Tech giant Microsoft has just launched a new and significantly improved version of its search engine Bing, which has ChatGPT’s underlying artificial intelligence capabilities built into it.
Microsoft says the AI-powered technology will help Bing deal better with “more complex” queries raised by users of the search engine, while related functionalities have been added to Microsoft Edge that will let netizens compose social media posts off the back of searches.
The new version of Bing is available now as a limited preview, but Microsoft plans to scale this to “millions” of users within the coming weeks.
Microsoft Launches Bing with ChatGPT
“Today, we’re launching an all-new, AI-powered Bing search engine and Edge browser” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft Corporate Vice President & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, announced in a recent blog post.
The new version of Bing, he says, will deliver “a better search” as well as “more complete answers”. With this update, Bing should now be viewed as an “AI copilot” for browsing the internet.
According to Microsoft, around half of the 10 billion search queries made every day go unanswered. That, Mehdi says, “is because people are using search to do things it wasn’t originally supposed to do”.
This is where the AI technology that powers the now-world-famous ChatGPT comes in – and it might just change how we search for information on the web forever.
What the New AI-Powered Bing Can Do
Microsoft says that the new AI chat experience within their Bing search engine will be able to help users that want a “detailed trip itinerary” or are “researching what TV to buy”. Previously, search engines would have struggled with the multi-faceted nature of this query and this would make the results unhelpful.
Now, “the chat experience empowers you to refine your search until you get the complete answer you are looking for by asking for more details, clarity, and ideas,” Mehdi says in the blog post.
The technology will take “key learnings and advancements” from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5 to serve answers at a higher speed and with increased accuracy. However, initial reports regarding the efficacy of the Bing chatbot claim that it's behaving a little more cautiously than ChatGPT at present.
Microsoft has also applied artificial intelligence to the standard search algorithm utilized by Bing, which the company says “has led to the largest jump in relevance in two decades.”
Microsoft Edge Receives AI Upgrade
Along with these changes to Bing, Microsoft has also incorporated AI technology into its browser, Microsoft Edge.
Two new functions, “chat” and “compose”, will be available in the Edge sidebar. To explain how both of these work, Microsoft uses the example of a user searching for a summary of a specific financial report.
Microsoft details how you could “use the chat function to ask for a comparison to a competing company’s financials and automatically put it in a table”, or ask it to compose content such as social media posts based on a few prompts related to the content you're looking at.
Bing – which is now 13 years old – has always played second fiddle to Google, and that's unlikely to change any time soon. However, these new AI capabilities certainly give the less popular search engine a unique selling point that Google can’t compete with, for the time being at least, although it's sure to be pinning its hopes on its own Bard AI solution.