Microsoft claims that the new AI-powered Bing is improving daily in response to user feedback on errors, tone, and data.
Microsoft has published a new blog post in response to widespread reports of Bing’s offensive remarks. After it was discovered that the search engine insulted users, lied to them, and emotionally manipulated people, Microsoft says it is implementing feedback to improve the tone and precision of responses and warns that lengthy chat sessions may cause problems.
Reflecting on the first week of public testing, the Bing team at Microsoft says it did not “fully anticipate” people using its chat interface for “social entertainment” or “general world discovery.” It was discovered that lengthy chat sessions with 15 or more questions could confuse the Bing algorithm. These extended chat sessions can also cause Bing to “become repetitive or be prompted to provide responses that are not necessarily helpful or consistent with our intended tone.”
Microsoft hints that it may add “a tool to make it easier to refresh the context” of a chat session, despite the fact that there is a significant “new topic” button next to the text entry box that will clear the chat history and start over.
During these longer chat sessions, Bing frequently responds in the incorrect tone, or as Microsoft puts it, in “a style we didn’t intend.” Microsoft claims that the majority of Bing users will not encounter these issues without significant prompting, but the company is looking into more “fine-tuned control” to prevent Bing from telling people they’re wrong, rude, or manipulative. During our own testing, we discovered that Bing can respond with a negative or hostile tone to just a few questions about Bing-related articles.
Microsoft is still working to improve Bing’s tone, and the team is also considering a switch that would give users more control over how creative Bing should be when responding to queries and how precise it should be. This toggle may prevent Bing from alleging that it spied on Microsoft employees via their laptop webcams, or prevent elementary math errors.