Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday revealed major updates to its Bing Chat, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, incorporating visual search functionality and extending its capacities to the enterprise level with Bing Chat Enterprise. These developments aim to enhance the user experience by introducing an image-based communication method and ensuring data security for businesses.
Bing Chat Unveils Visual Search
In the most recent update, Bing Chat now allows users to upload a photo and request additional information about it. This feature can be utilized through desktop or Bing applications. As Microsoft wrote in a release, Bing Chat can now understand the context of an image, interpret it, and answer questions about it. This new feature provides a fresh way of information searching, whether you’re exploring a new city or brainstorming lunch ideas at home. This addition is a part of the ongoing AI arms race among chatbot leaders like Microsoft, Google, OpenAI, and Anthropic. While image search and responses are becoming an integral part of the chatbot user experience, none of the leading text-based chatbots seem to be able to generate their own images yet. This sets Bing Chat apart from its competitors as it follows in the footsteps of Google’s Bard chatbot.
Bing Chat Enterprise: A Secure, Conversational Search Experience for Business
Building on the success of the consumer version of Bing Chat, Microsoft unveiled Bing Chat Enterprise at its annual partner conference, Ignite. This enterprise-grade tool is designed to offer a more conversational search experience to enterprise workers. Leveraging the same generative AI technology behind ChatGPT, Bing Chat Enterprise can understand natural language inputs in various languages and can respond conversationally to almost any type of query. Notable features of Bing Chat Enterprise include:
- Highly differentiated search experience compared to traditional text-based searches
- Additional commercial data protection tools to safeguard sensitive business information
- No saving of chat data and individual chats are inaccessible, ensuring maximum privacy
- Visual answer generation capability, including charts, graphs, and images
Microsoft also highlighted that Bing Chat Enterprise will be available at no additional cost to all Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard, and Business Premium users, ensuring widespread access to this AI-powered tool.
Integration with Microsoft 365 Copilot
Microsoft’s upcoming Microsoft 365 Copilot service, still in preview, is set to integrate a similar experience to Bing Chat inside Microsoft’s most widely used business applications, including Outlook.com, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams. Emphasizing the security aspect of this tool, Microsoft confirmed that Copilot will inherit the user’s existing security, privacy, identity, and compliance policies, ensuring that all data remains strictly under their control. Microsoft also revealed the pricing for the Microsoft 365 Copilot service. Once it becomes broadly available, it will cost $30 per user per month. According to analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc., this powerful AI-based assistant will provide substantial productivity gains and have a significant impact on the future of work.
Microsoft’s upgrades to Bing Chat, including the launch of Visual Search and the introduction of Bing Chat Enterprise, are significant steps forward in chatbot technology. These developments underline Microsoft’s commitment to providing users with more sophisticated tools for both personal and professional use, leveraging AI to deliver more engaging and secure experiences. Users can expect these updates to roll out for desktop and mobile users with enterprise-level visual search capabilities arriving at a later date.