Microsoft aims to boost its search engine with OpenAI's ChatGPT to rival Google

Though OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently said it would be "a mistake" to use ChatGPT for anything important.
Chris Young
Microsoft building
Microsoft building

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Microsoft aims to integrate OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot into its Bing search engine in order to boost its user count and rival Google, as per a report from The Information citing an anonymous insider source.

According to the report, Microsoft hopes a more conversational search experience, in which a bot provides contextual replies based on search queries, will lure users away from Google, which currently dominates the search landscape.

Could OpenAI enhance Microsoft's search engine credibility?

Microsoft could roll out the new ChatGPT integration at some point in the next several months, though it is still reportedly analyzing whether the AI would provide a good user experience.

The Information's anonymous source, who didn't want to be named due to the fact they were talking about an unannounced in-development service, claimed the AI-powered service could be rolled out to a small test group first to test its viability.

AI research laboratory OpenAI, which is backed by a $1 billion investment from Microsoft, developed and publicly released ChatGPT for users to test back in November. The chatbot has shown an impressive ability for producing clean text in response to user queries, including essay-like responses to historical questions.

Microsoft did say in a blog post last year that it planned to integrate image-generation software from OpenAI, DALL-E 2, into its Bing search engine. Experts have also previously suggested that the ChatGPT text generation software could be modified to collate publicly available data and provide a valuable search engine tool.

ChatGPT is only 'a preview of progress'

However, OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman recently expressed reservations about ChatGPT's current capabilities on social media. In a tweet last month, Altman said it would be "a mistake to be relying on it for anything important" and that it's currently merely "a preview of progress" rather than the finished product.

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Microsoft backed OpenAI with $1 billion in investment back in 2019. The two companies formed a multi-year partnership to develop artificial intelligence supercomputing technologies with the help of Microsoft's Azure cloud computing infrastructure.

Google, meanwhile, is working on a similar AI-based technology with its LaMDA, or Language Model for Dialogue Applications system. It will be fascinating to see what the next few months and years have in store for online search engines, which are arguably in dire need of an upheaval, given the fact that Google completely dominates the online space.