Microsoft has been working on Bing Chat, an AI chatbot based on ChatGPT that provides an alternate way to ask for and find information online. Now the traditional search results and AI responses are merging together.

Bing is now displaying answers from Bing Chat, or “the new Bing,” at the top of the results for some regular web searches. Bleeping Computer noticed the change when completing a search for “winver,” and it also works for other queries, like “what is config.sys.” The responses appear instantly, unlike answers in the Chat mode — it seems like Microsoft is pre-caching answers for popular queries for use in web search results. It’s not clear when the change started rolling out, and it may still be limited for now.

The Bing AI popup displays a list of sources for the answer, but the source links are much smaller than traditional search results. If you’re logged in with a Microsoft account enrolled in the new Bing, there are also buttons for asking follow-up questions and a general message bar, both of which take you to the Bing Chat interface. If you’re not logged into a Microsoft account, you get the same AI-generated answer with source links, but without the other elements.

Bing result for "what is config.sys" with AI generated response as first result
Bing results with a logged in Microsoft account
Bing result for "what is config.sys" with AI generated response as first result
Bing results without a Microsoft account

Prioritizing AI-generated answers over typical search results and info cards doesn’t seem like a great idea right now. For one, Bing Chat and other generative AI products are still prone to constant mistakes, since they can’t actually “think” in the way a human can. The extensive information in the preview card also gives people less of a reason to click the source links, which could mean less revenue for the sites that make Bing Chat functional in the first place.

Microsoft is pressing ahead with Bing Chat, though, with new features and improvements arriving on a regular basis. The new AI features helped push Bing to 100 million daily active users in early March, a new record for the service.

Source: Bleeping Computer

Profile Photo for Corbin Davenport Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
Read Full Bio »