Bing AI chatbot is about to get two much-wanted features

Bing AI chat image results
(Image credit: Future)

Bing AI is getting a couple of the most-wanted features folks have been badgering Microsoft for, with image search rolling out to everyone imminently, and dark mode shouldn’t be too far behind that.

These nuggets of info come from Mikhail Parakhin, Microsoft’s head of Advertising and Web Services, who shared the details in a couple of tweets.

We’re told that multimodal/image understanding is rolling out to everyone, meaning the ability to drop an image into the chatbot and have it identify the photo (whatever it may be – a famous building, for example).

Also known as Visual Search (or Bing Vision), Microsoft just penned a blog post on this noting that it’s “rolling out now for consumers on Bing desktop and the mobile app”.

As you can see from Parakhin’s tweet, Visual Search should be fully rolled out as of today, so you should see the feature later on at some point, if you don’t already.

In the replies to the above highlighted Twitter conversation, Parakhin further tweeted about a second piece of functionality for Bing AI that folks have been clamoring for with even greater eagerness than image searching, in some cases.

That would be dark mode, and we’re told that this capability should arrive for Bing AI in a “couple of weeks”, so hopefully pretty soon indeed.

Analysis: Dark times are coming – or maybe already here?

There has been a lot of prodding and poking of Microsoft about providing a dark mode for Bing AI, so it’s great to see this arrive. Interestingly, some users are already reporting that they have dark mode – so perhaps we can expect this very soon for the chatbot, hot on the heels of the full rollout of Visual Search.

Microsoft is making fast progress with its Bing AI, with various nifty bits of functionality coming in at a good pace. Another much-requested feature that’s due to arrive in the near future is a ‘no search’ option that’ll come in handy in certain situations. (This forces an answer direct from the AI, without it scraping data from the web as part of its reply to a query).

Bing AI needs Microsoft to continue driving forward, mind you, as Bard, the rival AI from Google, might have got off to a poor start, but it’s rapidly making up ground with new features now. With Bard set to get extensions brought into the mix soon, there may be some defectors to Google’s AI – something Microsoft will clearly be desperate to avoid.

However, what Microsoft needs to be careful about, of course, is annoying folks by doing its usual badgering tricks in Windows 11 to try and get people to use the AI (and other services for that matter).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).