The Future of Search: A Review of Bing’s conversational search with GPT

I got access today to Bing’s brand new search with GPT. This is a game changer for search engines. Here’s why:

  1. Citations: The search provides references to where the information is from, which can add some authenticity to the content. It also allows us to get extra information, view pictures, and do follow up activities such as booking tickets. With GPT, I had to follow my ChatGPT sessions with a session on Google to accomplish these.   
  2. Multi-step search: In cases where we look for a small piece of information with a one-off search, Conversational Search is not going to add value. Often, our searches are multi-step processes (such as when we are researching a topic). In such cases, Conversational Search is going to be a game changer by allowing us to stay in one place and get coalesced information one step at a time. I tried making travel plans with my family, which required a lot of queries. The results were impressive.
  3. Recent information: GPT is trained in snapshots and so it lacks recent information. Because this is based on search, it is capable of giving us a GPT like experience with recent news as well.
  4. There were a few other small nifty features such as autocomplete in the search box, which is not new to search but is a good addition to the GPT interface. 

There were a lot of flaws in each of these, which I will cover in follow up articles. That said, there is no doubt in my mind that search is poised for a big change this year and Google has good reasons to be worried. In the follow up articles, I will also discuss why Google has reasons to be optimistic. No matter how these companies end up, Netizens will clearly be the winners of this change.

About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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