Microsoft Bing, the second most popular search engine with a market share of 3.2%, is testing an experimental new AI feature called Deep Search. It works by expanding user inputs into more comprehensive and detailed queries, taking up to 30 seconds to find the most informative results.
Selected Bing users can try a new feature that Microsoft calls Deep Search. It’s supposed to enhance the current shortcomings of search engines in handling complex, nuanced, or specific questions. The tech giant acknowledges that today’s search engines, while powerful, fall short of expectations and sometimes just don’t seem to understand what users want.
Hence, Deep Search. The new feature does not replace Bing’s existing web search but provides “even more relevant and comprehensive answers.” The GPT-4 powered AI bot expands on your search term and digestes search results.
GPT-4 is the latest large language model from OpenAI, which can create natural text from any input.
Microsoft explained how Deep Search works:
1. Expands the search query: For example, the user may search for “how do points systems work in Japan.” The deep search would regenerate this into a much longer description, which should reflect intent and expectations more accurately and clearly, such as:
“Provide an explanation of how various loyalty card programs work in Japan, including the benefits, requirements, and limitations of each. Include examples of popular loyalty cards from different categories, such as convenience stores, supermarkets, and restaurants. Show a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of using loyalty cards versus other payment methods in Japan, including current rewards and benefits. Highlight the most popular services and participating merchants.”This is supposed to help Bing understand the kind of information the user is looking for.
2. Offers disambiguation pane with all possible intents: This will cover users when the search term could be interpreted in different ways. For example, searching for Japan’s point system could also refer to seeking information on immigration, transportation fares, or something else. The Deep Search will let the user choose between all possible intents in a disambiguation pane, where multiple descriptions will be added.
3. Will find deeper results: Bing will then pull relevant results, including those that typically do not appear in search results.
“Deep Search uses a combination of querying techniques to find pages that might match my expanded query, rewriting the query on my behalf, and searching for those variations too,” Microsoft said.
The giant claims that Deep Search will do ten times more than Bing does to find results that are more informative and specific than those that rank higher in normal searches.
After gathering a wide collection of results, Deep Search will then rank them according to how well they match the comprehensive description, considering the topic match, levels of detail, credibility and trustworthiness of the source, freshness and popularity of the content, and so on.
Deep Search can take up to thirty seconds to complete, but Microsoft hopes that it would be worth the wait for more specific answers.
“Deep Search is not meant for every query or every user. It's designed for those who have complex questions that require more than a simple answer. Bing will always return regular search results in less than a second, and Deep Search is an optional feature,” the press release reads.
Microsoft already uses GPT-4 models in Copilot, Bing chat, and web results ranking, Image Creator from Designer, and claims “it powered one of the single biggest relevance improvements in Bing’s history.”
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