As the AI arms race with competitor Google heats up, Microsoft has unveiled a redesigned Bing search engine driven by chatbot technology.
The company that makes Windows, Office, and Xbox is also updating its Edge web browser in response to a multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, which shocked the world by releasing ChatGPT last year.
Despite being a long-standing computing industry behemoth, Microsoft has trailed behind Google when it comes to its search engine and web browser, with Chrome being the preferred choice worldwide.
It anticipates a boost from its own chatbot, a massive language model like ChatGPT that has been trained on a tonne of text data to provide responses, summarise facts, and conduct natural conversations.
Senior Microsoft executives made a jab at its competitors by claiming that the search experience hadn’t evolved in 20 years at a launch event for the new AI-powered services.
According to Microsoft, the new functionalities might be usable within a few weeks.
How will it function?
“An AI copilot for the web,” is how Microsoft, which has invested $10 billion in OpenAI, has dubbed its new Bing features.
Results pages will also feature a sidebar with a chatbot that will offer more thorough responses rather than just delivering a list of URLs and advertisements.
For instance, looking up a recipe online may result in more than simply a list of websites that provide it.
Bing will also attempt to analyse its search results and gather data into a single, understandable response.
Separate from the primary search engine, there will also be a chat experience that is very similar to ChatGPT where you can have back-and-forth discussions about any subject you like.
Will this actually tempt users to search on Bing?
That is the million-dollar (or multibillion-dollar) question, particularly in light of the fact that the term “google” has come to mean “to search the web,” making it a verb.
We “Google” the information rather than simply looking it up or “Binging” it.
Microsoft is banking on its conviction that its AI technology is the best; the company claims that the new Bing is powered by Prometheus, a “next-generation large language model that is more powerful than ChatGPT.”
At the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declared, “This technology is going to alter pretty much every software category.”
However, Google is also attempting to incorporate comparable technology into its products and last week unveiled Bard, a conversational AI tool.
However, Mr. Nadella came across as confident when he said, “The race begins today.”
Will AI alter the way we conduct web searches?
Given that ChatGPT gained more than 100 million users within the first few months of its debut in November, Google and Microsoft are undoubtedly betting on that outcome.
The new chatbot rapidly had users speculating about the demise of conventional search engines as it threatened to change how people prepare for job interviews, journalists write stories, and kids do their homework.
The way that search engines plan to compete with it is by keeping up with current events, which ChatGPT cannot do.
To address a complaint about ChatGPT, which occasionally gets its facts wrong, the new Bing, for instance, will draw on real-time news and updates and can also provide references for where it’s sourcing information from.
Startup search engines like You.com and Neeva are attempting to utilise chatbots to lure users away from the conventional suspects and gain ground in the AI arms race.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, the chief executive of Neeva and formerly in charge of advertising at Google, stated last month that he thought “a platform transition” was imminent.
Can I now test the new Bing?
Microsoft’s revamped search engine is currently available, but you must sign up for a waiting list in order to use it.
It has already started integrating ChatGPT into its Teams software to perform tasks like summarise meetings and provide short cuts in discussions.
Bard from Google is likewise being released gradually, first to its “trusted users” and then to the general public in the upcoming weeks.
At a gathering in Paris on Wednesday, the search engine giant was scheduled to provide additional information regarding its AI plans.
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