Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday that it is revamping its Bing search engine and Edge web browser with artificial intelligence, in one of its biggest efforts yet to lead a new wave of technology and reshape how people gather information.
Microsoft is betting billions of dollars on artificial intelligence as it takes on Alphabet Inc’s Google. Working with the startup OpenAI, the company hopes to outperform its competitor and potentially reap large profits from tools that speed up all types of content creation, automating tasks if not jobs themselves.
“This technology is going to reshape pretty much every software category,” Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella told reporters in a briefing at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington.
Shares of Microsoft rose 2.3% to $262.60 in afternoon trading, giving back some of the day’s earlier gains.
The power of so-called generative AI that can create virtually any text or image dawned on the public last year with the release of ChatGPT, the chatbot sensation from OpenAI. Its human-like responses to any prompt have given people new ways to think about the possibilities of marketing, writing term papers or disseminating news, or even how to query information online.
The new Bing search engine is ”your AI-powered robot for the web,” said Microsoft Consumer Chief Marketing Officer Yusuf Mehdi, noting that it is live in limited preview on desktop computers and will be available for mobile devices in coming weeks.
Bing will be powered by AI and run on a new, next-generation ”large language model” that is more powerful than ChatGPT, Mehdi said. A chatbot will help users refine queries more easily, give more relevant, up-to-date results, and even make shopping easier.
In terms of search, Bing is a distant second to Google.
Microsoft now intends to market OpenAI’s technology, including ChatGPT, to its cloud customers and incorporate the same capabilities into its suite of products, including search.
Google has noticed. On Monday, it unveiled its own chatbot, Bard, and it plans to release AI for its search engine that can synthesise material when there is no simple answer available online.