Microsoft’s Bing chatbot now offers a choice of personalities for all users, with the release of the Bing chat mode selector complete.
This news was shared on Twitter by Mikhail Parakhin, Head of Advertising and Web Services at Microsoft, as spotted by MS Power User (opens in new tab).
Now almost everyone – 90% – should see the Bing chat mode selector (the triple toggle). I definitely prefer Creative, but Precise is also interesting – it’s much more grounded. See which one you like. The 10% still in the control group should start seeing it today.March 1, 2023
As you can see, at the time of the tweet, 90% of Bing’s chatbot users had the triple toggle chat selector that lets you switch between three different personalities for the AI (Precise, Balanced, or Creative).
The rest of the control group (10%) were then given the selector throughout yesterday, so everyone should already have it. This is good news for those who want more options when it comes to the chatbot’s responses to their queries.
Earlier this week, we saw other work on artificial intelligence to reduce so-called “hallucinations” (where the chatbot gives inaccurate information or simply makes a mistake). There was also effort to ensure that cases where Bing simply fails to answer a query happen less often.
While that’s all good, it seems at last count, there’s a new hurdle introduced with the latest version of the chatbot that features the personality selector – namely an “something went wrong” error message when you ask the ChatGPT-powered AI.
In the Twitter thread above, there are some complaints along those lines, so hopefully this is something Microsoft is already looking into.
Analysis: Creative for the win? Maybe for now…
There will undoubtedly be plenty of experimentation with chat features to determine exactly how these three personalities differ.
So far, the Creative setting seems to get the most positive feedback, and that’s likely what many Bing users are looking for. Simply because here the AI has the most free rein, and so it will seem more human – than the “Precise” mode which is more like a straight answer to a search query. (Arguably kind of defeats the point of having an AI doing your searches, anyway).
“Balanced” is a middle ground between the two, so it may tempt fans of compromise, of course.
Initial feedback suggests that in Creative mode Bing gives more detailed answers, not just adding a more personal touch, but seemingly enriching the answers with more depth. This will be helpful and likely lead to this being the most popular choice. Especially since this setting is where you’ll get the most interesting – or maybe occasionally wacky or even weird – answers.
Microsoft may need to consider working on the Balanced setting to be a more compelling option, especially if they see that traffic is heavily skewed towards the Creative option.
That said, the latter’s popularity is likely partly to do with how new the AI is, attracting people who are curious and just want to tinker with the chatbot to see what they can get Bing to say. These kinds of users will no doubt get tired of playing with the AI before too long, giving a different picture of personality usage when the dust settles a bit more.
Anyway, customizing Bing’s personalities is something that will undoubtedly happen on an ongoing basis, and we may have more options than these initial three eventually. Come on Microsoft, we all want to see ‘Angry’ Bing in action, or maybe a ‘Frustrated’ chatbot (or how about an ‘Apocalypse Survivor’ setting?). No?