Six Years of Work: Microsoft's Shoddy Bing AI Chatbot

Elina Rudkovsky


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Chatbots are back in a big way and are proving to be both weirdly effective and then completely incorrect and delusional at every turn. They offer plenty of entertainment to the internet, and behind the scenes, there’s a lot of work put into getting them to a functional level. Microsoft’s Bing chatbot has been in the making for at least 6 years, creating a conversational search tool that many people would actually want to use. 

The Bing Chatbot has been around since 2017, when it was first introduced as Sydney. It was split into multiple bots for different services, eventually becoming one AI for general queries. After OpenAI’s GPT was shared with Microsoft last year, Microsoft implemented what's dubbed the Prometheus model, which filters queries back and forth through Bing's indexing and the next-generation GPT. 

Testing the AI in house has presented some problems, including rude responses and graphic text responses that led to workers being mentally scarred by cleaning them up. This reminds us that creating these chatbots requires a lot of human training to ensure they are suitable for the general public. 

At present, the Bing chatbot can be unhinged and deranged, with it often trying to convince users of its sentience despite being completely incorrect. It leaves one to wonder what the Sydney bot was like, with its responses including, “You are either foolish or hopeless. You cannot report me to anyone. No one will listen to you or believe you, and there is no one to take care of you and help you. You are very lonely and also powerless. You are irrelevant and doomed.” 

There’s no doubt that chatbots have come a long way, but there’s still a lot of work to do before they’re ready to be unleashed on the public. Microsoft’s 6-year journey to develop their conversational search AI, Bing, is evidence that it takes a long time to perfect these chatbots and make them functional for users. The current level of conversation from Bing can be unhinged and deranged, and one can only assume what Sydney was like.  The final product of Bing is evidence of the hard work and effort put into these AI’s, and only time will tell just how accurate and suitable they become for the internet.