Microsoft’s Bing chat bot gets smarter with restaurant reservations, photo results, and more

Microsoft unveiled a major upgrade to its Bing chatbot today that adds photo and video answers, restaurant reservations, chat history, and some smarter Microsoft Edge integrations. These new features also coincide with Microsoft making Bing Chat available for anyone to try out, moving from private preview to public preview.

Perhaps the biggest addition is the new Actions feature in Bing Chat and Edge. You will now be able to use Microsoft’s Bing AI to complete tasks without having to go back and forth between locations. So, if the search result recommends a restaurant, then it can find a reservation time that works for you and help you book it all in the chat interface.

Bing Actions can reserve a restaurant table for you.
Image: Microsoft

This also works through Edge, so if you’re looking for movies, you can just ask the Bing AI to play it for you, and it will automatically select the correct service and open the location to start playing the movie. Microsoft hasn’t listed all of the partners it’s working with for Bing and Edge Actions, but the company has offered OpenTable for restaurant reservations and Apple TV for movie searches, so it’s safe to say they’ll be supported at launch in a few weeks.

Next up are the image and video search results right inside Bing Chat. “We provide richer, visual answers including charts, graphs, and an updated format for answers, helping you find the information you’re looking for more easily,” says Youssef Mahdi, head of consumer marketing at Microsoft. Soon you’ll be able to search Bing Chat and request photos or videos of things, animals, places, and more. Microsoft is also expanding its Bing Image Creator into more than 100 languages, so you can easily use Bing Chat to create images.

See also  Apple iPhone 14: Price, release date, and how to pre-order

Image results in Bing Chat.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is also adding a much-requested feature to Bing Chat: History. This new chat history will allow you to capture chatbot conversations across devices and even use Bing Chat as a search tool. Microsoft is also planning to add export and share features to Bing Chat so you can share the contents of a conversation on Twitter or even bring it into a Word document.

Where chat history gets really interesting is inside Microsoft Edge. If you open a link from a Bing Chat answer in Edge, that chat will automatically move to a sidebar so you can continue to ask questions while browsing the site. Microsoft is also experimenting with personalizing these chat sessions by bringing context from previous chat history into new conversations.

Bing’s ongoing chat and history are big new features.
Image: Microsoft

The Edge compose feature in the sidebar also gets you better tone options for composing text, with Edge mobile also supporting near page context so you can ask questions in Bing Chat about the page you’re on, just like the sidebar in the desktop version.

To round out the roundup of features, Microsoft is also opening up Bing Chat to third parties with plug-in support. Like most of these new features, it’s not clear exactly when plug-in support will be available, but Microsoft says it’s working with OpenTable for the Bing Action Reservation feature, Wolfram Alpha for visualizations, and OpenAI to let developers opt in to Bing Chat.

“We believe this will be a game-changer in reinventing search and enhancing opportunities for developers in search,” says Mehdi. We look forward to sharing more details at Microsoft Build later this month.

See also  23 Early Black Friday TV Deals: Samsung, Sony, and More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *