Bing partners Reddit for new AI search features

Microsoft’s Bing is undergoing a major change, partnering Reddit and using AI to try and take on Google.

New features include the ability to summarise the two opposing sides of contentious questions, and another that measures how many reputable sources are behind a given answer.

Speaking at the Everyday AI event, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian announced a new partnership with Microsoft.

Through the partnership, Reddit and Microsoft will leverage AI tools to integrate Reddit content in searches, including answers from one of the platform’s signature draws, Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions.

The feature is intended to make interacting with Bing more natural by more quickly surfacing answers to questions with comprehensive information.

As part of Intelligent Search, Microsoft’s partnership with Reddit will let it leverage the community of millions in a few different ways, at least initially.

Jordi Ribas, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for AI products, said: “As a search engine we have a responsibility to provide answers that are comprehensive and objective.”

Bing’s new capabilities are designed to give users more confidence that an answer is correct and save them time so they don’t have to click through multiple links to validate it themselves.

“You could be asking, ‘Is coffee good for you?’ We know that there are no good answers for that,” Ribas added.

One source emphasises coffee’s ability to increase metabolism and another shows it can raise blood pressure. Similar questions can also be asked on more sensitive topics, such as whether the death penalty is a good idea.

As machines get better at reading and summarizing paragraphs, users expect not just a list of links but a quick and authoritative answer, said Harry Shum, who leads Microsoft’s 8,000-person research and AI division.

To test its technology, the company has compared its machine-reading skills to the verbal score on the SAT.

The demand for more sophisticated searches has also grown as people have moved from typing questions to voicing them on the road or in their kitchen.

“If you use Bing or Google nowadays you recognise that more and more often you’ll see direct answers on the top of search result pages,” Shum said. “We’re getting to the point that for probably about 10 percent of those queries we’ll see answers.”

Source: Net Imperative

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