Bing has been making the headlines ever since Microsoft introduced the AI-powered search engine, integrated ChatGPT, and even the Edge web browser. However, it has been a mixed bag of results so far. While the AI-powered search engine is proving its utility, the chatbot has been rather erratic as it sent “unhinged” messages, got into arguments with users, engaged in unnerving conversations, and even had an existential crisis. Microsoft has now acknowledged, and talked about working on, most of these issues in a detailed blog post.
“A little over a week ago, we shared an all-new, AI-powered Bing search engine, Edge web browser, and integrated Chat, that we think of as Your Copilot for the Web. It is designed to deliver better search results, more complete answers to your questions, a new chat experience to better discover and refine your search, and the ability to generate content to spark your creativity,” Microsoft said in a blog post.
So far, its heavy investments into AI and ChatGPT developer OpenAI seem to have paid off – the limited preview highlighted a greater degree of engagement across traditional search results, as well as with the new features like summarized answers, the Chatbot, and the content creation tools. In case you missed it, the features were tested with a handful of people in over 169 countries, and Microsoft received valuable feedback to improve upon the features.
This feedback – so far – has been mostly positive, and the tech company noted that it is witnessing a healthy engagement on the integrated Chat with multiple questions asked during a session as well. There have been technical issues or bugs with the new Bing (such as slow loading, broken links, or incorrect formatting), and Microsoft revealed that it has addressed most of the issues (and will address more with future releases).
“The only way to improve a product like this, where the user experience is so much different than anything anyone has seen before, is to have people like you using the product and doing exactly what you all are doing. We know we must build this in the open with the community; this can’t be done solely in the lab. Your feedback about what you’re finding valuable and what you aren’t, and what your preferences are for how the product should behave, are so critical at this nascent stage of development,” the company said.
The new AI-powered search engine has been a hit – users have been giving good marks on the citations and references that come with the results shown by Bing. Going forward, the company aims to increase the grounding data it sends to models (in case of queries where users want a more direct and factual answer) by four times, and is considering the addition of a toggle to give users a greater degree of control on the “precision vs creativity” of the answer to tailor to their queries.
The new Chat has, unsurprisingly, seen a lot of engagement as users have actively used it in their pursuit of answers. However, it is not entirely perfect (yet), given that the chatbot can become repetitive or even give what is considered to be unhelpful and “unhinged” responses (something that has happened several times in the past few days). Microsoft believes that extended chat sessions of 15 or more questions is the reason behind this – it can confuse the model on what questions it is answering. It is likely that the company will add a tool to let users more easily refresh the context or start a new conversation.