Microsoft is betting ChatGPT will make Bing useful

Microsoft's $10 billion investment in OpenAI is already resulting in ChatGPT integration for Bing and Edge, with potentially major consequences.
Close up of Bing search engine homepage on computer screen
Brand new Bing, now with AI additive. Deposit Photos

Microsoft has announced the first results of its recent $10 billion investment in the research lab OpenAI. Its long-overlooked and frequently maligned Bing search engine is getting a revamp courtesy of ChatGPT integration, alongside the company’s Edge web browser.

Per a presentation from Microsoft headquarters on Tuesday, CEO Satya Nadella laid out how the company’s revitalized Bing is meant to provide a “new day” for internet users. In addition to an overall retooling of how Bing’s search results populate, users will soon be able to leverage ChatGPT’s conversational tone to assist in more complex tasks; Microsoft says will generate travel itineraries, offer recipe ingredient substitutions, and list potential options for a product while shopping, all while also providing relevant links.

[Related: Google’s own upcoming AI chatbot draws from the power of its search engine.]

According to Microsoft, ChatGPT’s ability to produce often humanlike responses—a cause for concern across many fields and industries—can soon also be leveraged to help write emails, prep for job interviews, and even plan a trivia game night all from within the new Bing and Edge. As shown during the company’s public demonstration, the new integration comes in the form of either traditional search results side-by-side with AI-assisted annotations, or a separate chat window for more in-depth conversations. The new-and-improved Bing is currently available via “limited preview,” with a full-scale launch arriving in the near future.

[Related: AI scientists say ChatGPT is nothing special.]

Microsoft’s dramatic search engine reboot is only the latest in a string of major developments within the complex and often controversial generative AI chatbot industry. On Monday, Google announced the imminent arrival of Bard, its intended rival to the Microsoft-backed ChatGPT tool based in part on the company’s (recently misunderstood) LaMDA service. Meanwhile, critics and experts urge everyone to pump the brakes on hype surrounding these programs, citing concerns over efficacy and accuracy.

Microsoft’s $10 billion investment into OpenAI won’t end with search engines, either. According to Tuesday’s presentation, ChatGPT services will soon find their way into the company’s entire suite of products.