The AI field was mostly quiet, with most of the buzz it created was mostly contained, and happened only within its own field.
But when OpenAI introduced ChatGPT as an AI chatbot tool, the internet was quickly captivated. This is because the AI is able to do a wide range of tasks, including writing poetry, technical papers, novels, and essays.
Since then, tech companies are moving fast to add generative AI capabilities to their respective products.
And this time, Microsoft has upped its ante.
After announcing an AI-powered Copilot assistant for its Office apps, and introducing generative AI-powered cybersecurity called Microsoft Security Copilot, the company is ensuring that it can make money, and prevent rivals from thriving.
The first thing it does, is monetization.
Since the first time it introduced the ChatGPT-powered Bing, and how the public realized how it could hallucinate, and how the company then fixed the issue, Microsoft wants to ensure that the AI is worth the effort.
For this reason, Microsoft introduces advertisements to the AI chatbot.
Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi announced this in a blog, saying that the company is “exploring placing ads in the chat experience."
"Yes, ads will show in the new Bing, specifically in chat (as they do in the traditional search results)," said Caitlin Roulston, a director of communications at Microsoft.
"Since the new Bing is in preview, there may be some variability in how it’s currently showing up. We’re still exploring new opportunities for ad experiences and will share more over time."
Initially, the ads in question are inserted inside a box with a small "Ad" tag citation. The ad box can appear after a few sentences, and that it appears to be linking back to Bing.
In the blog post, Mehdi said that Microsoft wants to “share the ad revenue with partners whose content contributed to the chat response."
Then, after ensuring that it can earn money from the ChatGPT and Bing chatbot trend, Microsoft also considers barring others from using data from its search engine Bing.
According to reports. the "greedy" Microsoft has threatened to cut-off third-party Bing-powered search engines if they don't stop using the data for their own chatbots.
While initial reports didn't specify which companies are involved in the dispute, it's worth noting that several search engines that rely on Bing include DuckDuckGo, Yahoo!, and You.com.
While DuckDuckGo, for example, uses a combination of Bing and its own web crawler to provide search results, You.com uses some of Bing's data to populate its results page, in order to conserve some of the time and resources that come along with crawling the entire web.
These search engines are significantly smaller than Bing, and because of that, they licensed Bing's search data to enhance their own search engine capabilities.
Things were looking good for everyone, until the generative AI hype.
According to reports, Microsoft is getting strict because the company wants to particularly prevent anyone from "using Bing’s search index as fodder for AI chatbots."
Generative AI, and AI chatbots, have been spearheading the tech sphere in 2023, and that their capabilities have continuously awed users and even researchers.
Before the trend settles, Bing has certainly leapfrogged over Google in terms of headline-grabbing capabilities, and because of that, as a for-profit entity, it cherishes the moment.
In Bing's words: