Microsoft has rolled out a new version of its Bing chatbot (v96) with improvements to make the AI smarter in a few key areas – and a big change has also been flagged as imminent.
Mikhail Parakhin, who heads Microsoft’s Advertising and Web Services division, shared this information on Twitter (via MS Power User (opens in a new tab)).
OK, it took longer than originally expected, but finally Bing Chat v96 is fully in production. Try! Now onto the full tri-toggle expedition…February 28, 2023
So, what’s new with v96? Parakhin explains that ChatGPT-powered Bing users will now experience a “significant” reduction in the number of times the AI simply refuses to answer a query.
There will also apparently be “reduced instances of hallucinations in responses”, which is industry jargon, meaning the chatbot will produce fewer errors and inaccuracies when responding to users. In short, we should see less misinformation being transmitted by the chatbot, and there have been some disturbing instances of this recently.
The other major news from Parakhin is that the so-called tri-toggle, known more formally as the Bing chat mode switcher – with three settings to switch between different Bing AI personalities – should be implemented. line in the “coming years”. days” we are said (opens in a new tab).
Analysis: long and winding road ahead
The ability to switch between a trio of personalities is the big change for the Bing chatbot, and hearing that it’s imminent is something exciting for those who have engaged with AI so far.
As detailed earlier, the trio of available personalities are labeled as Precise, Balanced, and Creative. The latter is set to deliver a more chatty experience, and Precise will deliver a shorter, more typical “search result” delivery, with Balanced being a middle way between the two. So if you don’t like the way the AI responds to you, at least there will be choices to change its behavior.
Different versions of the chat mode selector have been tested, as you can imagine, and the final model has just been chosen. This is currently being refined ahead of release, which should happen later this week as noted, but we suspect there will be plenty of other tweaks to be made after release.
Admittedly, if the overall Bing AI experience has been anything to go by, because the whole project is, of course, still in its early stages, and Microsoft is cutting and changing things – sometimes in huge ways – seemingly without much caution.
The current tweak in v96 to make sure Bing doesn’t get confused and just plain unresponsive will help make the AI a nicer virtual entity to interact with, and so will hopefully for the ability to change personality.
At the very least, the creative persona should inject a much-needed persona back into the chatbot, which a lot of people want – because if the AI pretty much behaves like a search engine, then the project feels a bit dry and frankly in danger of being judged useless. After all, the goal of this initiative is to make Bing something different rather than just a traditional search experience.
This will no doubt be a long road of tweaking for Bing AI, and the next step after the personalities go live will likely be to lift that chat limit (which was imposed shortly after launch) to something a little higher to allow longer conversations. If not the full hikes we witnessed initially, the ones that got the chatbot in hot water for the quirks it produced…
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