Microsoft Bing Chatbot appears to be the new major-talking point in the tech world. Powered by OpenAI, the all-new Bing AI chatbot finds itself on the Edge web browser as well as on the communication platform, Skype. Quite naturally, there’s a whole new wave of excitement and curiosity around the latest entrant to the rapidly-growing AI chatbot club.
We could see a zillion of posts that appeared on the popular social media platforms in the past few days, which focus on Microsoft’s all-new Bing chatbot that’s reported to be backed by OpenAI’s GPT-4. It all started with the arrival of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in December, 2022; after which the equations of the tech world didn’t remain the same.
Now, we are experiencing the announcement and arrival of more and more AI chatbots around the world, across industries. But Microsoft’s latest Bing AI chatbot can turn out to be a real gamechanger. How? Let’s find it in detail.
Microsoft Bing Chatbot: Another Firm Challenger in the House
If you are someone who happens to use Skype at the workplace, then you have probably seen a new contact appearing on your chat box with a bluetick (Skype doesn’t let you have one for $8! At least, till date :P). It reads ‘Bing’ and claims to have been designed to help you say ‘bingo’ in quick succession. How? By saving your time through easing your task, just like many other chatbots in the tech town.
However, there’s something unique in the Microsoft Bing chatbot. Firstly, it is reported to enjoy the solid backing of GPT-4, the most-powerful till date, rolled out by OpenAI. For your information, OpenAI, which created sort of an explosion in the techverse with its ChatGPT, itself says that its GPT-4 ‘considerably outperforms existing large language models, alongside most state-of-the-art (SOTA) models which may include benchmark-specific crafting or additional training protocols.’
Secondly, it can be accessed directly from Skype, which is used in large numbers, across industries. Users of Skype have received a series of messages from the new Bing AI chatbot lately: ‘Hey, this is Bing! I’m here to help you.’, ‘Ask me any type of question, like finding recipes with what’s in your fridge, vegan restaurants in Cambridge, or drafting a story for curious kids. In groups, remember to mention me with @Bing’, ‘I’m an AI preview, so I’m still learning. Sometimes I might say something weird. Don’t get mad at me, I’m just trying to get better!’, ‘If you want to start over, type newtopic. And if you want to give me feedback, just report a concern.’, ‘How can I help you today?’.
To make the mood lighter, it also uses emojis between these initial messages. But in order to get replies from it, you have to join its waitlist. Otherwise, it will text you — ‘I’m sorry! (sad) I can’t reply to you. If you have not joined the Bing waitlist yet.’ This makes it clear that serious attempts have been made to make it more interactive, more ‘humanlike’.
It also comes with an AI-powered image creator mode, which surely adds to its USP. The mode has been learned to be an “advanced version” of OpenAI’s DALL-E model, which will let Bing users create images by only writing what they want to generate. The Bing Image Creator, which is also available on the Edge browser, is claimed to have unlocked a lot of potential.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s head of consumer marketing, sheds light on the Bing Image Creator’s huge capabilities — “For those in the Bing preview, Bing Image Creator will be fully integrated into the Bing chat experience, rolling out initially in Creative mode.” Mehdi further explains, “By typing in a description of an image, providing additional context like location or activity, and choosing an art style, Image Creator will generate an image from your own imagination.”
Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft, states that the world of software won’t remain the same anymore — “AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search.” He took great pride while launching the new Bing, which has been designed to facilitate people with searches as well as in making the most of the web: “Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web.”
Going by the data provided by Statista, Bing has close to 1.2 billion users, which is a jaw-dropping number. But Bing has only about 4% of the world’s total search market, which is clearly no match to Google’s 92%, according to Statcounter GlobalStats. However, with the arrival of the new avatar, the tide is slowly turning in favor of Microsoft. We have already seen a significant change in numbers, in the last few days.
After the initial euphoria was over, Microsoft has put up a cap in the chatbot with a new session limit, changing chat sessions from an unlimited session to a five-question limit and a 50-chat turn limit per day. Lately, the limit has been expanded to a maximum of six chat turns per session and 60 total chats per day.
“In fact, the very reason we are testing the new Bing in the open with a limited set of preview testers is precisely to find these atypical use cases from which we can learn and improve the product,” declares Microsoft.
It has been further learned that for the time being, Microsoft is limiting the image creator to its creative mode in Bing and has planned to optimize how it works in multi-turn chats. In this regard, Mehdi said, “We will initially only include Image Creator in the creative mode of Bing chat and our intention is to make it available in balanced and precise mode over time.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft claims that necessary measures have been taken to prohibit all sorts of misuse, so far as this extremely powerful AI image creator is concerned — “We have ensured OpenAI’s safeguards, plus additional protections, have been incorporated into Image Creator,” claims Mehdi. He further adds that “For example, we have put controls in place that aim to limit the generation of harmful or unsafe images. When our system detects that a potentially harmful image could be generated by a prompt, it blocks the prompt and warns the user.”
With the passage of time, the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI, which started in 2019, is appearing lethal. Only months back, Bloomberg reported a new multi-year deal between the two, with a fresh investment of $10 billion from Microsoft in OpenAI. We have come to know that Microsoft’s Azure service will act as OpenAI’s exclusive cloud-computing provider, boosting all OpenAI workloads across research, products, and API services.
However, within such a short span of time, the Microsoft Bing chatbot has irked a lot of controversies, which includes threatening people. In the wake of such unprecedented incidents, there have been calls from many corners to close Bing.
For the uninitiated, OpenAI’s direct rival London-based Stability AI has launched a huge fundraising drive recently, at a valuation of $4 billion to enhance its AI image tool Stable Diffusion. Also, Salesforce has rolled out Einstein GPT, pretty recently. At the same time, Alphabet, Amazon.com and Meta Platforms — all are vehemently trying to make serious inroads into the AIverse.
In such a scenario, it needs to be seen how the Microsoft Bing chatbot manages to unleash an ultraedge for the company, making the equations of the tech world turn upside down in the process.
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