OpenAI tech to power Microsoft Bing search engine

REDMOND, 8 Feb 2023:

Microsoft yesterday announced from its headquarters in Washington that its Bing search engine will henceforth be assisted by artificial intelligence, in collaboration with OpenAI – the firm that created the popular ChatGPT AI tool – which will be able “to deliver better search, more complete answers, a new chat experience and the ability to generate content.”

Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said AI is now a “copilot” for navigating the internet, adding that it will “fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search.

“Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web.”

OpenAI cofounder and CEO Sam Altman, meanwhile, said the two firms have been working together for the past three years and this new version of Bing will help users be “more productive” and improve their “quality of life.”

The firm founded by Bill Gates and now headed by Nadella showed a select group of journalists yesterday how the new search engine will function.

The revamped Bing will be able to provide information that is not on the Web, for example like telling a user if a piece of furniture can be loaded into a specific type of automobile.

Another new element is that the Bing AI will be able to cite the sources of the information it offers, an important ability given that up to now ChatGPT did not provide the sources of the information it presented to users.

In the chat section of the search engine, users will be able to pose questions up to 2,000 characters in length to the AI.

In addition to posing questions about Web content, the Bing search engine will also be able to analyse the content of a PDF file and compare it with external information.

“There are times when you need more than an answer – you need inspiration,” adding that “the new Bing can … help you write an email, create a 5-day itinerary for a dream vacation to Hawaii, with links to book your travel and accommodations, prep for a job interview or create a quiz for trivia night.”

Microsoft said there are some 10 billion search queries made each day, but “we estimate half of them go unanswered. That’s because people are using search to do things it wasn’t originally designed to do.”

The search function is “great for finding a website, but for more complex questions or tasks too often it falls short,” and the new AI is designed to help users in these areas.