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Bing and Beyond: Microsoft Takes Search to the Next Level with AI Upgrade

Microsoft has launched a new version of its search engine Bing, powered by an upgraded version of the AI technology used in OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT. The company promises that the new Bing and the upgraded Edge browser will provide a new and improved experience for browsing the web and finding information online. Microsoft argues that the current search paradigm has remained unchanged for 20 years and that many searches do not provide users with the answers they need. The new Bing aims to change this by using conversational AI to deliver information more quickly and efficiently.

The new Bing offers a chat function that allows users to ask questions and receive answers in natural language. This feature is powered by an updated version of OpenAI’s Prometheus Model, which offers more up-to-date information with annotated answers. In live demonstrations, Microsoft showed the new Bing displaying traditional search results alongside annotations and an AI chat interface. In one demo, Bing was asked to create an itinerary for a 5-day trip to Mexico and answered by the chatbot with the itinerary and links to sources for the information.

In detail, Microsoft notes the new Bing offers:

  • Next-generation OpenAI model. The new Bing is running on a new, next-generation OpenAI large language model that is more powerful than ChatGPT and customized specifically for search. It takes key learnings and advancements from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5 – and it is even faster, more accurate and more capable.
  • Microsoft Prometheus model. Microsoft has developed a proprietary way of working with the OpenAI model called Prometheus that allows us to best leverage its power. This combination gives you more relevant, timely and targeted results, with improved safety.
  • Applying AI to core search algorithm. Microsoft applied the AI model to their core Bing search ranking engine, which they say led to the largest jump in relevance in two decades. With this AI model, even basic search queries are more accurate and more relevant.
  • New user experience. Microsoft has reimagining how you interact with search, browser and chat by pulling them into a unified experience. This will unlock a completely new way to interact with the web.

The new Bing is Microsoft’s attempt to capitalize on the growing interest in AI text generation following the launch of ChatGPT. Microsoft has announced plans to integrate this technology across its suite of office software. Meanwhile, Google has launched its own conversational AI service called Bard, which is still being tested by a small group of users and will only receive a wider launch in the coming weeks.

However, the use of AI chatbots to replace traditional search methods raises several questions. AI language systems like ChatGPT have a history of presenting false information as fact, and this problem has only been magnified with the rise of chatbots. There is also the concern that AI-accelerated search could harm the ecosystem of the wider search market by collating information without directing users to its source and generating revenue for the creator.

New Microsoft Edge experience.

Microsoft has updated the Edge browser with new AI capabilities and a new look, and added two new functionalities: Chat and compose. With the Edge Sidebar, you can ask for a summary of a lengthy financial report to get the key takeaways – and then use the chat function to ask for a comparison to a competing company’s financials and automatically put it in a table. You can also ask Edge to help you compose content, such as a LinkedIn post, by giving it a few prompts to get you started. After that, you can ask it to help you update the tone, format and length of the post. Edge can understand the web page you’re on and adapts accordingly.

The new Bing is available for preview starting today, with a mobile preview to come soon. The company believes that the new Bing will revolutionize the search experience and provide users with faster and more accurate information.

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