Microsoft rolls Bing Chat out to a wider audience

Microsoft's Bing Chat is moving beyond its own browser.
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft is bringing its chatbot to a larger portion of the internet.

Bing Chat is no longer restricted to the company’s Edge browser, with people who prefer Google Chrome or Apple’s Safari now able to interact with the ChatGPT-powered tool.

The expansion is not a complete one. Microsoft is rolling out the tool on a limited basis, meaning some users might be able to access Bing Chat on some browsers, while others will not at present.

The experience is a more thorough one on Edge, as well. Users who can access the chatbot on Chrome or Safari must be logged into their Microsoft account and are limited to 2,000 characters. Conversations reset after five queries. And since Microsoft still has an interest in promoting its own products, you’ll be regularly encouraged to download its browser instead.

Edge users have up to 4,000 characters to outline the parameters of their inquiry. And they can ask up to 30 questions before the system resets.

While generative A.I. is still a source of fascination for people, it’s not quite the event it was at its rollout. At the same time, the technology is less prone to headline-grabbing hallucinations, as the field has advanced and ChatGPT has updated its technology.

Skepticism about the technology has grown somewhat as well, after a report from Stanford University found that the OpenAI-created chatbot’s ability to perform certain tasks has degraded over time. Over the course of the study researchers found that in March GPT-4 was able to correctly identify that the number 17,077 is a prime number 97.6% of the times it was asked. But three months later, that accuracy fell to 2.4%.

Researchers say the decreased accuracy could be a result of continued fine-tuning of the large language model, which leads to unintended side effects. They can’t say that definitively, however, since OpenAI has opted not to make its code open-source.

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