Microsoft Reportedly Integrating ChatGPT with Bing Search Engine

Microsoft may be integrating the AI-driven natural language processing tool, ChatGPT, into its Bing search engine with the aim of providing more human-like answers to user questions. According to a report posted this week in The Information (paywalled), Microsoft plans to release the enhanced version of its search engine in March.

ChatGPT is a large language model chatbot developed by OpenAI. It's based on GPT 3.5, the latest iteration of its generative pre-trained transformer model. GPT-3 stirred industry-wide buzz when it was unveiled in 2020 because of its ability to write to everything from articles and poems to working computer code and guitar tablature. The ChatGPT software was  designed to mimic human-like conversation based on user prompts.

Since it was made available for free public testing in November 2022, ChatGPT has generated its own buzz. Through a method called reinforcement learning, it learns by interacting with its environment, and it has been trained using multiple resources. All of which allows it to tell jokes, play chess, and can even fix your wonky computer code. ChatGPT has been used to develop a range of content, including website copy and even poetry. OpenAI says it will add a monetized version at a later date.

The appeal of this technology for a search engine like Bing is likely its ability to provide direct answers to questions, instead a list of external links where the answers may be found. Specifics on how exactly Microsoft will be integrating the chatbot are not known. At the time of this reporting, Microsoft and OpenAI have yet to confirm the integration plans.

Microsoft's potential integration of ChatGPT would be the latest move by the company to make the Bing search engine more competitive with Google. While Google has integrated AI into its own search engine, it has yet to implement technology similar to the ChatGPT chatbot that would provide natural-sounding answers to user questions.

How accurate ChatGPT's answers will be to users' requests for information remains to be seen. The technology has been praised for its accuracy by many news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal (paywalled). And yet OpenAI CEO Sam Altman wants users to curb their expectations – at least for now.

Last month the tech entrepreneur tweeted:

ChatGPT is incredibly limited, but good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness. It's a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now. It's a preview of progress; we have lots of work to do on robustness and truthfulness.

He clarified in a follow-up tweet that OpenAI will be running "a tight feedback loop" as usage increases to help both the usefulness and accuracy of the chatbot.

OpenAI was founded in 2015 as a non-profit open-source organization by a group of investors that included Tesla founder Elon Musk. Today it comprises two entities: the non-profit OpenAI Inc. and the for-profit OpenAI LP. Microsoft is OpenAI's parent company.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.