Microsoft has made a preview version of its AI-powered Bing search engine and Edge browser available.
Microsoft described the new tools as an AI copilot for the web, with the goal of delivering better search, more complete answers, a new chat experience, and the ability to generate content.
“AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web.”
Explaining further, Microsoft explained that there are 10 billion search queries a day, but it estimates half of them go unanswered. That’s because people are using search to do things it wasn’t originally designed to do. It’s great for finding a website, but for more complex questions or tasks too often it falls short.
Elaborating on the capabilities of the new tools, the company emphasized bringing together search, browsing and chat into one unified experience you can invoke from anywhere on the web. These will deliver:
- Better search. The new Bing gives you an improved version of the familiar search experience, providing more relevant results for simple things like sports scores, stock prices and weather, along with a new sidebar that shows more comprehensive answers if you want them.
- Complete answers. Bing reviews result from across the web to find and summarize the answer you’re looking for. For example, you can get detailed instructions for how to substitute eggs for another ingredient in a cake you are baking right at that moment, without scrolling through multiple results.
- A new chat experience. For more complex searches – such as for planning a detailed trip itinerary or researching what TV to buy – the new Bing offers new, interactive chat. The chat experience empowers you to refine your search until you get the complete answer you are looking for by asking for more details, clarity and ideas – with links available so you can immediately act on your decisions.
- A creative spark. There are times when you need more than an answer – you need inspiration. The new Bing can generate content to help you. It can help you write an email, create a 5-day itinerary for a dream vacation to Hawaii, with links to book your travel and accommodations, prep for a job interview or create a quiz for trivia night. The new Bing also cites all its sources, so you’re able to see links to the web content it references.
- New Microsoft Edge experience. We’ve updated the Edge browser with new AI capabilities and a new look, and we’ve added two new functionalities: Chat and compose. With the Edge Sidebar, you can ask for a summary of a lengthy financial report to get the key takeaways – and then use the chat function to ask for a comparison to a competing company’s financials and automatically put it in a table. You can also ask Edge to help you compose content, such as a LinkedIn post, by giving it a few prompts to get you started. After that, you can ask it to help you update the tone, format and length of the post. Edge can understand the web page you’re on and adapts accordingly.
The new Bing experience is a culmination of four technical breakthroughs:
- Next-generation OpenAI model. The new Bing is running on a new, next-generation OpenAI large language model that is more powerful than ChatGPT and customized specifically for search. It takes key learnings and advancements from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5 – and it is even faster, more accurate and more capable.
- Microsoft Prometheus model. The company has developed a proprietary way of working with the OpenAI model that allows the best leverage of its power. Microsoft calls this collection of capabilities and techniques the Prometheus model. This combination gives you more relevant, timely and targeted results, with improved safety.
- Applying AI to core search algorithm. Microsoft also applied the AI model to its core Bing search ranking engine, which led to the largest jump in relevance in two decades. With this AI model, even basic search queries are more accurate and more relevant.
- New user experience. Microsoft is reimagining how you interact with search, browser and chat by pulling them into a unified experience. This will unlock a completely new way to interact with the web.