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Microsoft unveils new Bing powered by ChatGPT and takes aim at Google in bid to change how we search the web | Science & Tech News


Microsoft has unveiled an innovative Bing search engine powered by chatbot technology as the AI ​​arms race with rival Google heats up.

The maker of Windows, Office and Xbox is also giving its Edge web browser an update following its multi-billion dollar investment in OpenAI, which took the world by storm last year by releasing ChatGPT.

While Microsoft has long been a giant of the computer industry, it has lagged behind Google when it comes to search engines and web browsers – with Chrome being a global favourite.

It hopes its own chatbot — a large language model like ChatGPT, which is trained on large amounts of textual data to generate answers, summarize information, and conduct actual conversations — will help. it accelerates.

At an event to launch new AI-powered services, senior Microsoft figures said the search experience hasn’t changed in the past 20 years, criticizing its rivals.

Microsoft has suggested new features that could be available for use within a few weeks.

How will it work?

Microsoft – an early investor in OpenAI – has described its new Bing features as “an AI assistant for the web”.

Instead of just returning a list of websites and ads, the results pages will also have a sidebar where the chatbot will provide more detailed answers.

For example, searching for a recipe will not only give you a list of related sites – it can also write a list for you.

Bing will also attempt to review its search results and compile the information into a single, understandable answer.

And there will be a ChatGPT-style chat experience, separate from the main search engine, where you can chat back and forth about a topic of your choice.

The new Bing has a ChatGPT-style chatbot feature.  Photo: Microsoft
Image:
The new Bing has a ChatGPT-style chatbot feature. Photo: Microsoft

Does this really tempt people to use Bing?

That’s the million (or multi-billion) dollar question, especially since Google has become so synonymous with web search that it has become a verb.

We don’t just search for it and we certainly don’t “Bing it”, we “Google it”.

Microsoft is confident that its AI technology is the best – it says that the new Bing is running on a “next-generation big language model more powerful than ChatGPT”, dubbed Prometheus.

“This technology will reshape pretty much every kind of software,” Microsoft boss Satya Nadella said at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, on Tuesday.

But Google is also looking to harness the same technology in its products, announced its own conversational AI service called Bard earlier this week.

However, Mr. Nadella was optimistic when declaring: “The race starts today.”

The new Bing invites users to 'ask me anything'.  Photo: Microsoft
Image:
The new Bing invites users to ‘ask me anything’. Photo: Microsoft

Will AI change the way we search the web?

Google and Microsoft are certainly betting on that case, apparently spooked by the sudden success of ChatGPT when it was released in November – amassing over 100 million users.

It quickly had some users predicting the demise of traditional search engines, as the emerging chatbot threatens to change the way people prepare for job interviews, journalists write storiesAnd children doing homework.

Search engines will find a way to beat it by updating current affairs, which ChatGPT cannot do.

For example, the new Bing will be based on real-time news and updates, and can also provide references as to where it gets its information from – addressing criticism of ChatGPT, at times misunderstand the truth.

Search engine startups, like Neeva and You.com, are also looking to leverage chatbots to lure users away from the usual doubts and take a place in the AI ​​arms race.

Neeva’s CEO, Sridhar Ramaswamy, formerly the king of advertising at Google, told Sky News last month that he believes the “platform change” is already in the cards.

Read more:
How AI could change the way we search the web

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Will this chatbot replace humans?

Can I try the new Bing now?

Microsoft has implemented a new look and feel search engine, but you’ll have to join the waitlist before you can try it out.

In the meantime, it has implemented ChatGPT into its Teams software to do things like summarize meetings and give brief feedback in chats.

Google’s Bard is also rolling out gradually, first to “trusted users” before a full release in the coming weeks.

The search giant is expected to announce more details about its AI plans at an event in Paris on Wednesday.

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