At a live event on Tuesday afternoon, Microsoft announced a new version of its search engine Bing, which will now be powered by OpenAI's artificial intelligence (AI) technology that powers the popular and controversial chatbot ChatGPT, according to a report in The Verge.
“It's a new day in search,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, adding that the “new Bing” will launch alongside a new and improved version of its cross-platform web browser Edge, aiming to revolutionize the way people search.
According to Nadella, the new version of the Bing browser will use an updated ChatGPT technology known as the “Prometheus Model,” to invite users to ask questions and receive answers in their preferred spoken language, along with annotations and more efficient full-concept results.
For example, when a user asked Bing to create an itinerary for a five-day trip to Mexico, the chatbot immediately formulated and described the trip, linking sources for the information.
At the end of January, Microsoft announced its official multi-year, multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, with plans to integrate the company's various systems -- notably the DALL-E 2 image generator and ChatGPT -- into its Power Apps, Microsoft Edge, Outlook, a Canva-like app called Designer and Bing search, which it is clearly already doing.
Due to this partnership, press coverage and controversial use-cases, online traffic to OpenAI has risen 3,572% from 18.3 million to 672 million website visits since the company released its ChatGPT bot at the end of November.
OpenAI recently launched a ChatGPT subscription plan to help monetize the highly expensive program.
Alphabet-owned Google, which has led search for decades, has announced its own AI service called Bard to compete with Microsoft.
Google says it will begin onboarding individual developers, creators and enterprises next month to try its Generative Language API, an “experimental conversational AI service,” according to CEO Sundar Pichai.
Major worries surround this emerging era of search, including a new wave of AI-driven misinformation and widespread scams.
In addition, “if AI collates information without directing users to its source and generating revenue for the creator, it will damage incentives for third parties to publish accurate information online,” The Verge writes.
Still, amidst the mounting concerns around AI, tech giants are moving quickly in attempts to beat one another to the punch.