Microsoft integrates ChatGPT-Like Tech into the Bing search engine
Microsoft is merging ChatGPT-like technology into its Bing search engine, turning an internet service that now lags far behind Google into a new way to communicate with artificial intelligence.
The redesign of Microsoft’s second-place search engine could give the software giant a leg up on other tech companies by capitalizing on global excitement surrounding ChatGPT, a tool that has awakened millions to the possibilities of the latest AI technology.
In addition to adding it to Bing, Microsoft is also integrating chatbot technology into its Edge browser. Microsoft announced the new technology at an event Tuesday at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Microsoft said a public preview of the new Bing was set to launch on Tuesday for users who sign up for it, but the technology will expand to millions of users in the coming weeks.
Yusuf Mehdi, the company’s vice president and director of consumer marketing, said the new Bing will go live for desktop in a limited preview. Everyone can try a limited number of queries, he said.
Strengthening the partnership with ChatGPT maker OpenAI has taken years, beginning with a $1 billion investment from Microsoft in 2019 that led to the development of a powerful supercomputer specifically designed to train the AI models of the San Francisco startup.
Although not always factual or logical, fluency in ChatGPT language and grammar comes from ingesting a huge trove of digitized books, Wikipedia entries, instruction manuals, journals and other writings online.
The shift to making search engines more conversational – able to confidently answer questions rather than offer links to other websites – could change advertising-fueled search activity, but also poses risks if the AI systems do not correctly understand the facts.
Their opacity also makes it difficult to return to the original man-made images and text that they actually memorized.
Google has been cautious about such moves. But in response to pressure on ChatGPT’s popularity, Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced a new chat service named Bard that will be available exclusively to a group of “trust testers” before being widely released later. This year.
Google’s chatbot is supposed to be able to explain complex topics like discoveries from outer space in terms simple enough for a child to understand. He also claims that the service will also do other more mundane tasks, such as providing tips for planning a party or lunch ideas based on food left in a fridge. Other tech rivals such as Facebook parent company Meta and Amazon have also been working on similar technology, but Microsoft’s latest moves aim to position it at the center of the ChatGPT zeitgeist.
Microsoft revealed in January that it was pumping billions more into OpenAI as it sought to merge the technology behind ChatGPT, the DALL-E image generator and other OpenAI innovations into a line of Microsoft products related to its cloud computing platform and its Office suite. work products such as emails and spreadsheets.
Perhaps most surprising is the integration with Bing, which is the second-largest search engine in many markets but has never quite matched Google’s dominance.
Bing was launched in 2009 as a rebranding of Microsoft’s earlier search engines and was run for a time by Nadella, years before he became CEO. Its importance was heightened when Yahoo and Microsoft signed an agreement for Bing to power Yahoo’s search engine, giving Microsoft access to Yahoo’s largest search share. Similar offerings infused Bing into the search capabilities of devices made by other companies, though users weren’t necessarily aware that Microsoft was powering their searches.
By making it a destination for ChatGPT-like conversations, Microsoft could invite more users to try Bing.
At first glance, at least, a Bing integration looks quite different from what OpenAI has in mind for its technology.
OpenAI has long expressed an ambitious vision to safely guide what is known as AGI, or artificial general intelligence, an as yet unrealized concept reminiscent of science fiction ideas about human-like machines. The OpenAI website describes AGI as “highly autonomous systems that outperform humans in the most economically valuable jobs.”
OpenAI began as a nonprofit research lab when it launched in December 2015 with support from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others. Its stated goals were to “advance digital intelligence in ways most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by the need to generate financial return.”
That changed in 2018 when it incorporated for-profit Open AI LP and moved nearly all of its staff into the company, shortly after releasing its first generation of the GPT model for generating paragraphs of readable text from human type.
Other OpenAI products include the DALL-E image generator, first released in 2021, the computer programming assistant Codex, and the voice recognition tool Whisper.