Google is working on AI-powered responses for web searches, a bit like how ChatGPT works when answering questions. It turns out Microsoft also has big plans for AI-powered search, with major changes coming to the Bing search engine.
Microsoft discussed upcoming changes to Bing at an in-person press event today, which the company is just calling “the new Bing.” Bing will use a next-generation learning model from OpenAI, the same company behind ChatGPT and DALL-E, which is supposedly more powerful than ChatGPT.
Similar to ChatGPT, the new Bing has a text box for typing a prompt or question, which is then answered in a short statement. Unlike ChatGPT, the generated answer has annotations with links, which helps identify the source of information (like in a Wikipedia article). However, it’s still an experimental AI technology, so it’s possible Bing could spit out incorrect results even when the source data is correct. For example, someone asked Bing if a specific IKEA seat would fit into a specific Honda car, and the response grabbed data about the chair and car’s physical dimensions to give an answer: “it might fit with the second and third rows folded.”
In current demos and screenshots, generated response was displayed alongside traditional search results, but it’s unclear that the mobile interface will prioritize. There will also be a separate chat-like interface, where the traditional list of site links fade away in favor of a full-screen conversation with Microsoft’s AI. Microsoft also demoed other features that go beyond traditional information searching, like creating a grocery list based on a meal plan, and generating a music trivia quiz.
The new Bing features are expected to roll out slowly, so it’s unclear when everyone will have access to it all. A limited preview will be available starting today, with a limited number of queries.