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May 24, 2023

Microsoft Expands OpenAI Partnership , Integrating Bing Search into ChatGPT

Microsoft is OpenAI’s biggest investor

Microsoft is taking a major stride in its collaboration with artificial intelligence (AI) startup OpenAI by incorporating its Bing search engine into OpenAI's popular ChatGPT. This move is aimed at challenging Google's dominance and providing users with a seamless search experience within the chatbot. The integration of Bing allows ChatGPT users to access real-time information, complementing the platform's existing capabilities.

Starting from Tuesday, Bing search engine will be an integral part of the premium ChatGPT Plus service. Microsoft plans to extend the integration to the regular version of the chatbot in the near future. By leveraging Bing, customers can stay up-to-date with the latest information, surpassing the limitations of ChatGPT's training data, which only extends until September 2021.

As OpenAI's largest investor and a key partner, Microsoft enjoys a strategic advantage in the race to integrate AI into various software products. OpenAI's chatbot has garnered significant attention, attracting customers to Microsoft's Azure cloud-based service, where OpenAI products are utilized. Currently, Azure OpenAI boasts an impressive client list of 4,500 companies, including renowned brands like Volvo, Ikea, Mercedes-Benz Group, and Shell. This substantial growth from the previous quarter's 2,500 customers demonstrates the success of the partnership.

Under the leadership of Chief Executive Satya Nadella, Microsoft has been refocusing its product portfolio around AI programs called co-pilots. These intelligent assistants aid users in performing tasks across Bing, Office, and other software categories such as security and finance. Based on OpenAI's cutting-edge GPT-4 technology, Microsoft aims to boost sales, capture more cloud computing business, and enhance its competitiveness in the search market. Through its collaboration with OpenAI, Microsoft has positioned itself as a frontrunner in the rapidly evolving market for AI tools.

With the proliferation of AI-generated content, Microsoft is taking steps to ensure transparency. The company plans to watermark such content to distinguish it from human-made information. Moreover, Microsoft intends to provide developers with these watermarking tools, enabling them to use them in their own applications. Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott highlighted the introduction of cryptographic watermarks without delving into further technical details.

Microsoft is actively promoting an ecosystem of external developers and companies to create programs that integrate with its OpenAI-based AI software. Notably, Instacart, Redfin, Zillow Group, and Kayak Software will collaborate with Bing's AI capabilities. Additionally, Adobe and Atlassian are set to introduce features for Microsoft's corporate AI software, compatible with the Office suite. To facilitate this expansion, OpenAI is allowing developers to create plugins that work seamlessly with ChatGPT, a model that Microsoft plans to adopt as well, enabling companies and programmers to utilize the same plugins across ChatGPT and its consumer and corporate AI software.

Microsoft also unveiled its Windows Copilot, an AI-powered assistant designed for Windows 11. This feature, accessible through a task bar button, provides users with a side panel assistant for various actions, including text manipulation, content summarization, and answering questions, similar to Bing AI chat.

Microsoft's partnership with OpenAI continues to flourish as the integration of Bing search engine into ChatGPT amplifies the capabilities of the chatbot. By leveraging the strength of Bing's real-time information, Microsoft is committed to delivering a superior user experience.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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