Microsoft’s integration of ChatGPT brings ‘a new day’ for search engines: Executive
Head of Microsoft Devices and Search Yusef Mehdi discusses the tech company's use of ChatGPT in its search engine, Bing.
- All right we're, announcing today some Microsoft movers, a major move from Microsoft announcing it will incorporate ChatGPT into their Bing search. Also, CEO Satya Nadella saying at company headquarters, it's a new paradigm for search. Joining us now with more, head of Microsoft Devices Search, Yusuf Mehdi and Tech Editor Dan Howley. Nice to see you both. Yusuf, thanks so much for being here. Why is it, in the words of Satya Nadella, a new paradigm for search?
YUSUF MEHDI: It is definitely a new day for search. The opportunity to bring and infuse AI and new chat like experiences with the tools that people use the most on the web today, which is the search engine, the browser is an opportunity to do something completely new. And today, what we've seen is, of the 10 billion queries that happen every day, roughly half go unanswered.
You-- basically, you can't get an answer to the question. You try it. We now have a system with the new Bing and the new Edge to actually answer your questions, to let you chat with it, and let it create and spark your creativity by generating content.
DANIEL HOWLEY: Yeah, Yusuf, I want to ask how this kind of differentiates you from the other players in this space, the Googles, primarily but, also, obviously, Yahoo, one of the components of our parent company, any of the others that are out there? How does this kind of help differentiate Microsoft?
YUSUF MEHDI: Yeah, so there's a couple of different things we've done. First is through our partnership with OpenAI, we have today announced a new large language model that is even much more powerful than ChatGPT. And it's tuned for search.
The second thing is, we've built an integrated experience across, you know, the web search, the browser, and chat. It's all in one. It's super easy to use. You can talk to with your natural language, natural voice. And it's now intelligent. So it can assess the page. It can give you things like summaries. It can do things today that you really can't do with any other service.
- What do you see just in terms of the first mover advantage. Obviously, you are right now a leader in this space. What kind of competitive edge do you see that giving Microsoft?
YUSUF MEHDI: Yeah, being first to market is a huge advantage because the way that you succeed here is you test, you learn, you get feedback, and you improve. And being out here, being first in the market, we're excited to get that feedback to grow. We're going to-- we're really going to try and innovate. We're going to try and push the envelope on coming up with new experiences that can wow people in their daily life. And we're excited to get all that learning.
DANIEL HOWLEY: You know, Yusuf, I've been trying it out. I asked it to help me plan a trip to Japan. And I gave it very specific guidelines. I said, you know, I've already been to Tokyo. I've already been to Kyoto. Give me some examples of where else I should visit and what I can do.
And it did a great job of lining that up. You know, obviously, it's something that's, as I was pointed out, is limited at this point as far as availability. So I guess for the general public, when can we expect to see more people be able to get their hands on this and really put it through its paces?
YUSUF MEHDI: Yeah, we're so excited to get out there. I'm glad that you get a chance to play with it because I do think it's an incredible experience. Our plan is to do the following. Today, anyone can come to bing.com and try like 20 queries, just to see the magic happening and the sign-up for the wait list. Our wait-list is already filling up pretty fast.
And then our plan is to scale that out to millions of people in the coming weeks. So that's roughly how we're thinking about the timing. And then we'll have a mobile version that will also be coming very soon.
- Bing has about 9% of the global market share in search. How do you presume ChatGPT can change that dynamic?
YUSUF MEHDI: Yeah, the new Bing, which includes these chat like experiences and the new Edge, I feel that the first step for us is, as I sort of said earlier, we have to wow people. We have to just do an incredible job answering questions. And we're doing that as we've been getting out into the marketplace. If that happens, more people will come and try to use Bing and use Edge. And then they might use it more. And then that will get then advertisers more interested. And the whole business kind of goes from there. But our first job is just to delight people.
- So first--
DANIEL HOWLEY: I guess when it comes to Microsoft overall, obviously, there's the multiyear, multibillion dollar agreement-- or investment, rather, with OpenAI. I guess, you know, this-- is this the first step of many where we'll see that kind of technology rolling out into Microsoft's various offerings? Do you-- and is there a particular reason why search and-- went first?
YUSUF MEHDI: Yeah, it's a great question. First off, you're correct. Our intention is to bring the power of AI to all of the products we do at Microsoft. We've already started a lot with Azure. You can expect that we're going to bring that and improve all of our products.
We start with search because it is the largest category in the software area. The online advertising market of which search is a part of is $600 billion in terms of total addressable market. So it's a big opportunity. And the applications that drive that-- obviously, the browser, the search engine-- they're the most used applications on the PC.
So we start with the most important area. We also start because, honestly, we feel that there has not been enough innovation in that space. We think there's an opportunity to address, as I said earlier, the half of questions that just don't get answered. So we're starting there. We've got some great ideas. And we think the new services that when you get a chance to play with it, you'll see just how much better it is than today's search.
DANIEL HOWLEY: I guess just as a final question. You know, we look at search engines. We look at the internet. You know, and there's, obviously, issues that need to be addressed as far as caution. People may be searching for nefarious things online. How do you ensure safety in something like this? I know that, obviously, OpenAI, ChatGPT, there were discussions about that, that had some guidelines or guardrails put in, rather. How do you ensure the kind of safety when it comes to something so large as online search?
YUSUF MEHDI: Yeah, so we do-- we've taken our approach to safety and responsibility with AI incredibly seriously. In fact, we start there before we even start on what we're going to build. We start on how we're going to build it.
We've done a number of things. We have AI principles that we've published. We've had much technology work early on as it lands in the park you get to use today. We do a number of things to really put safeguards in place and guardrails so we can understand when people enter questions that might be bad like hate speech or violence or self-harm.
We can catch those queries. And we don't answer them. We make sure that when we train the model, that the model knows not to take cues on that. And then before the answer is concerned, we check them again. So we do our-- we do a lot there to make sure and guarantee that we can have a safe experience for people.
- All right. Yusuf Mehdi, head of Microsoft Devices and Search. Thanks so much. And, of course, our thanks to Dan Howley as well.