Additional images, third-party plugins, and other enhancements are also planned by Microsoft.

Microsoft barrels ahead with simulated intelligence plans

Additional images, third-party plugins, and other enhancements are also planned by Microsoft.

Today, Microsoft continued its push to incorporate generative AI features into all of its products by announcing a number of minor updates to its ChatGPT-powered Bing chatbot and transitioning the product from an invite-only closed preview to an open preview that anyone can participate in. Microsoft’s commitment to rapidly integrating AI features into all of its products is further demonstrated by the fact that this next phase of the “new Bing” arrives just three months after its introduction.

The chatbot and other features of the New Bing are available to anyone with a Microsoft Account during the “Open Preview” phase, which coincides with a push to make the chatbot “more visual.” Bing Visit can before long produce outlines and diagrams as a feature of its responses, and the Bing Picture Maker will be accessible in each of the 100 or more dialects upheld by Bing. You can search for images using a new visual search feature by first uploading a similar image to Bing Chat.

“Moving from single-use chat/search sessions to multi-session productivity experiences with chat history and persistent chats within Edge,” writes Microsoft VP Yusuf Mehdi, “is also something Microsoft is planning to expand the amount of history and context Bing Chat can remember.” This means that you can go back to previous chat sessions, that chats can stay open while you browse in Edge, and that Bing Chat “bring[s] context from a previous chat into new conversations” so that conversations become “more personalized.” The latter feature, which Microsoft is still “exploring,” will be made available “over time.”

The additional time spent exploring might be necessary. Microsoft’s euphemism for this behavior is “conversational drift,” and it was done to prevent the Bing chatbot’s responses from being excessively bizarre, threatening, nonsensical, or just plain buggy. Prior to this, Microsoft limited the duration of individual chat sessions and introduced various “personalities.” It’s not satisfactory whether broadening the length of talk meetings and making Bing Visit mindful of the setting from past discussions will once again introduce or compound a portion of those issues once more.

In order to make the Bing chatbot a “platform,” Microsoft will soon support plugins from third parties to expand its capabilities. OpenTable and Wolfram|Alpha are two of Microsoft’s initial partners for enhancing the chatbot’s math and science skills and making reservations, respectively. At Microsoft’s Build developer conference, which takes place toward the end of May, additional details on how to develop Bing Chat plugins will be made public.

Microsoft reiterated its “AI principles” and referred to a recently updated “approach to responsible AI” document (PDF), as it does in most of its AI-related announcements. Microsoft will continue to address “potential harms” as testers find them, but the company is still clearly committed to this new AI-focused strategy for Bing and doesn’t appear likely to slow down or stop its rapid rollout anytime soon.

According to Microsoft, the annual advertising revenue generated by Bing for every percentage point of Google’s search market share that Bing can capture is approximately $2 billion. Bard, Google’s Bing Chat competitor, has had a rough start, and there is a widespread perception that Google search does not produce as many positive results as it once did; after more than 10 years of grieving in a far off runner up, it’s not hard to see the reason why Microsoft is pushing Bing Talk and generative simulated intelligence includes hard in spite of analysis and suspicion.

Microsoft has included generative AI features in the taskbar of Windows 11, Skype, and GitHub, among other products, in addition to Bing and Edge. The organization likewise saw a Copilot element to assist with robotizing record and email creation in Microsoft 365 applications like Word, Succeed, PowerPoint, Standpoint, and Groups.

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