More than a million people using ChatGPT-powered Bing as Microsoft expands test

More than one million people are now using Microsoft’s new ChatGPT-powered Bing search engine as part of an early preview of the new software, the tech giant has revealed.

The firm announced it is expanding the preview to its Bing and Edge web browser mobile apps and will continue to add more users who sign up for the waiting list to test the new tools.

The revamped search engine uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, a form of generative AI which is able to respond to queries and hold human-like conversations with users as they interact with it.

Microsoft has argued using this technology is the future of search engines as it will allow users to more naturally make requests for information – Google has already announced its own version of the product, called Bard, in response.

The US tech giant also announced that voice search is also now being added to the new Bing preview.

“Two weeks ago, we introduced the world to the all-new AI-powered Bing and Microsoft Edge — your copilot for the web. Since then, based on strong and positive product feedback and engagement, we’ve welcomed more than one million people in 169 countries off the waitlist into the preview,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi said in a blog post.

“We continue to expand the preview to more people every day. Our preview community is actively using the breadth of new features across Search, Answers, Chat, and Creation with total engagement up significantly.

“Feedback on the new capabilities is positive with 71% of testers giving the new Bing a ‘thumbs up’ on the new search and answers capabilities.

“We’re even more excited about the breadth of feedback we are receiving on where and how we can improve and we are acting on it with regular updates.”

A Microsoft employee demonstrates the new technology
A Microsoft employee demonstrates the new technology (AP)

Concerns about the rise of the technology have been raised in some quarters, with some worried about the spreading of misinformation if AI chatbots are unable to identify authentic sources of information.

Meanwhile, some experts have questioned the impact on writing-based professions and raised fears over students using chatbots to complete their educational assignments.

But Microsoft is buoyant about the prospects of generative AI when used as a new way of searching the internet.

“Imagine an unexpected layover in a new city. As you plan a quick afternoon stop in Tokyo, you ask Bing to help find a place to store your luggage. It then provides tips for navigating the metro system on your way to the famed Shinjuku station. With a few hours to explore, Bing creates a short itinerary, helping you get the most out of your quick visit, and even translates along the way,” Mr Mehdi said.

“Ask simple or complex questions and receive answers and citations. Choose how you want your answers displayed – bullet points, text, or simplified responses. Explore the Bing chat experience to refine your query or compose an email, poem, or list.”