Microsoft brings ChatGPT-powered Bing to Apple, android mobile devices

File: A Microsoft logo is seen on an office building.  (REUTERS)
File: A Microsoft logo is seen on an office building. (REUTERS)

Summary

  • Software maker is rolling out new AI products despite testers finding glitches in some answers.

Microsoft Corp. is making its upgraded Bing search engine featuring the technology behind the viral chatbot ChatGPT available on Apple Inc. iPhones and Google Android mobile devices, pressing ahead with the deployment of the system despite early glitches.

In a blog post, Microsoft said it is releasing new versions of its Bing app and Edge browser app for smartphones and tablets Wednesday so users can access the upgraded search engine while on the go.

The company also said it is adding voice to Bing because the ability to speak commands or ask questions out loud rather than type them has been one of the most requested features among early testers of the system. Microsoft also said it plans to integrate the technology into its two-decade-old video-calling app Skype so users can request information and share it with others in group conversations.

Microsoft unveiled Bing with artificial intelligence this month, saying the enhanced software enables a new kind of search in which people can pose questions in natural language. Bing then generates direct answers and suggestions, as opposed to pointing users toward different websites.

The company gave a small number of testers access to the tool for trials. Several received inaccurate and sometimes bizarre responses and shared them on social media.

Last week, Microsoft responded by adding restrictions on how the search tool can be used after determining that long interactions were causing some of the unwanted behavior. The company, an investor in ChatGPT creator OpenAI, said it would limit interactions with the new Bing to five questions per session and 50 questions in a day.

That move sparked a new round of complaints. On Tuesday, Microsoft said it would bring back longer chats, starting by allowing six questions per session and 60 total a day, with plans to increase the daily cap to 100 soon.

Despite early missteps with the technology, Microsoft’s Bing upgrade has created hype around the product and raised questions about whether it could become a formidable challenger to search-industry leader Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc. Google this month opened its rival AI-powered tool, called Bard, for testing.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at Sarah.Needleman@wsj.com

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