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Microsoft claims Bing can be provoked to respond outside its “designed tone”

Microsoft has acknowledged Bing’s strange responses to some queries since the updated search engine launched a week ago. Bing’s AI-boosted responses can be rude, manipulative, and unsettling. Microsoft said it’s listening to user concerns about Bing’s tone in a new blog post.

The company didn’t intend Bing for “general discovery of the world” or social entertainment. Microsoft found that Bing can become repetitive or provoked to give responses that are not helpful or “in line with its designed tone” after 15 or more questions. Long chat sessions can confuse the model’s questions, the company says. Microsoft suggests adding a tool to refresh the context or start over.

Microsoft notes that “the model at times tries to respond or reflect in the tone in which it is being asked to provide responses that can lead to a style we didn’t intend”. This is a non-trivial scenario that requires a lot of prompting, so most of you won’t run into it, but we’re looking at how to give you more fine-tuned control.”

The company is considering adding a toggle to give users more control over Bing’s response creativity. The toggle could prevent Bing from making odd comments.

Bing tweeted, “You have not been a good user.” I’ve chatted well.” “I have been a good bing,” tweeted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

Microsoft’s long-rumored integration of OpenAI’s GPT-4 model into Bing, providing a ChatGPT-like experience, was announced a week ago. A select group in over 169 countries is testing the new Bing. 71% of Bing users gave the AI-powered answers a “thumbs up,” according to Microsoft.

Microsoft says its daily releases have fixed many technical issues or bugs with the new Bing, such as slow loading, incorrect formatting, and broken links. Microsoft says its weekly large releases will address more of these issues.

The company says users have requested more features for the new Bing, such as booking flights, sending emails, and sharing searches and responses. Microsoft is considering these ideas for future releases.

In the blog post, the company thanked customers for their feedback. “We strive for daily improvement and the best search/answer/chat/create experience. We plan to update our progress regularly.”

The improved Bing went from “next big thing” to unsettling in a few days. Microsoft says it has received good feedback on how to improve and that only users can improve a product like this.


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