- AI is far more than just 2023’s biggest buzzword, and Microsoft Bing is set to prove it with the recent release of “the new Bing”, which includes a powerful AI tool which can chat, create, and more.
- Available in a single click within Microsoft Edge, Bing’s AI copilot allows users to hold real-time conversations with an artificial intelligence, ask it to generate (or rewrite) text, create images instantly, and much more.
- Powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, the most up-to-date AI model in the world, the new Bing experience gives you the chance to try bleeding-edge AI tools entirely for free in your web browser.
Have you noticed the AI gold-rush of 2023?
We’d be surprised if you haven’t – it’s been the talk of the tech and business world since late 2022.
Artificial Intelligence is nothing new, of course, but the idea of generative AI models – which can answer questions as though they were a living, breathing person – is something new.
When OpenAI’s ChatGPT launched for free public preview on November 30th, 2022, people around the world quickly realised how powerful AI could be. It has the potential to shave countless hours off the work of designers, writers, content creators, computer coders, digital artists, and much more.
While there are still questions about exactly how AI will be leveraged to best effect, there are already many big companies bringing AI to bear in their products – including Microsoft.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the “new Bing”.
What is “The New Bing”?
It’s fair to say that Bing hasn’t traditionally been anyone’s “go-to” search engine.
In fact, its market share has hovered around 10% or less for the last few years, overshadowed by Google with a staggering 85% average market share. But the tide might just be changing thanks to the power unlocked by the ‘new Bing’.
The jewel in the crown of the new Bing is an AI-powered copilot which helps you get things done faster and smarter on the web. Whether you want to chat with an AI-powered expert, compose a document, or get insights from data, the new Bing can assist you with its advanced natural language understanding and content generation capabilities.
It’s worth noting that there are tools out there now which produce objectively worse results than Bing’s AI chat tools, but which cost a lot more. Considering the new Bing’s price tag is currently zero, that’s a pretty amazing deal.
So, how smart is Bing’s AI really?
Bing’s AI is powered by OpenAI, the same research organisation responsible for ChatGPT as mentioned above.
That’s because Microsoft is a major partner of OpenAI. In fact, back in 2019, Microsoft invested a whopping $1 billion in OpenAI and agreed to provide access to its Azure cloud computing platform. After that, it reportedly invested up to $2 billion more up to January 2023.
So, how smart is Bing’s AI? Well, OpenAI has developed some of the most impressive AI models in the world, such as GPT-3 – and more recently GPT-4 – which can generate coherent and relevant text on any topic. Bing’s AI leverages these models to provide high-quality, sourced, and personalised responses and suggestions. Microsoft obtained an exclusive license to use GPT-4 for its products and services, including Bing. By integrating AI with Bing, Microsoft aims to provide more relevant, personalised and engaging search experiences for its users.
What can AI do in the new Bing?
Here are some of the main features the new Bing can bring to the table if you choose to use it as your copilot when browsing the web in Microsoft Edge:
- Chat: You can chat with Bing’s AI on any topic, from business advice to trivia questions. Bing’s AI will understand your query and provide you with relevant and engaging answers. You can also ask Bing’s AI to perform tasks for you, such as booking a flight, sending an email, or generating content.
- Bing Chat is also fully capable of generating AI images depicting… pretty much anything. Powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 model, you can simply describe an image within Bing Chat and Bing Image Creator will generate them in real time in a matter of seconds. This is similar to the Midjourney tool, which can also generate AI artwork in real time.
- Compose: Bing’s AI is a powerful tool to help you write better and faster. Whether you need to write a blog post, a report, or a resume, Bing’s AI can assist you with suggestions, corrections, and improvements. You can also ask Bing’s AI to write for you by giving it some keywords or a topic – though we’d always recommend fact-checking before publishing anything to the wider world.
- Insights: Bing’s AI insights can also help you analyse and visualise data on the web. Whether you need to find statistics, trends, or patterns, Bing’s AI can create charts, graphs, and summaries in a matter of seconds.
The new Bing vs. ChatGPT
As we mentioned in the introduction, it would have been tricky to miss the recent boom in AI and the competition in the market.
One of the most popular applications of AI is chatbots, which can answer questions, provide information, and even generate content. But not all chatbots are created equal.
Bing Chat and ChatGPT are both powered by natural language generation (NLG) models, which are trained on large amounts of text data to produce coherent responses. Bing Chat uses the more advanced GPT-4 model, while the free version of ChatGPT uses the older GPT-3.5 model. By upgrading to a paid subscription called ChatGPT Plus, users can access the latest GPT-4 model.
So, what does this technical stuff mean for you?
Well, in plain English, GPT-4 is capable of generating more diverse, relevant, and accurate responses than GPT-3.5 thanks to its larger size and improved resources. To put it in context, GPT-4 has around a trillion parameters, while GPT-3.5 has only 175 billion parameters. Think of these parameters like the numbers that determine how the model processes the input and generates the output. The more parameters, the more complex and powerful the model.
This means that Bing Chat can understand your queries better, provide more informative and helpful responses, and generate more creative and engaging content than ChatGPT. Not only that, but the training which powers ChatGPT actually cuts off in late 2021, meaning it has no knowledge of events since that time. Bing Chat, on the other hand, can perform real-time web searches when you are seeking information, generate images in creative mode, and use markdown elements to present information in a visually appealing way.
ChatGPT, by contrast, can only generate plain text responses – which might be vague, irrelevant, or off-topic. AI models are also prone to “hallucination”, even the most powerful ones, so (again) be sure to fact-check any content you generate using these tools.
How to start using the new AI-powered Bing
If you want to experience the power of Bing’s AI copilot, it’s as simple as could be – all you need is Microsoft Edge. And, yep, it’s a totally free download.
Once you open Edge, you’ll see a blue Bing logo on the right-hand corner. Just click it and the copilot pane will open, giving you access to all the AI tools: Chat, Compose, and Insights.
Whether or not these powerful AI tools will remain free for the foreseeable future remains to be seen. It’s somewhat unlikely, because there is a technical processing cost involved in leveraging AI models, but it seems that Microsoft is currently using it as an incentive to have people switch from browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
And if you’ve tried Bing’s AI tools, you might already know that it’s a very tempting proposition.
To learn more about leveraging the power of AI in your business, just get in touch with your Get Support account manager who’ll be happy to help.