Microsoft is hoping to push its search engine harder in the war against Google, with the fresh introduction of new AI features for Bing, along with a partnership with Reddit.
At Microsoft’s AI conference in San Francisco, the company revealed that Bing would be graced with new ‘intelligent search’ and ‘conversational search’ features.
Simply put, this is going to result in more intelligent results being returned, with machine learning helping Bing to deliver more relevant and accurate insights into any given topic. Much like how Google is using machine learning in the same way.
Where Microsoft is doing something different is in making Bing capable of succinctly presenting multiple viewpoints on certain searches. So, if you ask a question about whether some type of food or drink is healthy for you, and there isn’t a clear-cut answer, then Microsoft’s search engine will present these opposing views.
That’s a nifty touch, and it builds on the anti-fake-news measures implemented in Bing back in September. Note that you won’t see multiple viewpoints for some topics though, particularly not controversial ones like religion or abortion.
Another feature is being introduced in the form of intelligent image searches, allowing you to search within an image. So if a person is wearing a necklace you like, you can focus on the jewellery and search for more images of that.
As mentioned at the outset, Microsoft has also instigated a partnership with Reddit. This means that Bing users who search for stuff on Reddit will automatically have the relevant subreddits surfaced for them, along with a preview of the top conversations of the day. Bing searches for people who have done AMAs (‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions on Reddit) and will highlight those question-and-answer sessions.
Speaking of questions: who cares about Bing? That’s what some folks out there may be asking at this point, but the answer is an increasing amount of web surfers, particularly in the US and UK, are using Bing, as it now has a 33% and 26% search engine market share in these territories respectively (according to statistics released in the summer).
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