STORY: In one of its biggest efforts yet to lead a new wave of technology and reshape how people gather information, Microsoft on Tuesday said it’s revamping its Bing search engine and Edge web browser with a new upgrade, powered by artificial intelligence.
Microsoft announced it will be using technology from its partnership with the startup OpenAI, to bring ChatGPT-like technology into the Microsoft search engine... aiming to soar past its main rival, Google.
Reuters Technology Correspondent, Jeffrey Dastin, was in Redmond, Washington for the announcement.
"The company announced essentially its biggest challenge to Google yet by planning to launch and roll out a search engine and web browser completely infused with AI. So the idea is that Microsoft's Bing Search Engine and Edge web browser will have chatbot style functionality, kind of like the chatbot sensation ChatGPT.”
OpenAI made a preview of ChatGPT available for public use late last year. Its human-like responses to any prompt have given people new ways to think about the possibilities of marketing, writing term papers or disseminating news.
DASTIN: “The technology known as ChatGPT that many of us have played around with, experienced, is itself based on a system that's actually a few years old. And the maker of that technology, OpenAI, has been continually working to improve it, not just in the version that we see online today, but in things that aren't released yet. And also, for instance, in this upcoming Bing search engine. So it essentially - there will be a more advanced version of that powerful AI in Microsoft's new search engine. Though one important thing to note is that it still has a lot to learn. It still is dependent on feedback so that it can provide factual and the best answers to consumers.”
Bing's chatbot will help users refine questions more easily, give more relevant up-to-date results, and even make shopping easier.
"For instance, if you want to know if a car seat will fit in the back of your particular vehicle, it will knowing the information you provide it, give you an answer so that you don't have to try to make sense of different web pages on your own.”
Bing is far behind Google in search market share. But AI could alter the landscape.
“AI is essentially the frontier right now in search engine technology. So Google for years has been the number one provider.
"Bing - with the search engine from Microsoft - is trying to change that. And the idea is that if AI can help you answer things that don't already exist on the Web and can create all sorts of new experiences and functionality like email-composing and translation and even grocery list and shopping help, then Microsoft is hoping that it can gain, share and compete with Google.”
Google on Monday unveiled a chatbot of its own called Bard.. and it’s planning to release AI for its search engine.
But which AI-powered search engine consumers will prefer in the long run remains to be seen.