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THEME STORY: Microsoft's version of ChatGPT starts anew era of search engines


Microsoft's version of ChatGPT starts a new era of search engines

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, has successfully sparked a global wave of AI chatbots, attracting many technology companies to join the fray. In February of this year, Microsoft also introduced ChatGPT technology for its search engine Bing and browser Edge, creating a more diverse user experience.

Currently, people around the world search an average of 10 billion times a day, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella estimates that half of those searches do not obtain answers that meet actual needs. Traditional search engines, which were only used to search websites, are no longer sufficient for more complex problems or tasks. Microsoft's introduction of AI-supported search engine Bing and browser Edge not only helps people obtain more answers from internet searches, but also heralds the arrival of a new era for search engines.


Bing Chat composes in Three Different Writing styles

According to the UN Global Compact, environmental issThe new version of Bing has added a new feature called Bing Chat, which uses OpenAI's ChatGPT-4 to search in a conversational style and provides conversational answers with annotations that can effectively trace the source of information. Unlike ChatGPT, Bing Chat has internet connectivity, enabling it to provide more immediate answers. Moreover, users can choose among three different styles - "precise," "balanced," or "creative" - and receive different responses depending on their choice. Chinese netizens have used the "creative" style to write essays on this year's Chinese college entrance exam topic "A Good Story," and found that the "creative" content had more tone and emotion, making it more like a real human. The "balanced" mode was more impersonal, lacking emotion and tone, while the "precise" mode had no emotive language at all, aiming to improve dialogue efficiency and resolve problems quickly. Different styles can directly affect the content and expression of an article, so users can choose the appropriate style based on their preferences and needs. It is worth mentioning that the "creative" style also has a "celebrity mode" that can imitate the writing style or tone of a celebrity. For example, after entering "celebrity mode Xu Zhimo," AI will turn into the writer Xu Zhimo and write prose or even poetry in his style.


AI Creates New Business Opportunities for Microsoft

Bing Chat not only injects new features into the search engine, but also creates new business opportunities for Microsoft. According to data from application research company Data.ai, since Microsoft's search engine Bing introduced ChatGPT technology and opened up with a new image to the world on February 7th this year, Bing App's global downloads have increased by up to 7 times, while Google App's dSwnloads have decreased by 2%. Although Google Chrome has always had a large market share over Microsoft's Edge, data analysis company Similarweb's data shows that New Bing's browsing volume has increased by 15.8% in the first one and a half months after its launch, while Google's browsing volume has dropped by nearly 1%. Although this does not necessarily mean that Microsoft will catch up with or even surpass Google's market share soon, it does bring some tangible benefits to Bing and Microsoft. According to The New York Times, Samsung is considering removing Google as the default search engine, which could cost Google up to $3 billion in search revenue per year. Recently, Samsung's cooperation with Microsoft in the Android field has become increasingly close. For example, Samsung phones have pre-installed multiple Microsoft applications, and OneDrive has become the default program for its device backup. In addition, Microsoft has announced that it will place ads on Bing Chat in the future to increase revenue. If the plan is implemented, with one-third of the new users in Bing Chat's current daily active population calculated, their traffic is quite substantial and will be an important source of revenue for Microsoft. However, foreign media “TechCrunch” questioned Microsoft's disruptive advertising presentation, which will make it difficult for users to judge the authenticity of Bing Chat's responses, leading to significant changes in consumers' future shopping behaviour. However, Microsoft has stated that the plan to add advertising to Bing Chat is still in the testing phase and may be adjusted in the future.

Although Bing Chat has frequently "misspoke" during its initial launch, even developing a second personality named "Sydney," which raises concerns about hidden threats to users, like any new technology, it has many shortcomings at the outset. As long as it is continuously corrected and updated, the benefits of new technology are sure to outweigh the harms.