Microsoft has announced a major update to its Bing chatbot, which includes new features such as image and video search, restaurant reservations, chat history, and smarter integration with Microsoft Edge. The update follows Microsoft making the Bing chatbot publicly available to all users.
The most important addition to Bing Chat is the new Actions feature, which allows users to complete tasks without having to navigate between websites.
For example, if a search result suggests a restaurant, Bing AI can help find a reservation time that works for the user and allow them to book it in the chat interface. The feature also works through Edge, allowing users to ask Bing’s AI to play a movie, which it will automatically select and open the appropriate site to start playing.
Image and video search results will now appear directly in Bing Chat, with updated formatting and charts and graphs to make the information more accessible. Soon, users will be able to request images or videos of objects, animals, places, and other items. Bing Image Creator will be available in more than 100 languages, making it easier to create images for the Bing chatbot.
Microsoft is also rolling out a chat history feature that allows users to record conversations with chatbots across devices and use Bing as a research tool. Users will also be able to export and share chatbot conversations on Twitter or drag them into a Word document.
For Edge users, if they open a link from a Bing chatbot reply in the Edge browser, the chat will automatically move to the sidebar so they can continue asking questions while browsing the site. Microsoft is also experimenting with personalizing chat sessions, including adding previous history to new conversations.
Finally, Microsoft is opening up the Bing chatbot to third-party developers using plugins. Microsoft has yet to announce when this support will be available, but the company is working with partners such as OpenTable for reservations, Wolfram Alpha for visualization, and OpenAI to allow developers to connect to the Bing chatbot.
Microsoft’s announcement appeared on the eve of the Google I/O conference for developers, where the search giant is expected to present new developments in the field of artificial intelligence. In March, Google launched its own Bard chatbot and now aims to compete with Bing and ChatGPT.