Bing Chat is poised to become a formidable competitor to ChatGPT by introducing an offline chatbot mode. Users will have the ability to deactivate Bing Chat’s search engine, transforming it into a standalone chatbot akin to ChatGPT. Despite both being powered by ChatGPT, Microsoft is steering in this direction, as reported by Windows Latest.
The experimentation with this new mode revealed that responses were generated more swiftly with the search integration turned off. Windows Latest observed that, without search capabilities, Bing Chat displayed a mix of outdated and current information based on queries. For instance, while it inaccurately identified the latest version of Windows 11, it accurately detailed the timeline of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This anomaly suggests that Bing Chat’s offline mode has been trained with recent data, potentially combining AI models such as GPT 3.5 Turbo and GPT 4. The motivation behind this development is to cater to users who prioritize a faster chatbot experience, as disclosed by Microsoft sources.
The official launch date for the “offline mode” remains undisclosed, but Microsoft intends to initially offer access to a limited user group. This functionality will manifest as a new plugin named Search, deactivating the search engine when turned off.
Microsoft is also showcasing support for third-party plugins, enhancing Bing Chat’s capabilities. Notable examples include plugins for the OpenTable reservation app and commerce plugins like Instacart, potentially streamlining online shopping experiences.
However, skepticism arises regarding the potential success of this approach. Bing Chat’s primary appeal lies in its claimed accuracy compared to ChatGPT. Eliminating the search engine might result in a less effective version of OpenAI’s model, posing the question of why users would opt for a diminished service. While convenience and familiarity may temporarily retain users, the overall trend in AI development leans toward improving accuracy rather than compromising it.
Microsoft’s upcoming Ignite event, commencing on November 15, may shed more light on the fate of Bing’s offline mode. Until then, the viability of this update remains uncertain. For further insights, explore TechRadar’s list of the best ChatGPT extensions for Chrome.