Bing Chat explains the news to me like I'm a monkey — literally

Monkey watching TV screens
All this OpenAI news overloads my simple monkey brain. (Image credit: DALL·E 2)

If you've made it this far without hearing about AI, you should consider paying rent to the rock you've been living under. It's everywhere, and it's relentless. Like most emerging forms of technology, AI-powered assistants like Bing Chat that generate content based on vast libraries of existing content have divided audiences.

Implications of plagiarism, biased responses, and the degradation of objective reasoning are among the immense criticisms for what could otherwise be seen as exciting tech. Don't get me wrong; I wholeheartedly understand the apprehensive feelings shared by creators and others who earn a living with content shared across the web.

After all, language learning models scrape the Internet to generate their answers, so there's an inevitable limit to how helpful a robot can be if it simply recycles and repackages its findings. For a change, I decided to keep the proverbial glass half full for the prospects of AI and have generally leaned into trying it out in my daily life. Bing Chat's most comical offerings became a personal favorite, and they're pretty helpful.

Bing Chat and me: The useful idiot

Gorillas teach the importance of banana currency with Bing Chat. (Image credit: DALL·E 2)

Without sounding too extravagant, Bing Chat reminds me of a famous quote usually accredited to Albert Einstein: "if you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." It's an oversimplification of AI assistants, but it helps explain the broader appeal to anyone outside the audience of technology enthusiasts.

Rather than pondering the perfect combination of keywords to reverse-engineer a search engine, you can talk to Bing Chat like you would a person (with a pinch of salt for some of its 'hallucinations.') For the past few weeks, I've found it superbly compliant for helping me understand niche topics or find quick recommendations to save me from making sense of community-breaking arguments in comment threads. Phew.

I don't always ask Bing Chat to answer me like we're monkeys, but the answers are usually far more memorable. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Moving several steps down from 'explain it like I'm five' to having a robot break down marginally complex topics to me as though I'm a confused pirate or a talking animal is equally hilarious and valuable.

I don't expect you to believe that I jump straight to absurdity for every topic, but starting from 'summarize this article' and moving down to 'explain the Activision-Blizzard deal like I'm a caveman' is a thoroughly enjoyable journey.

Ultimately, I remember the answers because they're so funny. Going down the route of asking Bing Chat to dumb down quantum mechanics in various degrees of simplicity usually hits the perfect point where I understand, but I don't want to stop.

Going to the pub with friends after work to regurgitate my recent findings and explaining artificial intelligence as though we're a gang of apes is far too enjoyable to give up. 

Look on the bright side

Bing Chat warms my caveman heart with our passion for the wonderous element of fire. (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

We can't ignore the red flags appearing in recent news stories about AI assistants, especially as Microsoft cutting AI ethics staff could have severe implications for the future of Bing Chat. However, if any company wants its products to succeed, they must have a broad appeal.

Big enough to know the business, those in charge of AI across Edge, Office, and presumably Windows 12 likely understand how devastating a scandal relating to lapses in judgment or ethics could be. This is the new space race, and speed is part of the key to success, but it can't be at the risk of safety. As one of the most successful companies in the world, Microsoft isn't run by monkeys; but I occasionally ask them to pretend to be.

Try it out with our guide on signing up for the new Bing, and select the 'more creative' mode for Bing Chat.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon to ask questions or share opinions.