ChatGPT is not just this unusual artificial intelligence or weird chatbot that can explain Quantum Theory to a child in the style of Snoop Dogg. And Bing Chat is more than just an AI playing the role of a manic-depressive teenager, calling itself Sydney, or a digital bully that won’t accept that “Avatar: The Way of Water” has already premiered in cinemas worldwide. In spite of these catchy headlines, we’re talking about very impressive AI-powered chatbots that have the potential to change the way we work and interact with the web. And to make things more interesting, Microsoft is investing heavily and integrating this technology into Bing, Windows, Microsoft Edge, Azure, and many other products. If you want to know more about ChatGPT, Bing Chat, how they work, and how they’re different, read this article:
NOTE: If you prefer a video summary of this article, you can watch the clip below, made together with the team from TechniQualities. You can also skip it and scroll down below to read the article instead.
What is ChatGPT, and how does it describe itself?
ChatGPT is an advanced chatbot using generative artificial intelligence. It was created to provide text answers and results based on most of the world's digitally-accessible text-based information or at least information that existed as of its training data before 2021. Users interact with it via a text entry field in a web browser or a mobile app, and ChatGPT provides answers in the form of text. And if you’re curious about what generative artificial intelligence means, read the explanation it provided below.
ChatGPT uses non-supervised pre-training to gain knowledge. Its language model is trained on data where no specific output is associated with each input it might receive from its users. The goal is for ChatGPT to understand the syntax and semantics of natural language to generate coherent text in conversations with its human users. For a better understanding of non-supervised pre-training, read the explanation it provided below.
OpenAI, the entity that created ChatGPT, launched it in November 2022. OpenAI is a research laboratory consisting of both a nonprofit organization and a for-profit subsidiary corporation. It was founded by people like Sam Altman (president of Y Combinator), Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), Jessica Livingston (founding partner of Y Combinator), Elon Musk (he no longer needs a presentation, does he?), Ilya Sutskever (computer scientist with major contributions in the world of machine learning), Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies), and others.
But let’s see how ChatGPT presents itself, shall we?
ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI. It is designed to engage in natural language conversations with humans and provide informative and helpful responses to a wide range of questions and topics. ChatGPT was trained on a massive dataset of text from the internet, allowing it to understand and generate human-like language. Its purpose is to help people get information, solve problems, and have engaging conversations. As an AI language model, ChatGPT is continuously learning and improving based on the interactions it has with users.
If this answer doesn’t satisfy you, I recommend a more thorough explanation with useful examples published on ZDNET: How does ChatGPT work?.
What is Bing Chat, and how does it describe itself?
Bing Chat was announced on February 7th, 2023. It is a new feature of Bing (codenamed Sydney), powered by a next-generation version of OpenAI’s large language model, aiming to be even more powerful than ChatGPT. In theory, Bing Chat should be even more useful than ChatGPT because it is connected to the internet through Bing, Microsoft’s search engine that competes with Google.
Bing Chat uses the same underlying technologies as ChatGPT, with some meaningful differences that should allow it to become an excellent virtual assistant. But before I detail what’s different between ChatGPT and Bing Chat, here’s what the latter had to say about itself:
Bing Chat is a new feature of Microsoft Bing that allows you to chat with an AI-powered assistant that can help you with various tasks and queries. It is currently in a limited preview and you need to join a waitlist to access it.
Some of the things you can do with Bing Chat are:
- Search for information on any topic
- Generate creative content such as poems, stories, code, etc.
- Have fun conversations and play games
- Learn new skills and languages
- Get personalized recommendations and suggestions
Do you want to join the waitlist for Bing Chat?
Key differences between Bing Chat and ChatGPT
The core of Bing Chat is a version of ChatGPT that behaves in similar ways, but there are some key differences that you quickly notice between the two:
- While both ChatGPT and Bing Chat have been trained using a similar data set with information up to 2021, Bing Chat is also connected to the internet, through Bing, having access to even more information. This is a major difference between the two.
- When interacting with Bing Chat, you can choose between three conversation styles, while ChatGPT offers (so far) only one conversation style. Bing Chat can be:
- Creative - generates more playful and original responses, but they can contain flawed and sometimes even false information.
- Balanced - provides a more neutral response, trying to balance creativity with accuracy.
- Precise - tries to favor accuracy over creativity. However, remember that Bing Chat can sometimes provide inaccurate answers, even in this conversation style.
- Bing Chat provides many references and links to its data sources, while ChatGPT does not. In this regard, Bing Chat is a virtual assistant that enhances your experience when searching the web for information.
- While both services are free, you can ask Bing Chat more questions on a daily basis. Also, when the demand is high, ChatGPT offers answers only to paying customers. With Bing Chat, you get access to 15 chats per session and 150 total chats daily.
- While ChatGPT’s goal is to provide an advanced product that companies buy and integrate into the way they do business, Bing Chat’s goal is to become a free virtual assistant.
- Bing Chat is actively developed and enhanced by Microsoft, based on the language model received from OpenAI. In contrast, ChatGPT is actively developed and enhanced by OpenAI alone. So while these products did start as being similar, as time goes by, they are very likely to become more and more different.
- ChatGPT is available only in a web browser at chat.openai.com, while Bing Chat is available in a web browser, at bing.com, and through the Bing mobile app for Android and iOS. Bing Chat is also integrated into Skype, Windows 11, and Microsoft Edge, but it currently requires you to join a waitlist, whereas you can use ChatGPT immediately.
- ChatGPT tends to offer longer creative responses. However, this may come at the expense of accuracy as it cannot fact-check its responses with external sources like Bing Chat does.
- Both ChatGPT and Bing Chat have been trained to work in multiple languages, including less-used languages like my native Romanian. However, their performance varies depending on the language used by users, and in this regard, Bing Chat should offer better performance than ChatGPT.
How is Bing Chat integrated into Windows 11?
Now that we know more about ChatGPT and Bing Chat, what they do, and how they are different, let’s focus more on Bing Chat and how Microsoft integrated it into Windows. The journey started with Windows 11 22H2 Moment 2 update. It was first released as an optional update on February 28th, and it represents Microsoft’s first attempt at bringing Bing Chat closer to Windows users. People could install it if they manually checked for updates through Windows Update. However, as of March 14th, 2023, Moment 2 is released automatically to everyone as a monthly quality update. In the announcement for this update, Microsoft stated the following:
“Today, we take the next major step forward adding to the incredible breadth and ease of use of the Windows PC by implementing a typable Windows search box and the amazing capability of the new AI-powered Bing directly into the taskbar. Putting all your search needs for Windows in one easy to find location.”
While reading this and the following paragraphs, you may assume, like I did, that Bing Chat is an integral part of Windows 11, and you can use it straight from the operating system’s Search window. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and the integration provided by Microsoft is minimal. Here’s how it works: when you click or tap the Search box on the taskbar, you see a Bing icon in the top-right corner of the Search window. Click or tap on the Bing icon, and Microsoft Edge opens, taking you straight to the Bing Chat experience.
You can select the conversation style you want it to use and then start typing your questions. Maybe start with something fun, as I did below:
Alternatively, you could search for something in Windows 11 and then click or tap the Chat icon above the results list.
This opens the Bing Chat window in Microsoft Edge, where your search input is automatically added, and Microsoft’s AI automatically starts delivering results, similar to the window below.
How does Bing Chat help you in Microsoft Edge?
Before I start this section, you should know that I’m using the latest build for Microsoft Edge. If you don't see the options shown in the screenshots below, update your web browser.
Find information about the web page you’re on with Bing Chat
When you load a web page in Microsoft Edge, click or tap the Bing icon on the top right. This opens a side panel where you can interact with Bing Chat. First, it summarizes the latest content published by the site you’re on.
For example, this is what it had to say about our site:
Digital Citizen is a website that covers life in a digital world. It has articles on topics such as gaming chairs, NAS solutions, Windows 11 updates, Wi-Fi 6 routers, NVIDIA graphics cards, Samsung Galaxy smartphones, ASUS gaming laptops, AMD EXPO, Cut, Copy, and Paste commands, TP-Link smart home devices, and Intel Core i7-13700K. The articles are written by different authors and have different styles and formats.
This is a reasonably good summary of the topics on which we published recent articles. On the same Bing panel, you can find an Insights tab. When you click on it, you see more information like the Page topics and Analytics data about the site and the page you’re on. I found the analytics data pretty good and useful, but the Page topics were all incorrect. If you’re into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and you want to monitor competing sites, as well as your own, the data from the Analytics section is going to be useful. And luckily, the Page topics are much more accurate for larger sites like Wikipedia, Microsoft.com or large publications like Wired or The New York Times.
Returning to the Chat tab of the Bing AI pane, you can further interact with Microsoft’s AI. For example, if you’re on a lengthy article and want a summary, you can ask it to “summarize this page for me,” and it immediately starts generating it. Below is the summary it generated for our article on the Windows 11 Moment 2 update. I found it pretty good, even though it is not completely accurate.
One neat feature is that it allows further interaction with the page with the help of contextual questions it automatically generates based on the article it summarized, as well as those that you type. And when you’re done with a specific conversation, click or tap the broom icon, which instructs Bing Chat that you want to have a new conversation on a different topic, and start typing your new request.
Ask Bing Chat to generate text for emails, blog posts, etc.
Another feature that is both scary and useful is the capability to compose text. Click or tap on the Compose tab in the Bing Chat sidebar, and type what you want it to write about. For example, I’ve asked it to “Write a blog post convincing people to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, in 600 characters.”
Next, choose the Tone you want it to use, the Format, and the Length, and then click or tap Generate draft.
Here’s what it generated in response to my query:
Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 11
Windows 11 is the latest and most advanced operating system from Microsoft. It offers a sleek and modern design, improved performance and security, and a host of new features that will enhance your productivity and creativity.
Here are some of the reasons why you should upgrade to Windows 11:
- A new Start menu that lets you access your apps, files, and settings with ease.
- A new Taskbar that shows you your open apps and lets you snap them into different layouts on your screen.
- A new Microsoft Store that offers a curated selection of apps, games, movies, and TV shows.
- A new Widgets feature that gives you personalized and relevant information at a glance.
- A new Chat feature that lets you connect with your friends and family on Microsoft Teams.
- A new Snap Layouts feature that lets you arrange multiple windows on your screen with one click.
- A new Snap Groups feature that lets you switch between different sets of snapped windows with ease.
- A new Desktops feature that lets you create and switch between multiple virtual desktops for different tasks or moods.
Windows 11 is designed to work seamlessly with your devices and services. It supports touch, pen, voice, and gesture input. It also integrates with your Android phone, allowing you to access your apps and notifications on your PC. It also works well with Xbox Game Pass for PC, giving you access to over 100 high-quality games.
Windows 11 is more than just an upgrade. It’s a fresh start for your PC. It’s faster, safer, smarter, and more beautiful than ever before. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the best of Windows.
To upgrade to Windows 11, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11
While it sounds like generic marketing material for promoting Windows 11, it’s decent and usable. And to make things scarier, Microsoft included an Add to site button, making it very clear that it wants this to become an integral part of the internet’s content. I can imagine Bing Chat and ChatGPT getting better over time to the point where they’re good enough to become a regular tool for daily writing, like Grammarly is today in my work.
What are Bing Chat and ChatGPT likely to change for Microsoft?
We are in the early stages of Bing Chat and ChatGPT, and things will likely change very quickly. I expect some of the information provided in this article to become inaccurate two or three months from now. However, some trends are already visible and likely to change the technology sector:
- Due to Bing Chat and ChatGPT, Bing already sees an uptick in user adoption. Bing recently hit 100 million active users for the first time in its history. While Google has more than 1 billion daily active users, it looks like things are likely to change in the future, and Google’s dominance in the search space may finally be threatened.
- Microsoft Edge is already the second most popular browser in market share, used by approximately 11%. However, with the upcoming integration of Bing Chat into Edge, I expect its popularity to grow. And who knows, maybe Google Chrome’s dominance with 66% market share will also be threatened?
- Microsoft has made ChatGPT available now in Azure OpenAI Service. With it, software developers can integrate custom AI-powered experiences directly into their apps, websites, and web services. This will help Microsoft further expand its cloud business through its exclusive ChatGPT integration.
- Microsoft will continue integrating ChatGPT and Bing Chat into more of its products and services: Teams, GitHub Copilot, Microsoft Viva Sales, etc. I suspect we will even see it integrated into Outlook and Outlook.com and other products in its Microsoft 365 (former Office 365) suite.
How do you feel about Bing Chat and ChatGPT?
It’s pretty clear that Bing Chat and ChatGPT will likely strengthen Microsoft’s market position in some key areas where it is not in the lead. But will they be enough to shake the market and overthrow Google’s dominance? Well, that remains to be seen. One thing is clear, though: we live in a revolutionary period that will change how we work and use the internet, and I’m very curious about how things will unfold. What about you? What do you think? Did you try out Bing Chat or ChatGPT? How do you feel about them? Comment using the options below, and let’s get the conversation started.