We've heard multiple rumors that innovative AI tool ChatGPT is going to be wrapped into the Microsoft Bing search engine in the near future, and now we've got a leaked preview of how that integration might actually work and appear in your browser.
Student and designer Owen Yin (opens in new tab) (via The Verge (opens in new tab)) somehow got access to the upcoming upgrade and was able to test it for a period before being shut out. If you've already used ChatGPT, the interface will be familiar: you get a prompt on screen to ask for information or help with just about anything you like.
You've got 1,000 characters to work with, apparently. One example shown in Yin's screenshots is searching for art and craft ideas for a toddler using specific materials – that's the sort of query that ChatGPT excels at, and which you might not necessarily get very helpful results for through Google.
Bing with added ChatGPT will also tell you where it's got its information from: you'll see a list of sources, a bit like you do on Wikipedia, beneath the responses. That means you can check what ChatGPT is saying for accuracy, at least to some extent.
Bing's ChatGPT integration just appeared for me. Replaces the search bar with a composer for natural-language questions pic.twitter.com/NxZ0k9O92CFebruary 3, 2023
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The conventional search results won't be going away completely, according to this leak. They'll be available on a separate screen, and you can switch between an old-fashioned list of blue links and the future of search using the toolbar at the top.
And it really does feel as though the standard way of searching really is a bit old-fashioned now – which is no doubt part of the reason that Google is about to unveil its own version of this technology in the coming days. If you've run a traditional web search recently, you'll know that the results you get back aren't always that useful.
A more conversational approach, like that offered by ChatGPT, offers a lot more precision and customization. You can, for example, use the AI engine to write a wedding speech or plan a road trip on its own, refining the results using natural language, rather than just looking for ideas for speeches or travel itineraries online.
Microsoft is reportedly keen to add ChatGPT capabilities to its Office suite as well, giving you help with drafting letters, building PowerPoint slides and writing emails. In the very near future, we'll all be relying on artificial intelligence a lot more.