If you’ve been following tech news at all for the last few months, you’ve no doubt heard that AI-powered text generation is kind of a Big Deal. ChatGPT and its alternatives are beginning to change the way we do a lot of things, like generating lists of instructions, planning vacations, or cheating at school essays. Microsoft has decided to dive in head first, debuting a new version of its Bing search engine with GPT-powered answers. You can try it right now.
Well, sort of.
ChatGPT still requires a huge amount of processing power to run compared to standard search engines, so it’s unlocking in a timed manner. You’ll need to go to Bing.com/new in order to check it out. Sign in with your Microsoft account (Hotmail, Office 365, whatever) and click “Join the waitlist” in order to put your name down as one of the first potential users.
In the meantime you can see how the interface works with a series of pre-baked queries, such as “help plan my special anniversary trip” or “help me create a trivia quiz.” It isn’t as wide-open as the full GPT-infused version of Bing that a very small amount of users now has access to, but it’ll help you get prepared for when that arrives, facing off against Google’s “Bard” AI system and whatever else has popped up at that point.
If you’d like a full breakdown of the capabilities of the new Bing, check out Mark Hachman’s full hands-on. In essence, it has all the surprising versatility of ChatGPT, but with a few of the more controversial capabilities (like doing your homework or teaching you how to swear) locked down. It also shows the original web source for the content it generated, and speaking as a soon-to-be-obsolete web writer made out of pathetic human meat, I appreciate that.