AI like there: why the new Bing search engine works with restrictions


Microsoft’s new Bing search engine, created on the basis of artificial intelligence, works with significant limitations, Izvestia found out. It can only be launched in the Edge browser, and in all others the current, regular version of the search engine functions. Experts believe such restrictions are linked to Microsoft’s desire to regain the dominant browser market share it had at the turn of the century with Internet Explorer. An Izvestia correspondent took part in testing a new service and assessed how AI search differs from what we are used to.

Intelligence is not for everyone

The new version of the Bing search engine, based on the ChatGPT neural network technology, works with limitations even for those users to whom Microsoft has provided test access to use it. The Izvestia correspondent was among the “testers” a week after the announcement of the new product and found out that it works exclusively through Edge. In all other browsers, the current, regular version of the search engine functions.

  • Browser restrictions are most likely related to Edge promotion tasks. The company is doing its best to regain its once dominant position in the browser niche,” said Grigory Revenko, director of the R-Vision expertise center.

Photo: Izvestia

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Edge is a Microsoft browser that was released in 2015 simultaneously with the first version of Windows 10. It replaced another company solution – Internet Explorer.

The first version of IE was released in 1995 and four years later became the market leader in browsers. In 2002-2004, in some countries, its share reached 96.5%. This figure began to decline in 2004 as a result of the growth in the popularity of Firefox, and the decline accelerated in 2008, when Google released the first version of Chrome.

The emergence of Edge did not help Microsoft regain market share – in 2022, only about 5% of users worldwide used this browser.

The new version of Bing with artificial intelligence is the brainchild of Microsoft. It was created by the company’s programmers, and the corporation does not want the search to work for competitors. The vendor is building its own ecosystem and is ready to promote it by all available means, Igor Bederov, head of the information and analytical research department at T.Hunter, believes.

“Microsoft has invested about $10 billion in the ChatGPT developer, on which the new Bing search is built. The company wants to recoup the investment, and therefore it is important for it that people use its solutions exclusively when using the new product,” explained Telecom Daily CEO Denis Kuskov.

According to him, even when the corporation opens access to the search engine to everyone, people will be able to use all its features exclusively in Microsoft browsers.

Photo: Izvestia

Eldar Murtazin, an analyst at Mobile Research Group, named another possible reason for the restrictions. According to him, during the testing period, the company needs to reduce the load on the servers as much as possible so that everything works correctly.

– Systems based on generative neural networks are quite complex and can behave in unexpected ways, so they give access to them gradually, similar to beta testing of other software products. First, they are tested within the company, then researchers leave feedback on work and functionality, improving the product, and, finally, at the very end, access to the solution is extended to an ever wider range of users,” said Vladislav Tushkanov, senior data scientist at Kaspersky Lab.

Large neural networks require a lot of computing power. The gradual release of the product avoids sudden load fluctuations and, as a result, the inaccessibility of the service for users, the expert explained.

Search question

Izvestia tested Bing by asking it a few questions. The main difference between a search engine and existing analogues is that the user receives not a simple set of links, but a meaningful answer to his request, while a dialogue can be held with the search engine. The program searches for information in all available sources, gives a detailed answer and indicates where it got the information from. For example, to the question “What will be the exchange rate of the dollar and the euro against the ruble in 2024?” The search engine replied:

“Predicting the exchange rate for 2024 is quite difficult, as it depends on many factors, including economic, political and social events in the world. However, based on some data from the Internet, the following assumptions can be made. The dollar exchange rate against the ruble may rise or fall depending on the policy of the US Federal Reserve System, the level of inflation, the conflict in Ukraine and other factors. As of February 15, 2023, the dollar to ruble exchange rate was 71.24 rubles per dollar, according to Sberbank. The exchange rate of the euro against the ruble can also change under the influence of the policy of the European Central Bank, the composition of the eurozone, the inflation rate and other factors … If you need more accurate information, you can visit the sites that I mentioned in my answer.”

Photo: Izvestia

The Izvestia correspondent also asked Bing if UFOs exist.

“It depends on how you define a UFO. If you mean alien spaceships, then according to modern ideas, no. But if you mean unidentified flying objects, then yes, such objects exist and have been seen in the sky by different people. Some of them may be of terrestrial origin – for example, Chinese balloons or high-tech drones. But some of them may be of extraterrestrial origin, although this has not been confirmed.”

The system can also solve mathematical problems. For example, when asked “Write a program to solve quadratic equations in the C++ programming language,” Bing provided a brief summary of what quadratic equations are and provided the corresponding code with explanations of what each function written does.

But to the question “When will you become available to all users?” The neural network gave a streamlined answer:


p class=”MsoNoSpacing”>“I am glad that you are interested in my possibilities. I use ChatGPT technology to understand questions and generate answers. The new version of Bing with ChatGPT was announced on February 7, 2023 and began rolling out to users who signed up on the waitlist on February 14, 2023. I’m only available to a limited number of users for now, but soon I’ll be available to everyone. Thank you for your patience and interest!”


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