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Microsoft integrates ChatGPT into its Bing & Edge products

Microsoft is working closely with OpenAI

Microsoft has announced an upgraded version of its Bing search engine and Edge browser that integrates the ChatGPT chatbot.

The company shared the news at an in-person event in its Redmond, Washington headquarters. Microsoft is rolling out the ChatGPT integration into Bing and its Edge browser and is investing billions to bring it into its Office productivity apps.

Microsoft calls it the "new Bing," and it will have chat functionality where people can ask questions and receive answers in natural language. It uses an updated version of GPT 3.5 called the "Prometheus Model," which offers more up-to-date information with annotated answers. Examples demonstrated at Microsoft's event included searches for recipes, travel tips, furniture shopping, and more.

Notably, one demo showed ChatGPT offering a travel itinerary with links to sources for information in response to the search query, "create an itinerary for each day of a 5-day trip to Mexico."

Microsoft says the new Bing will be live today "for limited desktop preview," with users able to try a limited number of queries and sign up for full access in the future.

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm since its launch in November. It's essentially an advanced chatbot that can answer questions posed to it, though it's not without controversy.

For example, some people have used it to create malware, and students have used it to write their homework. Since it's a program, it also can't distinguish fiction from reality and can "hallucinate" false information while presenting them as facts.

It's not going away, however, and its creator, OpenAI, will continually improve the language model. Companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft recognize how transformative the technology could be and are racing to compete.

On Monday, Google confirmed it was working on the "Bard" project, an "experimental conversational AI service that it is opening up for testing. The company is currently using "trusted testers" to shake down Bard before making it more widely available to the public within weeks.

Apple is also paying attention, with a report on Tuesday saying that the company is holding its annual internal AI summit at the Steve Jobs Theater, one of its first in-person events in years. Topics this year are expected to focus on ChatGPT and OpenAI.

It's not yet clear whether Apple will seek to integrate ChatGPT into Siri or other products or improve its own computational systems. But it most certainly doesn't plan to be left behind.