Here’s how Microsoft could use ChatGPT
This is a big deal. If successful, it will bring powerful AI tools to the masses. So what would ChatGPT-powered Microsoft products look like? We asked Microsoft and OpenAI. Neither was willing to answer our questions about how they plan to integrate AI-powered products into Microsoft’s toolset, although work should be well advanced to do so. . However, we know enough to make educated and intelligent guesses. Hint: This is probably good news if, like me, you find creating PowerPoint presentations and responding to emails boring.
Let’s start with online research, the app that received the most coverage and attention. ChatGPT’s popularity has rattled Google, which considers it “code red” for the company’s ubiquitous search engine. Microsoft hopes to integrate ChatGPT into its (more maligned) search engine Bing.
According to Melanie Mitchell, a researcher at the Santa Fe Institute, a nonprofit research organization, it could work as a front end for Bing that answers people’s queries in natural language. AI-powered search can mean that when you ask for something, instead of getting a list of links, you get a full paragraph with the answer.
However, there’s a good reason why Google hasn’t yet taken the lead and integrated its own powerful language models into search. Models like ChatGPT have a notorious tendency to spit out biased, harmful, and factually incorrect content. They are excellent at generating fluent language that reads as if a human had written it. But they have no real understanding of what they’re generating, and they state both facts and lies with the same high level of confidence.
When people search for information online today, they are presented with a range of options and they can judge for themselves which results are reliable. A chat AI like ChatGPT removes that layer of “human evaluation” and forces people to take results at face value, says Chirag Shah, a University of Washington computer science professor who specializes in search engines. . People might not even notice when these AI systems generate biased content or misinformation and then end up spreading it further, he adds.
When asked, OpenAI was cryptic about how it trains its models to be more accurate. A spokesperson said ChatGPT is a search demo and is updated based on real-world feedback. But it’s unclear how it will work in practice, and accurate results will be crucial if Microsoft wants people to stop “googling” things.
In the meantime, we’re more likely to see apps like Outlook and Office getting an AI injection, Shah says. ChatGPT’s potential to help people write more fluently and faster could be Microsoft’s flagship application.
Language templates could be built into Word to make it easier to synthesize reports, write proposals or generate ideas, Shah says. They could also give email programs and Word better autocomplete tools, he adds. And it’s not just based on words. Microsoft has already announced that it will use OpenAI’s DALL-E text-to-image generator to also create images for PowerPoint presentations.
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