search engine is providing responses that aren’t fitting to the complex questions people are asking.
The new Bing offers more relevant responses for things like sports scores, stock prices, and weather. A new sidebar shows more detailed responses as well should you want them. Answers, meanwhile, are devised by reviewing various results from across the web then summarizing them. For example, if you want to know what you can sub for eggs in a recipe, you’ll get detailed instructions versus a stream of links you need to click on to read more.
There’s also a new chat experience when it comes to more complex searches, like planning for a trip itinerary or researching products you’re looking to buy. You can continuously refine the search while having a virtual conversation, asking for more clarity, details, and ideas. Microsoft will also provide buy links so you can purchase when ready.
Not in the mood to write that e-mail? Bing can pen it for you, or even create a trip itinerary with links to book the travel and accommodations. It will help you prepare for a job interview, or even create a quiz for family game night so you don’t have to come up with the questions yourself. All sources are cited so you can ensure that you’re being directed to reputable sites.
The set-up also includes a new Microsoft Edge with an updated Edge browser that includes new AI capabilities and a new look. It also has two new features: chat and compose. With the Edge Sidebar, you can ask for a summary of a lengthy financial report, for example, so you get the key information. Then, use the chat function to compare this to a competitor’s financials.
Edge can also help you compose a LinkedIn post, updating tone, format, and length before you finally push it live.
The benefits of the conversational format mean that you can ask much more involved questions. Microsoft provides examples like asking if a particular Ikea loveseat will fit in your specific car, or which music festivals to attend if you like electronic music.
Along with OpenAI’s model, Microsoft’s Prometheus powers the new Bing. The latter is a proprietary way Microsoft has developed of working with the OpenAI model, providing “more relevant, timely and targeted results, with improved safety.”
The AI model has also been applied to the core Bing search ranking engine so even basic search queries will be more accurate and relevant.
The new Bing is available today in a limited preview on desktop, and everyone can visit Bing.com to try sample queries and sign up for the waitlist. Microsoft plans to scale the preview to millions in the coming weeks. A mobile experience will also be in preview soon.