By Anand Parthasarathy: May 19, 2023: Hardly 5 months after a virtually unknown company, OpenAI unveiled the Artificial Intelligence-fueled ChatGPT tool before an astonished world, Generative AI, the technology it triggered, has percolated to the level of a mass application – the Web browser-search engine combo.
In February, Microsoft cannily shortened its development cycle by tying up with OpenAI to use ChatGPT under the hood of its search engine, Bing. Specifically, one has to use Microsoft’s Edge browser, to access Bing, then click on the BingChat button to get the functionality of the latest ChatGPT 4 release.
How does it improve the search experience? Said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella:
“There are 10 billion search queries a day, but we estimate half of them go unanswered. That’s because people are using search to do things it wasn’t originally designed to do. It’s great for finding a website, but for more complex questions or tasks too often it falls short. We have brought together search, browsing and chat into one unified experience you can invoke from anywhere on the web.”
Here is a Link to launch Microsoft Edge with BingChat .
Microsoft has been quick to bring the tool to mobile devices, via apps.
Here is a Link to launch the “Microsoft Edge with Chat” app for Android devices
Google catches up
On May 10, at the Google I/O conference, the company opened access to its own experimental AI chat tool, Bard, across 180 countries and made it available for free to all users of any of its Workspace tools, including Gmail.
It is still tagged as an experiment with a reminder that it “may give inaccurate or inappropriate responses”. But this appears to be more a legal disclaimer, and any one can try out Bard by going to https://bard.google.com/. It is currently available in English among three international languages -- and no plans for Indian language have been announced as yet
Google has used its own AI language called LaMDA for Language Model for Dialogue Application, rather than harness ChatGPT.
Riding on the back of Google, Bard has one significant advantage over raw ChatGPT – the fact that it can integrate results of web search into archival information. Nadella’s remarks seem to suggest that BingChat does likewise, thanks to Edge.
The combo of browser plus AI-fueled chat makes for a very superior result where the inherent creativity of the generative AI tool gains immeasurably from the latest updates – data-wise that a browser like Google or Edge can provide through live searches.
Google has not yet launched a mobile version of Bard – I could not find a Bard app in the Play Store though some deceptively named other apps may confuse. But using the link given above, I could use Bard on my handset, without too much difficulty.
The original ChatGPT is still around though everything suggests it may soon go behind a subscription wall. By providing the same – and arguably improved – functionality, the two popular browsers have democratized AI-assisted creativity in a way that was unimaginable, a year ago.
And to to underline that such innovation is a moving Window, Microsoft recently added an Image Creator button to the BingChat tool allowing a user to create an image just by describing it in words. Another reason add-on is introducing chat history so that you can go back to an earlier chat and reuse it.
Google on its part has promised that Bard too will go visual, allowing one to create documents with embedded pictures and integrating the Google Lens image finder tool into the chat.
This article has appeared earlier in Swarajyamag