Microsoft has announced a significant partnership with OpenAI to integrate its search engine, Bing, as the default option in OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot.
This collaboration marks another milestone between the two companies, both playing central roles in the booming field of generative artificial intelligence.
Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI and is utilising its AI chatbot technology in various applications, including search, email, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and data analysis.
During Microsoft’s Build conference in Seattle, CEO Satya Nadella expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, stating that it was only the beginning of their plans to leverage Bing’s capabilities within the ChatGPT experience. In addition to financial investment, OpenAI relies on Microsoft’s Azure cloud for its computing needs. Together, the companies are aiming to challenge Google, which has been developing its own generative AI models and investing heavily in AI startups.
As part of the integration, subscribers to the ChatGPT Plus service will have the option to enable a Bing search plugin, providing them with a world-class search engine directly within the chat interface. This enhancement will offer more timely and up-to-date answers by drawing from the web. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s consumer marketing chief, emphasised the value of this integration, noting that it would enrich ChatGPT’s responses with citations and the ability to explore further information.
The move to incorporate Bing into ChatGPT aligns with Microsoft’s strategic objective of expanding the usage and market share of its search engine, which has long faced tough competition from Google. Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer, Amy Hood, explained earlier this year that every percentage point increase in search advertising share would generate an additional $2 billion in revenue for the company.
Critics of ChatGPT have previously highlighted its limitation in discussing recent events. However, OpenAI’s introduction of plugins in March aimed to address this issue. Notably, the Bing chatbot, powered by OpenAI’s technology, showcased the ability to provide answers based on current information. Various online services, including Expedia, Instacart, Shopify, and Slack, have already launched plugins, with more companies expressing interest in joining the waitlist.
Microsoft has further revealed plans to allow developers to create plugins that will be compatible with ChatGPT, Bing, and the upcoming Copilot chatbot for Microsoft 365 apps such as Word and Excel.
This step opens up new possibilities for integrating diverse functionalities and expanding the capabilities of AI-powered chatbots.