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9 Feb, 2023
2 min time to read

Microsoft has announced that it's utilizing conversational AI to develop a novel approach to web browsing.

Microsoft has presented a revamped version of its Bing search engine, which is now powered by a more advanced version of the AI technology used by the ChatGPT chatbot. To complement this, the company is also introducing AI-powered upgrades to its Edge browser, aiming to offer a completely new web browsing and information finding experience.

At a launch event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated, "It's a new era in search." He went on to say that the search landscape has remained unchanged for many years, but with AI, information can be retrieved more effortlessly and efficiently than ever before.

Microsoft demonstrated what they refer to as "the new Bing" during presentations, showcasing its various functions. In one configuration, traditional search results were displayed alongside AI annotations while in another, users were able to interact with the Bing chatbot in a chat interface similar to ChatGPT.

During the demonstrations, Microsoft provided several examples of searches, including searching for recipes, travel tips, and shopping for furniture from Ikea. In one scenario, the chatbot was asked to plan a five-day itinerary for a trip to Mexico City, providing a detailed plan and links for further information.

In addition to its chat capabilities, the new Bing also provides the latest news about current events, as demonstrated by The Verge. The search engine was even able to answer questions about its own launch by citing news articles published in the past hour.

Microsoft attributes these capabilities to an upgraded version of GPT 3.5 known as the "Prometheus Model." The company claims that this AI language model is more powerful than GPT 3.5 and provides more accurate and up-to-date information and annotations in response to search queries.

Along with the unveiling of the updated Bing, Microsoft has rolled out two innovative AI-powered features for its Edge browser named "Chat" and "Compose." These features will be integrated into the Edge browser's sidebar.

The "Chat" feature enables users to succinctly summarize the webpage or document they are viewing and pose queries about its contents. On the other hand, the "Compose" feature functions as a writing assistant, aiding users in generating text ranging from emails to social media posts, based on initial prompts provided.

The unveiling of the new Bing coincides with a surge of artificial intelligence advancements from both Microsoft and its competitor Google. Since the release of ChatGPT on the web in November, the excitement surrounding AI text generation has skyrocketed. Microsoft, which has a close collaboration with ChatGPT's developer OpenAI, is looking to take advantage of this trend and has already revealed its plans to integrate the technology into its suite of office applications.

On the other hand, Google was taken aback by the changes in the way users search for information online, which some experts consider as a significant shift. The launch of ChatGPT reportedly prompted a "code red" response from the search giant, causing co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to return to address what could potentially harm their primary source of income.

In a bid to beat Microsoft's announcement, Google launched its own version of ChatGPT, named Bard, yesterday. CEO Sundar Pichai referred to the software as an "experimental conversational AI service," but emphasized that it was still being trialed by a limited number of users and will only be widely available in the upcoming weeks.