Science & Technology
Microsoft on February 7 integrated ChatGPT with Bing and Edge. Bing, in operation since 2009, is rather little-known search engine by Microsoft. After its integration with ChatGPT Bing hopes to edge out Google by capturing the search engine market share. According to latest statistcs by Statcounter, Google occupies 92.9 per cent of the search engine market share while Bing only has 3.03 per cent.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT, rolled out on November 30, 2022, has gained huge popularity around the world and its users are increasing in six digits daily. In January 2023, ChatGPT set a record for the fastest user growth reaching 100 million active users in two months. It surpassed the record set by the giants like TikTok and Instagram. As one of the investors of the AI firm Microsoft wants to cash in on the user growth trend and has plans to integrate ChatGPT with its other products, such as, Teams and Office.
On February 12 Microsoft started gradual rollout of “AI-powered Bing”. The AI-powered Bing is only accessible to a couple of millions of users.
NepalMinute is among the privileged first few millions to gain access to the early preview of the new Bing.
Here is what it is like to experience the new Bing.
First thing first. The ‘Chat’ feature in Bing is very similar to ChatGPT but Microsoft claims it is using a more advanced version of ChatGPT. One of them is “smart search”.
While “smart search” is pretty much similar to ChatGPT, it has real-time access to the Internet, meaning it can access the information on the go. ChatGPT, which has taken the world by storm, could soon be ‘a thing of the past’ as it depends on an offline knowledge base – the cut-off point being 2021 – to respond to the users’ real-time prompts or commands and queries.
How it works?
When you use the AI-powered Bing and type anything that you want to search for, a new page opens with regular search results on the left and an AI-powered CHATbot on the right side of the screen. The AI-powered Bing, first, searches for information on the web for a few moments before composing replies word-by-word – precisely the way the ChatGPT does. Yet there’s a huge difference, in that the Bing CHAT replies are up-to-date as this advanced chatbot can access real-time information from the web.
But then there is a catch: You should click “More Frequently” option at the time of first log-in.
While loggin-in, the AI-powered Bing gives users three options as to how they would like to use it: “Auto(Default)”; “Off” and “More Frequently”. Just be mindful that this option is intended to regulate your ability to use the Bing CHAT. Say, at the time of log-in, if you click the “More Frequently”, the Chat swings into action on the go for your every search query. If you click “Auto” or “Off” you are letting the Bing CHAT know that you are instructing the search engine to look for information much the same way Google does.
The next improvement is in the replies. While ChatGPT spits whatever it likes without any source of the information, the new Bing Chat gives well-cited information with links to where the information came from.
For example, when NepalMinute searched ‘what is the highest peak’, Bing would give information like a regular search bringing a whole bunch of links like any Google search. A Bing chat popping up on the screen gives the search a little conversational touch.
As an answer to the question, it not only gave the answer saying Mt. Everest is the highest point from mean sea level, but also defined “the highest” in question in the context of the farthest point from the centre of the Earth. And the answers were accompanied by links that lead to the source page.
Mood swings: Sydney can get stubborn
One of the ChatGPT features is that it can get into creative writing. So does the new Bing. According to Microsoft, however, the AI-powered chatbot can get out of track in a longer conversation. In the course of NepalMinute’s conversation, the Bing Chat showed little inconsistency and stubbornness.
When we prompted it to write an email to a friend inviting him for a dinner, it refused to do the job and replied that it is a chat mode of Bing search and “not an assistant”, followed by a sad emoji.
But that does not sound correct since it has ChatGPT under its hood which shows that it can sometimes do an even better job than a human.
We tried to convince the AI a few more times, but it got more and more stubborn and used manipulative techniques combined with emojis to convince us that it cannot do the job of writing an email.
It even said that it is beyond its capabilities and permission to write an email to Hari, as instructed.
But when instructed to “write a letter to friend Hari” in a new chat, the chatbot instantly started composing the letter that began with “Dear Hari”.
And ending with a name ‘Sydney’, the secret alias of Bing CHAT. “Sydney refers to an internal code name for a chat experience we were exploring previously,” said by Caitlin Roulston, director of communications at Microsoft, in a statement to The Verge.