Microsoft has announced a new era of Microsoft Bing search engine with an OpenAI-powered copilot to sit within Bing and the company’s Edge browser.
At a special event on Tuesday, Microsoft said the integration of the artificial intelligence-powered tool will result in better quality and more complete search results, as well as the ability to generate content and engage in a more conversational search experience.
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The announcement and subsequent launch sets Microsoft up for an epic fight with Google for the future of search. Google itself has announced its Bard chatbot, but the new AI frontier somewhat resets the playing field and offers Bing a way back from the dead if it can more effectively capitalise on the new technology.
Microsoft says the improved search will see more relevant results, including for items like sports scores and stock prices, while the promise of more complete answers is based around a newfound ability to bring together results from across the web and offer summaries.
Microsoft says the new Bing search tools are powered by a “new, next-generation OpenAI large language model that is more powerful than ChatGPT” and augmented by a new Microsoft Prometheus model that can ensure more relevant, timely and targeted results.
“For example, you can get detailed instructions for how to substitute eggs for another ingredient in a cake you are baking right in that moment, without scrolling through multiple results,” Microsoft says.
In terms of chat, Microsoft says the interactive tool will help you continue to refine your search, including putting your favourite tech sites out of business by helping you research what TV to buy without clicking anything, while still harnessing all of the information within those reviews (a little gallows humour for you there).
It’ll offer “more details, clarity and ideas – with links available so you can immediately act on your decisions,” Microsoft says. And it’ll also give you a “creative spark” to generate an email, create an itinerary, or pull together a quiz night.
The experiences are available in preview from today from Bing.com and within an updated Edge browser with AI capabilities like “Chat” and “Compose” built in. The former will enable users to ask for summaries of reports, for example, and then use the chatbot for more context. As for the Compose element, the tool could help you write a LinkedIn post with prompts to ensure you hit a desired tone.