Microsoft drops the hammer on AI chatbot rivals

Kerem Gülen
Mar 27, 2023

There appears to be an intensifying conflict in the world of AI chatbots. According to recent reports, Microsoft is contemplating preventing other companies from utilizing data from its search engine, Bing. This move comes amidst allegations that several companies are using this data to enhance their own chatbots.

It has been reported by Bloomberg that Microsoft has issued warnings to two distinct Bing-powered search engines, cautioning that their access will be terminated if they continue to employ the data for their chatbots. The report did not disclose the identity of the companies embroiled in the dispute, although it is worth noting that a number of search engines, such as Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and, rely on Bing for their search functionality.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Microsoft is taking a firm stance against the use of Bing's search index as a means of augmenting AI chatbots. Microsoft reportedly deems such utilization of its data as a breach of contract and may opt to sever its agreements with the search engines in question.

Licensing agreements with Microsoft allow search engines like DuckDuckGo and to utilize Bing's search data to enhance their own search capabilities. However, Bloomberg has reported that while Microsoft is content with the current usage of Bing's data, the company considers using its search index as raw material for AI chatbots as crossing the line.

AI chatbots everywhere

Nowadays, it seems like every business is jumping on the AI chatbot bandwagon, with industry giants like OpenAI's ChatGPT, Google's Bard, and Microsoft's Bing Chat leading the charge. Although the specific companies that received warnings from Microsoft have not been disclosed, The Verge has pointed out that both DuckDuckGo,, and Neeva have all recently launched their own AI-powered products.

Last month, DuckDuckGo debuted its DuckAssist tool, which uses AI to generate brief summaries from sources like Wikipedia for specific searches. Similarly, has an AI chat function that provides users with answers to their queries, and Neeva has released an AI-driven tool that generates annotated summaries.

“We’ve been in touch with partners who are out of compliance as we continue to consistently enforce our terms across the board. We’ll continue to work with them directly and provide any information needed to find a path forward,” Microsoft told Bloomberg.

At present, it is uncertain whether Microsoft has taken any action against the search engines accused of violating its contract. With rival companies like Google also entering the AI chatbot arena and developing their versions of OpenAI's ChatGPT, it's possible that Microsoft is seeking to keep its search data exclusively reserved for use by its Bing chatbot.

The Bing chatbot is already equipped with OpenAI's latest and most advanced language model, the GPT-4, which can perform a diverse range of functions, including answering questions, generating summaries, writing code, and even creating social media posts.


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