What you need to know
- Microsoft just announced a new version of its Bing search engine.
- The new Bing uses ChatGPT technology to understand questions and generate answers.
- The search engine runs on the next generation of OpenAI's language model, which is significantly more capable than the version of ChatGPT that has been available since November 2022.
- A new version of Microsoft Edge will launch alongside the new Bing.
Microsoft just unveiled a new version of Bing that's powered by ChatGPT. The revamped search engine will use the power of artificial intelligence to understand queries written with natural language and to generate answers. The new Bing has OpenAI's next-generation language model underneath the hood, which is a significant improvement of the version of ChatGPT that's gone viral over the past two months.
"It's a new day for search. ... in fact a race starts today in terms of what you can expect. And we're going to move, we're going to move fast. ... We want to have a lot of fun innovating in search, because it's high time," said Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft's AI event.
Most notably, the AI that powers the revamped Bing can use up to date information to answer questions. ChatGPT 3.5, which is what powers the chatbot that's gained notoriety since launching last November, relied on information from 2021 and before.
The new OpenAI large language model that powers Bing has been optimized for search. It's built on learning from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5. Microsoft did not mention GPT4, which was rumored to power the service.
The tech giant did, however, discussed its proprietary way of using OpenAI. The Microsoft Prometheus model delivers timely and relevant results, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft also noted that it's used AI to improve the Bing search ranking engine. The company said that move led to the "largest jump in relevance in two decades."
When users open the Bing website, they'll be met with a chatbot interface rather than a search box (though the classic version of Bing remains available if preferred).
Microsoft $1 billion to company behind ChatGPT, OpenAI, back in 2019. A multi-billion-dollar investment from Microsoft into OpenAI was announced earlier this year. The tech giant wants to integrate artificial intelligence into all of its products, and today's news is a major step in that direction.
AI recently rolled out to Teams Premium, and rumors swirled for weeks about Bing gaining the power of artificial intelligence.
Microsoft highlights the capabilities of the new Bing in a blog post:
- Better search. The new Bing gives you an improved version of the familiar search experience, providing more relevant results for simple things like sports scores, stock prices and weather, along with a new sidebar that shows more comprehensive answers if you want them.
- Complete answers. Bing reviews results from across the web to find and summarize the answer you’re looking for. For example, you can get detailed instructions for how to substitute eggs for another ingredient in a cake you are baking right in that moment, without scrolling through multiple results.
- A new chat experience. For more complex searches – such as for planning a detailed trip itinerary or researching what TV to buy – the new Bing offers new, interactive chat. The chat experience empowers you to refine your search until you get the complete answer you are looking for by asking for more details, clarity and ideas – with links available so you can immediately act on your decisions.
- A creative spark. There are times when you need more than an answer – you need inspiration. The new Bing can generate the content to help you. It 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. The new Bing also cites all its sources, so you’re able to see links to the web content it references.
- New Microsoft Edge experience. We’ve updated the Edge browser with new AI capabilities and a new look, and we’ve 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.
This is a breaking news story, and we'll update it as more information becomes available.
Tweets from the press
While Microsoft did not live stream today's AI event, press are in attendance. We'll add information from the event below as it comes in.
Bing will try to tell you if a loveseat will fit in your car (but will acknowledge it’s not positive). pic.twitter.com/lAFuQaOG5KFebruary 7, 2023
As has been rumored, the new Bing is based on a new version of the work @OpenAI is doing (but not necessarily #ChatGPT4). In addition, @Microsoft has built something they're calling the Prometheus model. pic.twitter.com/0Efu3zBGCaFebruary 7, 2023
Here’s the first demo of how the new Bing works! Using AI you’ll be able to get a quick summary to your questions on the side with links to the resources. pic.twitter.com/ZFA3rEgBn0February 7, 2023
Windows Central take
Bing has sat in a distant second place behind Google since its launch. Microsoft's heavy investment in artificial intelligence looks like it will pay off in a big way when it comes to improving AI. The question is if it will convert anyone over from Google search.
Microsoft can't force people to swap search engines, but the revamped Bing looks like it provides unique functionality that genuinely makes it stand out against the competition. ChatGPT also has the public interest right now, so plugging into that excitement could lead many to try out the new Bing.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.