ChatGPT’s release last year in November officially heralded a new age, what is being referred to as the “knowledge age”. The knowledge age is what has come after the long-drawn information age that saw the birth of search engines and other tools on the web, including those that enable you to read this.
It is no longer just enough to be able to open a browser tab or a search widget and type in a few keywords and then be presented with a dozen blue hyperlinks with brief descriptions. Why do all of that when you can just query the same on a chatbot and be presented with a proper answer in whatever form you prefer? Generative AI, as they are calling ChatGPT and its ilk, is here to stay. And its popularity is not in question.
In just 3 months, ChatGPT, fronted by Open AI, went from 0 users to 100 million users, even though it was still in its testing phase and was limited to its pre-trained information, the troves of data that it had been fed while under development to advance its capabilities. Now, there’s a newer version of the transformer mode it relies on: GPT-4.
GPT is short for “generative pre-trained transformer”, making reference to the large language models (LLMs) that are necessary for the advancements in Artificial Intelligence that we are currently witnessing.
Now, while we have been able to access ChatGPT on the web, and it has since been integrated into a desktop browser that we use, what about you, the mobile user? How can you use it past just opening a tab on your mobile browser?
Thankfully, Microsoft, the biggest backer of ChatGPT developer Open AI, has been thinking this through and has been hard at work to integrate the features and capabilities of ChatGPT and the pre-trained transformer it is based on into several products it already offers users worldwide. Some of those products, as we have highlighted in the past, include its Bing search engine, which is now slowly becoming accessible with the new ChatGPT-powered functionality after a period of being invite-only and its popular Office productivity suite, which is getting is getting all the generative AI goodies in coming months with Microsoft 365 Copilot, per an announcement made over the last few hours.
On mobile, you can sample ChatGPT-powered features in the following apps (They are all from Microsoft, no surprises there. Please note that there is no ChatGPT app on the Play Store so don’t fall prey to the many fakes on the app store that will gladly take all your data for nothing other than exposing you to security concerns):
Being a Google-centred platform, Android is the natural home of Meet, Google’s latest video-calling app. In an era where Zoom is almost the go-to video-calling application for everything and Meet, at least on mobile, has been reduced to quick catch-ups with the folks in the office and personal communication, there’s barely anything left for Microsoft’s Skype especially since the company already pushes Teams for corporate users, right?
Well, for the discerning mobile user, the integration of GPT into Skype by way of the new Bing changes things and may, after all, be the app’s one last chance at staying alive.
“AI-powered Bing for Skype” is a thing and it now exists.
The “new Bing”, as Microsoft calls it, is supercharged by GPT-4, the latest version of the pre-trained transformer model on offer from Open AI. With the new Bing, users have a choice of the old-school search engine and a new, conversational search done through a chatbot. It is the latter that has been exported to Skype and the next two apps on this list to also, well, supercharge them.
“Imagine having a copilot for your friends and family as you stay connected and plan your next get together. Simply add Bing to the group, as you would any Skype contact, and now you can ask Bing to answer questions and provide information for the entire group. For example, if your family is chatting about the next family reunion, you can simply ask Bing for suggestions on travel destinations, expected weather forecasts and interesting events around your time of travel, and everyone in the chat will get access to the results. When you are catching up with friends, you can ask Bing to simply fetch information from the web, for example, the latest news or last night’s award shows to add to your conversation,” Yusuf Mehdi, the Corporate Vice President & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft wrote on the company’s blog last month.
Bing is, well, Bing. The search engine that, before the final two months of 2022, no one cared to use. At least not many of us cared to use it. Definitely, fewer Android users ever got to bother with it now that we have the Google Assistant and Search widgets everywhere we turn.
Obviously, the arrival of the “new Bing” that we have already described in detail above has turned the tables and seen the app become many an app store darling, climbing the app store chats in many countries.
Last month, the mobile app that we can use on our phones instead of constantly having to make do with a web page, was updated to bring all the generative AI goodness through a now familiar conversational pop up like the kind one gets to interact with on websites when seeking to engage a customer service agent.
“Tapping the Bing icon at the bottom will invoke a chat session, where you can engage in all the same ways you can from the desktop. Ask simple or complex questions and receive answers and citations. Choose how you want your answers displayed – bullet points, text or simplified responses. Explore the Bing chat experience to refine your query or compose an email, poem or list,” says Microsoft.
Edge may be a darling on the desktop where a new version powered by a Chromium engine has made all the difference, but it is not something we have top of our heads when talking about mobile browsers. There’s usually Chrome and then, something else. That something else can be Samsung’s excellent mobile browser or the many others that exist out there which one would pick for various reasons. From speed/performance to privacy concerns.
If you haven’t been paying attention to it then now is the time to do so.
Edge is front and centre of the new Bing experience that is supercharged by GPT. If you are one of the millions that applied to take the “new Bing” for a spin and managed to get in, you are able to do just that from the homepage of the Microsoft Edge mobile app, Microsoft says. Hopefully, there will be a lot more functionality added to the app that takes advantage of the leaps in AI, beyond just offering yet another way to access Microsoft’s search engine in a conversational manner.
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