When I first started using the new, A.I.-powered Bing this week, I experienced a similar sense of awe. (Yes, Bing, the frequently derided search engine from Microsoft. Now everything is fine. I know; I’m still getting used to it.)
I can still clearly recall my initial use of Google. it was a nerdy, internet-obsessed preteen, and for weeks afterward I couldn’t stop gushing to my friends and family about the cool new search engine with the strange, Seussian name. i would describe how quickly it returned results, how much slicker and more user-friendly it was than competing search engines like AltaVista and WebCrawler, and how magical it felt to be able to access knowledge from the depths of the internet.
Many Microsoft executives, including the CEO, Satya Nadella, proudly milled around the conference centre, speaking to reporters and showcasing the company’s new products. Microsoft billed it as a historic event — their “iPhone moment.”
Bing, or more specifically the artificial intelligence technology integrated into Bing, assisted in answering queries and chatted with users about any topic imaginable, making it the true star. (Microsoft won’t reveal which version of OpenAI’s software is powering Bing, but rumours suggest that it is based on GPT-4.
When you launch the Bing app, searching is essentially incidental. With three icons—a camera, a magnifying glass, and a microphone—suggesting but not requiring the various types of search you might like, a high-resolution, typically scenic image sweeps the display.