Feb 6, 2023
Microsoft Schedules News Event for Tuesday as Company Accelerates AI Investments
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. unveiled plans for an event on Tuesday at its headquarters, leaving the subject open to speculation as the company steps up its bets on artificial intelligence — including adding OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot into its Bing search engine.
The company didn’t disclose the content of the 10 a.m. local time event at the Redmond, Washington, headquarters in an invitation to reporters, but said it will “share some progress on a few exciting projects.” Microsoft has been accelerating investments in artificial intelligence and competition in the field of generative AI — named for the ability to generate new content from digital troves of text, photos and art — is heating up.
Microsoft has been preparing to add ChatGPT to Bing to offer better, more precise answers to queries, rather than a list of links, in a yet another bid to take some market share from Google’s highly dominant search engine, a person familiar with the matter said last month. Bing has about 9% of the global search market, according to analyst Statista.
The software giant also announced last month that it was making a multibillion investment, which a person familiar put at $10 billion, in OpenAI over several years. The two companies are growing closer with Microsoft providing cloud-computing power to OpenAI while blending the systems developed by the AI research lab into its own software. Sam Altman, the startup’s co-founder and chief executive officer, on Monday tweeted a photo with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella saying he was at Microsoft headquarters and “excited” for Tuesday’s event.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google said Monday that it has released a ChatGPT rival, called Bard, for testing and the general public will be able to use the service “in the coming weeks.” Bard is based on LaMDA, a large language model developed by Google that stirred controversy in May when a Google software engineer publicly asserted that the AI was “sentient” — a claim that has widely been disputed. The chatbot aims to generate detailed answers when given simple prompts, such as what to make for lunch or how to plan a friend’s baby shower.
Google also offered a look at some AI-powered features that will soon appear in its search and are intended to offer users insights for queries where there’s no one correct answer.
(Updates with Google’s announcement in fifth paragraph.)
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