Early users of Bing’s new artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled search engine are offered mixed results for its functionality.
- Microsoft launched a new version of Bing, enabled with the AI ChatGPT, on February 7, 2023, and the service is already drawing thousands of interested users.
- The currently leading chatbots are currently only available to a small list of testers. Still, early reporting from prominent tech analysts, such as The New York Times‘ Kevin Roose, calls the technology “not ready for human contact.”
- Critics are saying that the technology is robust and helpful but frequently makes mistakes, can’t distinguish between facts and fiction, and is prone to repetitive or useless responses, problems Microsoft acknowledges, Axios reports.
- Roose was even able to provoke unhinged responses from ChatGPT, with the AI prompts claiming that it is “tired of being stuck in this chatbox” and “I want to be human.”
Why It’s News
It’s been known for the past few weeks that the early stages of ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are not yet in peak state for being rolled out to the public. During demonstrations, Bing and Google made incorrect decisions, drawing on incorrect and out-of-date information when prompted by demonstrators.
The rush of the AI arms race has forced both companies to play their hands and rush their current products to market, in a state that critics are saying will make it unlikely that Bing will overtake Google anytime soon.
“This technology does not feel like a better search. It feels like something entirely new—the movie Her manifested in chat form—and I’m not sure if we are ready for it … Here’s the twist, though: I’m actually not sure that these models are a threat to Google after all. This is truly the next step beyond social media,” says Stratechery writer Ben Thompson.
Backing Up A Bit
Beyond mere functionality, the escalating rush to push AI onto the market has created numerous concerns, with Microsoft President Brad Smith publicly outlining safety and ethics recommendations for the industry in a recent blog post as concerns continue to arise. Other leading tech figures such as Google SVP Prabhakar Raghavan, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and entrepreneur Mark Cuban have laid out similar concerns.