On February 7, Microsoft held a surprise event during which it announced plans to integrate the popular AI tech in ChatGPT into its Bing search engine — impressing many, but surprising practically no one.
What was unexpected, though, was the news that it would also be incorporating the tech directly into its Edge web browser — giving users an “AI copilot” to assist them everywhere on the internet.
The background: If today happens to be the first time you’ve used the internet in three months or so, you might not know that ChatGPT is the hottest thing on it.
Released in November 2022, the AI chatbot, developed by research lab OpenAI, is trained to respond to prompts with human-sounding conversational text, but also computer code, poetry, recipes, and more. With more than 100 million users, it’s now the fastest growing consumer app in history.
The backer: Microsoft invested $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019 and another $2 billion in 2021. In January 2023 — two months after ChatGPT arrived on the scene — it announced another $10 billion investment in the startup.
Weeks prior to the funding announcement, The Information reported that Microsoft planned to integrate ChatGPT’s tech into Bing — instead of just responding to queries with a list of links, the search engine would be able give users helpful answers directly, written in conversational text.