Microsoft has taken its commitment to artificial intelligence up a notch. The company announced today that its Bing search engine and Edge browser will incorporate a chat window where you can ask questions. The answers will be given by the Prometheus Model, a new next-generation language model developed in conjunction with OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT.
The announcement comes just hours after Google revealed that it will incorporate its own chatbot, Bard, into the world’s most used search engine, and two weeks after Microsoft declared its intention to invest 10,000 million dollars in OpenAI, a company of which it already was a partner Ever since ChatGPT popularized generative artificial intelligence two months ago, a key question was hovering in the industry: would it end up displacing traditional search engines? Was that chatbot threatening Google’s supremacy?
Microsoft has moved fast to integrate it into their products. Its new engine, they say from the company, will allow better searches on many levels. It will answer the questions asked by the users, looking for the relationship with the machine to be as similar as possible to talking with a friend. “We will make it incredibly easy to use. You will be able to chat and ask questions naturally,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Vice President and Head of marketing of Microsoft, in a presentation in which Satya Nadella, CEO of the company, and Sam Altman, head of OpenAI also participated.
He new bing It will be available from today in a desktop version for a limited number of users, and will be extended to “millions of people” (who can sign up for a waiting list) in the coming weeks. The mobile version will also come out later, said the CEO of Microsoft. This improvement will not imply additional payments.
Bing will also automatically generate content “to help you get started.” For example, create a e-mail in which the itinerary of a trip that has been preparing is summarized. From Microsoft they present generative artificial intelligence as a support tool in creative work, not as a substitute. “We believe that artificial intelligence will revolutionize all categories of the software”, Nadella said.
Prometeo improves the relevance of the answers, offers updated results (something that was failing, for example, with ChatGPT), allows annotating the answers that interest us the most, and takes into account elements such as geolocation to refine the information returned to the user. “This new engine that Bing incorporates is powered by one of our next-generation models, which takes key learnings from ChatGPT 3.5,” said OpenAI’s Altman.
The way users search for information has changed, and artificial intelligence can help refine the answers, Microsoft executives say. Mehdi gave an example during his presentation. If you are looking for the dimensions of a piece of furniture, what you really want to know is if it will fit in your room or in the trunk of your car. So you can better ask it if the two-seater sofa will fit in your Honda Odyssey and the artificial intelligence will give you the dimensions of the sofa, the trunk and an estimate of whether it will fit or not.
Microsoft wants Internet browsing and searching to take the form of a conversation. That we converse with the programs, instead of doing searches with keywords, as up to now. That will radically change the search experience and make it more complete.
According to company executives, the incorporation of Prometeo, the generative artificial intelligence engine, has been accompanied by notable improvements in the precision and relevance of the results provided by the Bing search engine. Until now, that was its main shortcoming, which made most users prefer alternatives like Google. Microsoft has also applied the new AI model to searches, so presumably the result will be better than before.
Bing will now allow searches with texts of up to 1,000 characters. Once the search has been formulated, a list with results will appear in the left column, as usual. And, on the right, a series of links that respond in a more creative way, expanding content and suggesting others. The idea, it seems, is that the user can see in each case the two types of search (the traditional one and the one supported by generative AI) and, from there, follow the path that they most want.
Searching will have less to do with typing keywords and more to do with posting ideas and requests. Mehdi gave the example that someone who is allergic to eggs can ask Bing to update a certain recipe with substitutes for that specific food. The engine will give you a new recipe with the exact ingredients and amounts, just as if a vegan cook was talking to the user.
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