February 9, 2023

A New Battle, Bard-Versus-Bing, Emerges

By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
A search-engine war erupted this week between tech behemoths Microsoft and Google: It’s a clash you might call “Bard-Versus-Bing.”

Bard-Versus-Bing is not a battle of Shakespeare the playwright versus Crosby the “White Christmas” crooner, mind you. Rather, the Bard-Versus-Bing warfront features artificial-intelligence powered search engines for which the tech giants have incorporated those names.

The new AI-powered engines each feature chat boxes, through which users with their voices can ask questions and get graphically enhanced results within a minute or two.

Microsoft announced Tuesday the launch of Bing, its newly retooled search engine that now is powered with artificial intelligence and chat boxes. Microsoft’s Bing actually has existed since 2009, but captures only about 4% of the search engine market compared to Google’s 90-plus percent.

Perhaps more significantly, Microsoft also revealed that it has partnered with the OpenAI lab to offer the new Bing. Open AI is the creator of ChatGPT, which has made recent headlines about how it has helped college students write term papers and news organizations write stories — albeit with some errors — as an AI test for their websites.

Longtime search-engine dominator Google, meanwhile, having anticipated the Microsoft move with Bing, tried to temper its rival’s AI storm by also revealing this week its own AI-powered search engine, Bard, also developed through use of Chat GPT.

We predict that watching marketers talk into chat boxes on their computer screens as they see how the new AI tools work will be a common scene at companies for the rest of 2023 and the years ahead.

Early Reviews Raving About the New Bing

Columnists, social influencers and marketing experts already are toying with both Bard and Bing this week to see how AI-powered search engines will be changing the world of search.

The early returns are positive for Bing.

“Microsoft’s search engine might not be a punchline much longer,” said Joanna Stern, technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal, after putting the newly revamped Bing to the test. She calls the new search engine “smart — really smart.”

Meanwhile, Justine Ezarik, a social influencer on technology who’s known as “iJustine” to her millions of followers, posted on Wednesday an informative video about the new Bing on YouTube. She has a following of 7 million on that platform, as well as nearly 2 million on Twitter.

Using a Microsoft laptop and the tech giant’s Edge browser, iJustine in her demo video shows how the Bing chat box actually works on a computer screen.

Ezarik particularly likes how annotations in search results give you Bing’s sources of information, how the AI-powered engine can help you write an email to your friends to invite them on a snowboarding trip and how you can compare products, such as cameras, and their prices via chat-box search.

Bing is “game changing,” she says, and “it will be saving us tons of time.”

Will Bing Bite Into Google’s Dominance?

Since its Bing announcement earlier this week, Microsoft’s stock price has been on the rise, while Google’s has dipped a bit.

Instead of Google becoming a verb and people “Googling it” whenever they become inquisitive, will more of them be “Binging it” in the years ahead? Or will they be “Barding it”?

“It’s far too early to call a winner in this AI search race,” The Wall Street Journal’s Stern notes.

“But after seeing the new Bing in action, I can confidently say this: A big change is coming to how we get information and how we interact with our computers.”

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