The rise and fall of Microsoft’s new Bing
A week ago, the New York Times gushed about Bing, heralding a revolution. The internet doesn’t seem convinced
What a week it’s been! Here’s Kevin Roose, at the New York Times, just a week ago:
And here’s the internet, over the last couple days, decidedly less awestruck:
Turns out there is already even a petition at Change.org to take Tay, er, I mean Bing down
Tay lasted 16 hours, before Microsoft took it; Galactica lasted three days.
Time will tell whether the new Bing lasts longer than a Truss of lettuce.
Gary Marcus (@garymarcus), scientist, bestselling author, and entrepreneur, is a skeptic about current AI but genuinely wants to see the best AI possible for the world—and still holds a tiny bit of optimism. Sign up to his Substack (free!), and listen to him on Ezra Klein. His most recent book, co-authored with Ernest Davis, Rebooting AI, is one of Forbes’s 7 Must Read Books in AI.
I've heard a lot of people ask why ChatGPT has that particular inoffensive, servile, and actively bland writing style. People complain about it. However, it's looking like OpenAI made the right call doing whatever they did to give it that "ChatGPT style". Its refusal to attribute emotions to itself, the speed with which it reminds humans that it is an unfeeling LLM with no opinions of its own, the lifelessness of its default prose style... all carefully engineered to avoid exactly what we're seeing happen to Bing here.
I made this comment elsewhere, but it's relevant to this specific case as well: Using purely text generation focused AI models for search still seems incredibly misguided in an "everything looks like a nail" kind of way. It's just not designed for that kind of task. I really don't get why most media outlets have decided to frame it that way (thus writing a marketing claim that even OpenAI themselves wouldn't use because they know it's inaccurate) and especially why corporations like Microsoft and Google believe them, when there are way, WAY more obvious and fitting applications for the technology (from fiction writing to coding assistance). It's a specific tool for a specific use.