Microsoft has announced a wide range of updates to “deliver new AI innovations” across a variety of its IPs including Bing, Edge, SwiftKey and Skype. Perhaps the biggest buzz is the launch of the Bing widget, as mentioned in our headline. Occupying the home screen UI, this widget will soon be available for both Android and iOS and should beat Google Bard, which must hurt.
AI innovation has gained prominence in recent months, and there are even fears that increasing demand for AI processing could impact the PC GPU market. Those fears aside, it’s also surprising to see how old Microsoft is quickly catching on to companies like Google with its rapid adoption and integration of AI intelligence.
Microsoft claims that starting this week, “the Bing experience will be much richer on both desktop and mobile.” It mentions that its search IP will start offering videos, knowledge maps, graphics, better formatting and social sharing features – all within the easy and natural to use chat widget.
With the new Bing widget, you can get up-to-date information at a glance and interacting with Bing’s AI by typing or speaking (microphone click) is a breeze. You can also launch the full Bing app from the widget if that works better for you.
Users will find that Bing is now smart enough to remember conversations across devices. This could be an attractive feature if some questions pop into your mind on mobile and you want to review the interactions when you’re at home or at the office PC. Of course it works both ways. Microsoft provides an example where you ask for a recipe on your PC at home, and then Bing reminds you of the ingredient shopping list or suggests substitute ingredients when something is out of stock/seasonal when you’re on the go.
A free addition to the Microsoft portfolio is the integration of AI-assisted text creation into SwiftKey. This popular soft keyboard now goes well beyond spell checking and helps with content, message tone, format and length with its compose feature.
Microsoft was also pleased to announce that its AI-powered translator has been integrated into the SwiftKey Keyboard. Like Compose, users can find it under the Bing button.
There are some interesting contextual AI additions for Edge Mobile browser users. First, Bing AI can provide contextual responses based on the web pages you visit. It shows an example of how to ask for a wine recommendation when viewing a recipe website. Additional contextual features can be provided by asking Bing for highlighted text on a webpage.
For Skype, Microsoft has made Bing AI available in all group chats. The wizard can be invoked from within discussions simply by highlighting @Bing directly. It can be useful for planning, calendar and route advice.
Microsoft reminds us that it has only been offering Bing AI for 100 days and has already made great strides. That means the next 100 days will be just as lively, with the next stop for big announcements being next week’s Build Developer Conference.