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Microsoft reveals more about Prometheus and how it powers the new Bing

A look at an early ChatGPT integration thats reportedly coming to Microsoft Bing

Microsoft launched the new chatbot-AI based version of Bing earlier this month. Today, it revealed it would be expanding the new Bing's reach to mobile devices and to Skype. However, one big aspect of the new Bing that hasn't gotten as much attention is Microsoft's in-house Prometheus technology. This week, Jordi Ribas, the head of engineering for Microsoft's Bing team, shared some information on the Prometheus via a LinkedIn post.

He writes that it all started in the summer of 2022. OpenAI showed a demo of its chatbot AI technology to Microsoft, which would launch to the public just a few months later as ChatGPT. Ribas stated that Microsoft felt it could combine ChatGPT's natural language with Bing's up-to-date search information. The result was Prometheus. He stated:

Prometheus leverages the power of Bing and GPT to generate a set of internal queries iteratively through a component called Bing Orchestrator, and aims to provide an accurate and rich answer for the user query within the given conversation context. All within a matter of milliseconds. We refer to this Prometheus-generated answer as the Chat answer.

A chat showing how Prometheus is used in the new Bing

Ribas says this method of providing accurate chatbot AI-based answers from Bing, via Bing Orchestrator, is called grounding. He added:

Thanks to the Bing grounding technique, Prometheus is also able to integrate citations into sentences in the Chat answer so that users can easily click to access those sources and verify the information. Sending traffic to these sources is important for a healthy web ecosystem and remains one of our top Bing goals.

Since the new Bing went public earlier this month, Microsoft has obviously received a lot of feedback about its accuracy. Ribas says that in the near future, the Prometheus model will increase the grounding data sent to it via Bing by four times the current amount which should make chat answers more accurate.

Ribas also writes that before the new Bing launch, there was some discussion on if it should keep the same Bing search user experience, or switch to an all new UX that was all chat-based. He stated:

Our design team took on the challenge and, after multiple iterations, developed a new UX that unified Search and Chat in a single interface, where users could easily switch back and forth by clicking on UX elements in the page, or by simply scrolling or swiping up and down.

Ribas says the Bing team wants the new version to not only save people time when they want to find the information they need, but to also make searching more fun.

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