Microsoft adds AI features to Bing

Microsoft adds AI features to Bing

Speaking of Cortana, Microsoft showed off some enhancements headed to the digital assistant as well. Microsoft's overriding message was that in addition to providing big-bang AI advances, like its just-unveiled quantum-computing development kit, it also is delivering more "everyday AI" ones, too, by integrating AI-driven tech into its core products and services. Asking Bing "is cholesterol bad?" will result in two different answers to that question. The company is beefing up Bing to help the search engine become smarter about providing relevant information to a given query; to provide multiple viewpoints to subjective questions; and to offer "Intelligent Image Search".

The partnership will benefit both parties with Reddit contributing content to Bing such as AMAs and advertising upcoming AMAs and Reddit Answers and Microsoft making subreddit content more visible in their search results. This will include offering info from Reddit AMAs, where information may have been provided on a subject but won't be easily discovered unless you use Reddit itself.

What's the AI connection to all this?

Ohanian noted that Reddit is the largest answer database of nuanced, verified answers, offering an awesome resource to Bing. And it's taking cues from its bots like Zo.ai in helping figure out how to prompt users in their queries, officials said. Reddit's UI is famously not that great on desktop, so Microsoft distilling the wall of text in a more effective manner is pretty essential. Cortana will also leverage AI to provide summaries of your most important emails. Cortana also can now access users Google calendars, not just Outlook.

Microsoft has been baking AI and machine learning capabilities, from document translation to intelligent threat detection, into Office 365, which now has more than 120 million commercial users.

For Office 365 users, Microsoft is launching a preview of Insights in Excel, which can automatically seek out and highlight patterns that it detects. This strategy is part of Bing's Intelligent Search feature, which was also announced on 13 December.

Word is getting a new feature, dubbed Acronyms, which helps users understand shorthand commonly used in their own workplaces. This will let users add a chart to a presentation without having to sift through email to find it.

The announcement was made by CEO Alexis Ohanian at the San Francisco event with Ohanian saying "We needed a partner who could bring in the AI heavy lifting and we came to Microsoft".

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