Elly Yates-Roberts |
Microsoft has launched new versions of its Bing search engine and Edge browser, which will now feature core artificial intelligence capabilities to deliver better search results, more complete answers, content generation opportunities and a new, interactive chat experience.
Referring to the new tools as an ‘AI co-pilot for the web’, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, described the launch as “improving how the world benefits from the web” by enabling users to “unlock the joy of discovery, feel the wonder of creation and better harness the world’s knowledge”.
“AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. “Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web.”
Users will receive more relevant results for simple queries, in addition to a sidebar that will show more comprehensive answers. Bing will also review results from across the web and summarise the answer to the query. “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,” said Mehdi.
The new Bing chat functionality aims to address more complex searches by asking the user for more details, clarity and ideas. In addition, the new version of the search engine will help users to generate content, such as emails, itineraries or preparation for a job interview, citing all sources so users can access the original content.
The new Bing can help users to generate content such as an anniversary itinerary (Image: Microsoft)
The new Bing experience – the name that Microsoft has given to the unified search engine and browser offering – builds on multiple AI foundations. Bing will now run on a new OpenAI large language model that Mehdi says is “more powerful than ChatGPT and customised specifically for search”, making it faster, more accurate and more capable. Microsoft has also developed the Prometheus model that enables the firm to best access the power of the OpenAI model. According to Mehdi, it gives users more relevant, timely and targeted results.
“These ground-breaking new search experiences are possible because Microsoft has committed to building Azure into an AI supercomputer for the world, and OpenAI has used this infrastructure to train the breakthrough models that are now being optimised for Bing,” said Mehdi.
The new Bing experience is now available in a limited preview on desktop. Anyone can visit Bing.com today to try sample queries and sign up for the waitlist.