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ChatGPT has taken the world by storm, and since its launch, I have been closely interacting with the chatbot. Although I have always been impressed with its advanced skills and its human-like conversation capabilities, I have had a couple of recurring issues with it. After getting early access to the updated version of Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot, powered by the same tech behind ChatGPT, I think it might be the answer to all of my ChatGPT prayers.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT has proven to be proficient in writing stories, essays, emails, lists, codes, songs and more. It even has some features that could help you become more productive in everyday life. However, the tool falls short if you’re interested in learning about current events and news — and it’s a big problem.

ChatGPT only has information up to 2021, meaning that it won’t have any answer for queries that relate to content created after 2021. If you are going to use a chatbot to explain concepts to you in a human way, wouldn’t you want it to have expertise on subjects pertaining to the present day?

SEE: 6 things ChatGPT can’t do (and another 20 it refuses to do)

That isn’t the only problem with ChatGPT. Even if you ask the chatbot a question related to events and facts it has been trained on, it will generate an answer without giving you its source of information. As a journalist, if I am going to look up something, I want to know that I can trust the source I am getting it from.

With ChatGPT, we have little way of knowing where the information has come from and how it has been processed by the algorithms to answer your query. There are plenty of examples of chatbots providing incorrect information or simply making it up to fill the gaps. Microsoft’s Bing chatbot seems to solve these problems.

Microsoft unveiled the Bing chatbot in February and said it would run on a next-generation OpenAI large language model customized specifically for search. Right now, the new Bing is available to only a select few, with multiple millions of people on Microsoft’s waitlist. ZDNET was granted early access.

SEE: ChatGPT lies about scientific results, needs open-source alternatives, say researchers

Because Microsoft always find a way to plug their own products, I had to download Microsoft Edge to my desktop to acess the new Bing. Once I did, all I had to do was click on a chat tab on the browser’s homepage, which led me to a page that looks nearly identical to that of ChatGPT’s, just with different colors.

Bing ChatGPT homepage screenshot

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Then, just like with ChatGPT, you can start chatting away. My very first prompt was, “What can I use Bing’s ChatGPT for?” The first major difference I noticed was that Bing’s chatbot includes sources for every answer it gives you, with footnotes that link back to the source.

Bing ChatGPT screenshot

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Then I was curious if it could one-up ChatGPT and give me answers on current events. I asked the chatbot if it could tell me who won the World Cup and who the president of the US was. Both times, it gave me accurate answers and included sources. By answering these two questions accurately and with sources, Bing’s chatbot showcased how it solved my biggest qualms with ChatGPT.


Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Then I was curious to see if it had the same technical abilities as ChatGPT, so I asked it to write me a bedtime story and an email. Surpassing the capabilities of your standard search engine, the new Bing came through.


Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

To keep the testing going, I wanted to see if the chatbot was capable of providing context to current events. After looking at the day’s top stories, I input, “I saw on the news that the President is going to hold a conference today. What is he talking about?” The answer took me by surprise.

president-ChatGOT prompt.png

Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

I was not referring to the president of CSX in my prompt, but my lack of clarity caused the chatbot to produce an answer that I wasn’t looking for. The response was the perfect example of how chatbots still cannot match humans’ conversational skills — most people engaged in conversation with me would rightfully assume I was referring to the US president.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised at how the links to the chatbot’s sources helped me quickly figure out what went wrong and how I can rephrase my question to get a better answer.  Once I reworded my question, I got the exact answer I was looking for, complete with sources and relevant news snippets.


Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Lastly, I wanted to see if the Bing chatbot is capable of making fun, custom suggestions, like ChatGPT can. I asked the chatbot what low-calorie snacks I should bring to the movie theater (big Marvel fan), and the response was succinct and super helpful.


Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

In my experience, Bing’s version of ChatGPT was a pleasure to use. Its ability to connect to the internet makes it much more useful for everyday queries. The sources make it much more trustworthy and eliminate room for misunderstandings or errors. This isn’t to say that it is perfect, because it has been making headlines for some unusual behaviors. ChatGPT, Bing, Google’s Bard and other chatbots powered on large language models are new tecnologies that leave plenty of room for improvement. However, my first impression of the new Bing chatbot was a positive one.

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