Still searching: Bing’s still big in the game

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In one of our last newsletters of 2022, we charted the remarkable rise of ChatGPT, a chatbot from OpenAI that hit 1 million users in just 5 days. Now, per a report from The Information, Microsoft is looking to upgrade its search engine offering by incorporating ChatGPT’s capabilities into Bing.

Sometimes labeled "a joke" in the tech world — with reports that the most-searched term on Bing is “Google” — Microsoft's search engine has long been in a distant second place in search. But, if it is a joke, it’s Microsoft that gets the last laugh, as Bing still hauls in billions of dollars every year. In fact, Bing’s advertising revenue is not far from the ~$9bn that Twitter &Snapchat make combined.

Having already invested more than $1bn into OpenAI, Microsoft has arrangements for commercial uses of products like ChatGPT that — in theory — could help turn Bing into a much more legitimate competitor with Google.

Still searching

ChatGPT, or another NLP tool, would analyze the language used in web pages and search queries to understand the context and intent behind them. This would allow Bing to have a better understanding of what users are looking for when they perform a search. Using this understanding of user intent, Bing could then provide more accurate and relevant search results, as it would have a better idea of what users are trying to find.

That ability to better understand intent has already made Google concerned — with Sundar Pichaideclaring a “code red” moment for the company over the proliferation of chatbots like ChatGPT.

P.S. We didn’t write the paragraph below "Still searching". Instead, we asked ChatGPT “Could ChatGPT help Bing to improve its search results?”. That paragraph was, word for word, just part of its response.

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