Less than a week after imposing search limits on the AI ​​version of its Bing search engine, Microsoft is increasing those limits.

In the wake of some embarrassing reports of erratic behavior by the new Bing, Microsoft last Friday decided to limit a user’s daily usage to five “turns” per session and 50 turns per day.

In turn there is a question by a user and an answer by Bing. After five turns are complete, users are asked to change the subject of their conversation with the AI.

The changes were necessary because the underlying AI model used by the new Bing can become confused by long chat sessions made up of multiple turns, the company explained in its Bing blog.

However, on Tuesday, after an uproar from Bing users, Microsoft raised the usage limit to six turns in one session and 60 turns per day.

The new limits will enable the vast majority of users to use the new Bing naturally, the company blogs.

It said, “We intend to grow further, and we plan to increase the daily cap to 100 total chats soon.”

“Also,” it continued, “with this upcoming change, your general searches will no longer count against your chat total.”

crowd input needed

Microsoft decided to put limits on the use of AI-powered Bing after some users found ways to round up the search engine by calling them enemies and even doubling down on errors of fact it made. Received for, such as the name CEO of Twitter.

,[W]E has found that in long, extended chat sessions of 15 or more questions, Bing can become repetitive or prompt/provoke responses that are not necessarily helpful or in line with our designed tone,” Microsoft acknowledged in a blog.

With the new limits on Bing AI usage, the company may accept a few more. “It indicates that they didn’t anticipate some of the reactions fast enough and turned it around,” Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news, comment and analysis website, told TechNewsWorld.

“Despite the horror stories written about the new Bing, there is a lot of productivity to be gained with it,” said Jason Wong, vice president and analyst at Gartner, pointing to the usefulness of such a tool in certain content scenarios. “

“For many software companies, until you release your software to the public, you don’t know what you’re going to get,” Wong told TechNewsWorld.

“You can do all kinds of tests,” he said. “You can have teams doing stress tests on it. But you won’t know what you have until the crowd gets to it. Then, hopefully, you can glean some wisdom from the crowd. “

Wong cited a lesson learned by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’re too late.”

Google too cautious about Bard?

Microsoft’s decision to launch its AI search vehicle with potential warts contrasts with the more cautious approach taken by Google with its Bard AI search product.

“Bing and Google are in different positions,” Sterling explained. “Bing needs to take more chances. Google has more to lose and will be more cautious as a result.

But is Google being too cautious? “It depends on what kind of rabbit they have in their hat,” said Will Duffield, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute.

“If you have a really nice rabbit and you don’t let it out, you’re very cautious,” Duffield told TechNewsWorld. “If your rabbit isn’t ready, there’s nothing cautious about holding it back.”

“If they have something good and they release it, maybe people will say they should have launched it months ago. But maybe months ago, it wasn’t that good,” he said.

danger to workers

Microsoft also blogged that it was going to start testing a Bing AI option that lets the user choose the tone of the chat from “exact” – which focuses on shorter, more search-focused answers – to “balanced”. Will use Microsoft’s proprietary AI technology to do this. and “creative”—which will use ChatGPT to give longer and more talkative answers to the user.

The company explained that the goal is to give users more control over the type of chat behavior to best meet their needs.

“The choice is good in essence,” Sterling observed. “However, in these early days, the quality of ChatGPT answers may not be high enough.”

“So until the railing is strengthened, and ChatGPT accuracy improves, this may not be such a good thing,” he said. “Bing will have to manage expectations and reject the ChatGPT content to some degree.”

In a related case, a survey of 1,000 business leaders released Tuesday by Resume Builder found that 49% of their companies are using ChatGPT; 30% of companies plan to use AI technology, 48% say it has replaced the workforce. The following charts reveal more data on how companies are using ChatGPT.

copilot for humans

Sterling was skeptical of finding replacement workers in the survey. “I think a lot of companies are testing it. So in that sense, companies are ‘using’ it.”

“And some companies may recognize methods that can save time or money and potentially replace manual work or outsourcing,” he continued. “But the survey results lack context and are only presenting partial information.”

However, he acknowledged that hiring and freelancing patterns will change over time due to AI.

Wong found the number of businesses using ChatGPT surprising, but not so much with the number of people converting.

“I can see that someone would not write documentation for updates to an application or portal, but to demote or move people from a role because they are using ChatGPT, I would find it hard to believe,” he said. ,” They said.

“Gartner’s advice to customers exploring ChatGPT and Bing Chat is to think of them as co-pilots,” he continued. “It’s going to help create something that needs to be reviewed by a human, who’s going to assess the validity of an answer.”

He concluded, “In only a small amount of use cases they can replace a human.”

Microsoft announced last week that it was moving ChatGPT to its Bing search engine and that it would only work through its new Edge browser.

AI in general, and generative AI in particular, are game changers because they are not only able to do more for you, but they can be made to interact with you as if it were a person. That’s a huge advantage, and Google clearly got caught napping. Ironically, this was usually Microsoft’s problem.

The graphical user interface (GUI) came from Apple, and Microsoft caught up. Server Unix came from (mostly Sun Microsystems), and Microsoft caught up. The browser came from Netscape, and Microsoft caught up. Microsoft’s history is intertwined with coming from behind and taking the first to market by out-executing. This time, Microsoft is the first to scale up generative AI, and its aggressive move has scared the crap out of Alphabet (Google), which appears to be in a panic.

With this one move, Microsoft has the potential to drive search traffic away from Google and repeat past successes against Apple, Sun Microsystems and Netscape. It feels like the more successful efforts of a pre-Steve Ballmer Microsoft, which seemed more willing to do what was needed to win.

This week, let’s find out what AI-powered Bing and Edge mean for search — and how Microsoft is taking on Google. Then we’ll end with my product of the week: Lenovo’s 30th anniversary ThinkPad.

Generative AI Advantage

In search mode, this means you can fully describe what you want, rather than trying to pretend you know boolean logic.

For example, I asked the new Bing, “Which James Bond movie has the most gadgets and is the most fun to watch?” And the service recommended “Thunderball”, which has the top-ranked Bond gadget and ranked sixth in popularity.

If you put that same query into Google, you’ll only get articles ranking Bond movies. In Google, you have to spend time asking additional questions to arrive at the same answer. Perhaps.

With chat activated (currently, chat is by invitation only as we try to make the chat application say things that embarrass Microsoft and then report what we’ve done on social media), you can refine You can interact with the tool to view your results and help you write them if you want to go further.

Judging by the quality of the answer Bing gave me, it was better than what I would have answered if I had been asked the same question – and it’s only getting better with time. I’d pick “Goldfinger”, forgetting that even though “Goldfinger” is ranked #1, “Thunderball” has most of the gadgets of “Goldfinger” and a ton more besides.

Along with the jet pack, “Thunderball” should rank near the top in both quality (the jet pack) and quantity (due to all the unique underwater and tracking gear). So, I can see that “Thunderball” was a better choice I would have made myself.

I mentioned that chat gets better with Bing turned on; Instead of doing additional searches, you can interact with the search tool to refine your request. This will allow you to refine your search by adding additional arguments even after the chat is closed; It doesn’t help you underestimate the initial usefulness of the tool.

It is my firm belief that, once you get comfortable talking with a computer, as we have abandoned “command line” interfaces for GUIs, we can move away from Boolean logic questions in favor of plain language interfaces. Will give up and eventually either combine or replace the GUI. speech interface.

why google is bad

The problem for Google is twofold.

First of all, it looks like Microsoft made the same mistake with search by treating its IE browser like a cash cow that requires no investment. Google’s other big problem is that the switching cost between Google and Bing is almost non-existent. If enough people move from Google to Bing, Google is screwed because there’s no solid mechanism to bring users back until it can match Microsoft before habits are formed.

This means that Google should have a comparable solution on the market that is fast enough to prevent migration to the more advanced Microsoft platform. While Google is clearly in a panic, it’s nowhere near where it needs to be. Unlike Microsoft, which makes most of its money from selling or renting things rather than from advertising revenue, Google’s revenue is tightly tied to search. If it loses its near-monopoly, it will be painful. Will be very sad.

Google is the established vendor, which means it has home court advantage in this fight, but with low switching costs and even a few weeks of usage, it could lose its installed base. Given how easy it is to try Bing, the ability (not just the announcement) to prevent users from making the switch before the same capability is provided is too weak.

Google can do what Steve Jobs and Apple do in their sleep and dislike generative AI and ChatGPT until it catches up. But Google is not a marketing-focused company. Considering how much of its revenue comes from advertising, I think it’s ironic because it should be really good at paying the bills. Sadly, Google is not. Even if it were, its history of selling user information means that Microsoft’s effort to tank FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), its biggest lever, would backfire badly.

So, it appears that Google is triple-screwed. It has no counter-offer in the market, it doesn’t have the marketing potential for the FUD Microsoft offering, and it’s already considered less secure than Microsoft’s, which means it’s going to deter people from trying. Can’t use any security logic effectively. product.

Conclusion: The Surprising Return of Microsoft

When I started covering Microsoft in the early ’90s, it seemed like it could do nothing wrong. It rolled over Apple, flattened Sun Microsystems, kicked IBM’s butt, and helped put Netscape out of business. With the launch of Windows 95, it did the impossible by getting people so excited about an operating system that they were ready to buy it. An Operating System!

But then that century was over. Over the next ten years, Microsoft stalled with the Xbox, failed with the Zune, lost dominance with its IE browser, lost its phone business, and successively lost two CEOs. In the last decade, its reconstruction began. Azure was a huge success, Windows was vastly improved, and it fixed its tarnished reputation — and got out of some conflicting problems.

In this decade, the company has started looking like old Microsoft by competing with Google. Now it looks like Google is on the ropes, and Microsoft has the edge (pun intended). Execution will be key, but Microsoft has been executing very well of late. Suddenly, Generative AI and ChatGPT are trending positively, and Google is scared. This is going to be a very interesting decade. Nicely done!

tech product of the week

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition

ThinkPad Anniversary Edition represents the ThinkPad brand.

While Microsoft Surface products are closest to the Apple products in the market as a family, ThinkPad has a brand that is second only to Apple in terms of recognition and reliability. In a way, if you think of Apple as representing design-over-function, the ThinkPad is function-over-design. Put another way, the Apple is the sports car you drive for fun, but the ThinkPad is the pickup you drive for work.

Both brands have power and recognition (you can identify both product lines from a distance) but very different focuses and user experiences. Lenovo generally operates on lower margins than Apple, which means you usually get more for your money from Lenovo products. Until Lenovo recently went out of stock, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition was a steal at $1,891.45 if you wanted the most secure, reliable, work-focused laptop.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon - 30th Anniversary Edition

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition (Image credit: Lenovo)

Thinkpads convey a professional vibe which means they arguably enhance your work related presence and potentially enhance your work related status just by being seen with one. Other brands, especially those that are more consumer-oriented, convey a less professional image that can detract from your subjective assessment and your business success.

In short, when you come out with a ThinkPad, people generally know you mean business. This is useful when trying to convey a professional image in anything other than animation or graphics, where Apple still has a strong brand.

Sometimes, you just want people to take you seriously when you have a laptop you can depend on. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon 30th Anniversary Edition is just that, so it’s my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Microsoft may have ushered in a paradigm shift Tuesday with the release of new versions of its search engine, Bing, and web browser, Edge — both now powered by artificial intelligence.

Available in preview on Bing.com, new offerings combine browsing and chat into a unified experience that makes both work better. When performing a search, for example, more relevant results are displayed, and for information such as sports scores, stock prices, and weather forecasts, results may appear without leaving the search page.

For more complex questions—such as “What can I substitute for eggs when baking a cake”—Bing can synthesize an answer from multiple online sources and present a summary response.

Searchers can also chat with Bing to further refine a search and use it to help create content, such as travel itineraries or quizzes for trivia night.

In addition to the facelift in the Edge browser, there is also an AI function for chatting and content creation. You can ask it to summarize long reports, pare them down to the essentials, or create a LinkedIn post from a few prompts.

“AI will fundamentally transform every software category, starting with the biggest category of all — search,” Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

paradigm shift

When you integrate AI with search, you can get the best of both worlds, said Bob O’Donnell, founder and principal analyst at Technalysis Research in Foster City, Calif., a technology market research and consulting firm.

“You can have the timeliness of a search index and the intelligence of natural language-based chat and summary tools,” O’Donnell told TechNewsWorld.

This video demos the new Bing Chat experience:

“What they’re doing is ultimately making the computer smarter,” he explained. “It enables them to deliver what they have to say, not necessarily what has been said.”

“It’s going to take some time for people to get used to it, but it’s dramatically better,” he said. “Its time savings and efficiency are off the charts.”

“I think we are in the midst of a paradigm shift,” he said.

Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City, explained that bringing AI into Bing is just the tip of a larger Microsoft strategy.

“It’s not just about Bing, which is the low-hanging fruit for the integration,” Rubin told TechNewsWorld. “They want to integrate AI into a lot of their products — Office, Teams, Azure.”

“It may help Bing in its long-standing competition with Google, but it’s really much more than that,” he said. “They wouldn’t have made this level of investment if it was about making Bing more effective.”

bard of google

Microsoft’s action comes on the heels of Google announcing on Monday that it was bringing an AI conversational service called Bard to a group of “trusted testers.” Bard is based on Google’s natural language technology, LaMDA. Microsoft is using OpenAI technology in its offering.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a company blog that Bard seeks to combine the breadth of the world’s knowledge with the power, intelligence and creativity of our larger language model. It pulls information from across the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses.

He explained that the Bard will initially be released with a lighter model version of the LaMDA. This much smaller model requires significantly less computing power, allowing us to scale to more users and allowing for more feedback.

He added that we will combine external feedback with our own internal testing to ensure that Bard’s responses meet a high standard in quality, safety and real-world information.

Pichai wrote that when people think of Google, they often think of quick factual answers, such as “How many keys are on a piano?” But increasingly, people are turning to Google for deeper insight and understanding — like, “Is piano or guitar easier to learn, and how much practice does each require?”

AI can be helpful in these moments, synthesizing insights for questions where there is no right answer, he continued. Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in search that deliver complex information and multiple perspectives in easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether it’s looking for additional perspectives doing, such as blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going in-depth on a related topic, such as the steps in getting started as a beginner.

Pichai said that these new AI features will start rolling out on Google Search soon.

leg up on leader

The question is, will “soon” be too late?

“Suddenly, the Microsoft search product is going to be much better than what Google has to offer,” said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore.

“We’ll see how many people start making the switch,” Enderle told TechNewsWorld. “The switching cost between Bing and Google is non-existent. With switching costs so low, the question will be how many people switch to Bing and how bad will Google hurt?”

“It will take time for Google to catch up,” he said. “In the meantime, people will be establishing habit patterns with Bing, and if people are happy with Bing, why go back to Google?”

He added, “This appears to be a well-executed, dark strategy to battle Google, and Google, for whatever reason, was not adequately prepared.”

Incorporating AI into search helps Microsoft get a leg up on Google, maintained Ed Anderson, research vice president and analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory firm based in Stamford, Conn.

“Microsoft beat Google to the punch in terms of bringing AI-assisted search to Bing and Edge,” Anderson told TechNewsWorld. “How closely Google is toying with its search engine and browser remains to be seen.”

rewrite search rule

O’Donnell believes the new Bing search could make some headway against Google for eyeballs. “It’s the kind of thing that once you try to explore with this new type of engine, it becomes difficult to go back to the old one. It’s so much better,” he said.

“Microsoft is trying to rewrite the rules of the game,” Rubin said. “What is at risk is not only Google’s search leadership, but also its revenue model. Displacing search with an engine that can provide answers without redirecting you somewhere will require rethinking the entire search revenue model.

However, Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news, comment and analysis website, pointed out that not only does Google have a wealth of experience in AI, but it also has extensive resources that it has built up for search over the years.

“What Microsoft revealed is impressive, but the usage that Google shows needs to be better,” Sterling told TechNewsWorld. “It can’t get a little better. It has to get better.”

“There is an opportunity here because of concerns about privacy on the user interface and the quality of search results and ads,” he said. “There is an opening, but Microsoft needs to take advantage of those variables. It remains to be seen whether they can do that.”