The days when Microsoft trailed behind in terms of its search engine and its web browser may well be over. First, the company moved Edge to the Chromium framework in order to better compete with browsers like Chrome, and now, a new development has occurred; Microsoft has declared it’s going to integrate ChatGPT AI into its Bing search engine and into Edge. This might take many forms, but it’s a major step forward for Microsoft in terms of competing with Google and other browser and search engine companies.
What does this actually mean, though? What could ChatGPT actually bring to Edge and Bing that could give them the, ahem, edge over their competition? It’s hard to say exactly what could happen given that full integration hasn’t happened yet, but the possibilities are huge. With ChatGPT integration, Bing could become a heavyweight in the search world, and Edge could establish itself as a faster and more cutting-edge browser than Chrome. Let’s take a look at what this could mean for Microsoft, Google, and you.
What is ChatGPT?
First, it might be helpful to discuss exactly what ChatGPT is. If you haven’t heard of it before, here’s a quick primer. ChatGPT is what’s called a “large language model”; it takes huge sets of data and learns from them, using that data to formulate better and more accurate answers to queries about everything from recipes to music and more.
ChatGPT is based on the GPT model, which pulls data from a wide range of sources. According to Search Engine Journal, though, ChatGPT’s data set is still limited to data from 2021 and before, which means that its model isn’t quite up to date. Despite this, Microsoft’s version of the model will be based on modern data, so it’s using an updated version of the protocol.
How will Microsoft integrate ChatGPT into Bing?
When Microsoft head Satya Nadella unveiled ChatGPT’s integration into Bing, he called it “a new day for search”. The new integration contains an option to open up a chat with OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot, which you can then talk to and ask a range of questions. In theory, ChatGPT will then draw on lots of different data to provide answers to those questions, just like it does when you’re talking to it outside of Bing.
When you ask questions on Bing, it will display ChatGPT-generated responses in a box on the right-hand side of the page. In addition, Bing will try to prompt you with questions of its own, and then generate answers to those questions using ChatGPT as well. Of course, talking with ChatGPT will, in theory, improve its answers to your questions as it learns more about what you want.
Bing’s version of ChatGPT won’t be the one with which many users have already interacted. That version uses outdated 2021 data, whereas Microsoft’s new Bing integration will learn from up-to-the-minute data, in a similar way to Google’s new Bard AI.
How will ChatGPT be integrated into Edge?
As well as Bing, Microsoft is also intending to integrate ChatGPT into its Edge browser. What can it do? Well, here’s a brief rundown of some of the things you can expect from Edge’s integration with ChatGPT when it launches.
- Summarising key info. When Edge’s ChatGPT integration was announced, corporate VP Yusuf Mehdi showed off a moment whereby he called up the Gap corporation’s quarterly earnings for the third financial quarter. The PDF he downloads is 15 pages, but he says he “won’t have time to read all that”, so he asks ChatGPT to summarise it for him. The AI quickly does so, showing him key information it thinks he’ll want to see from the document. Next, he asks the AI to compare those findings with the Q3 earnings of Lululemon and compile a table that shows the information in an easy-to-read format. Impressive.
- Code conversion. This is a somewhat specialised use case, but Mehdi also shows off an instance in which a developer wants code that’s written in Python to be written in Rust instead. That, apparently, is something you’ll be able to ask ChatGPT to do, and it’ll do it without difficulty.
- Write content for you. This is, perhaps, the most divisive element of ChatGPT. Mehdi gets ChatGPT to write a LinkedIn post during his demonstration, one that seemingly has strong similarities to posts written by humans now. Of course, a LinkedIn post often follows a specific formula, and you will need to prompt the bot to write the post about a specific subject, but if you’re a professional who just wants to update people about what’s going on with your company, it’s easy to see how that might be an exciting development for you.
When can you use ChatGPT with Bing and Edge?
Microsoft says that its ChatGPT implementation for Bing is available right now, albeit in a limited capacity. If you want to use all of its advanced functionality, you’re going to have to wait a little while, and each user also has a limited number of ChatGPT-enabled searches right now. When it comes to Edge integration, Microsoft says it should be available through the dev build of the browser, although we’ve not been able to access that build yet. Keep your eyes peeled and make sure to download updates to the dev branch of Edge whenever you find them in order to be one of the first to try out ChatGPT on Edge.