Microsoft draws first conclusion from Bing's AI launch
Microsoft revealed new functionality on its Bing search engine last week when it demoed integration of the language model ChatGPT in Bing. While we do know now that some of the answers that Bing's AI gave were incorrect or problematic, hundreds of thousands of users added their names to a waiting list to test the new Bing. Interested users need to consider privacy implications.
Microsoft published a new post on the official Microsoft Bing blog. In it, Microsoft reveals some of the things that it learned in the first week after it invited users from over 169 different countries to test the new Bing functionality.
The new AI-enhanced Bing: what Microsoft learned
Microsoft has seen increased engagement on Bing. Both traditional search results and the new AI-powered features, summarized answers, the new chat experience, and the content creation tools have seen significant use.
Microsoft admits proudly that 71% of testers found the answers that the new Bing provided positive, which is a good start for a feature that requires constant refinement. The integrated chat experience, which Bing users may switch to at any time to communicate in dialogue form with the AI, has had a "healthy engagement" as well, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft received feedback from testers, which it analyzed. The company notes that feedback for such a new tool is essential, and that it wants to develop the AI-powered new Bing "in the open with the community".
Microsoft categorized what it learned in the following four groups:
Better search and answers -- The testers like the citations and references that the AI provides for its queries. Microsoft identified challenges concerning "very timely data", such as live sports scores. Microsoft engineers are working on increasing the grounding data for factual answers, including the numbers from financial reports, by the factor 4 to improve these significantly. Last but not least, Microsoft may be adding a toggle in the future that gives users more control by putting the focus on precision or creativity.
Chat -- Testers like the ease of use and usability of chat, according to Microsoft. There are issues, currently, with "long, extended chat sessions" that consist of 15 or more questions. Bing's answers may "become repetitive" or unhelpful.
Microsoft plans to add an option to chat so that users may refresh the context or start from scratch. More fine-tuned controls to avoid responses "that can lead to a style" that Microsoft did not intended is also in consideration.
General fit and finish -- Users reported a number of bugs they encountered while using the new Bing. This ranged from broken links and incorrect formatting to slowness. Microsoft publishes updates regularly to address reported issues.
New feature requests -- Testers suggest new feedback on a constant basis. Some want functionality to expand to other areas, others suggested that there should be sharing options. Microsoft collects these ideas and some of them may be introduced as features at a later stage in development.
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