The Bing search index, a speedy real-time internet map, has been utilized by multiple search engines, including DuckDuckGo, You.com, and Yahoo. They license Bing's index to provide certain search results, saving time and resources that would have been used to crawl the entire web. However, Microsoft is dissatisfied with some search providers who are utilizing Bing's search data to power their own AI chatbot products.
Microsoft Warns Competitors to Stop Using Bing for AI Chatbots
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft has notified two unnamed search engines that they will lose access to Bing's search index if they persist in utilizing it as a basis for their AI tools. AI chatbots are becoming more prevalent among search engines, and Microsoft draws the line at using Bing's data for them. These chatbots aim to combine ChatGPT‘s conversational skills, an AI-powered chat technology developed by OpenAI, with a conventional search engine's information.
Microsoft has integrated ChatGPT into Bing, making it capable of answering various questions, creating summaries, generating code, writing social media posts, and more. The company believes that using Bing's data for similar AI chatbot products violates its licensee contract.
Search Engines Launching Own AI Chatbots
Some search engines have launched their AI chatbot products, including DuckDuckGo, which has introduced DuckAssist, an AI-generated summary tool from Wikipedia and other sources for specific searches. You.com also offers YouChat, an AI chat feature that provides users with answers to their questions. Neeva also released NeevaAI, a similar AI-powered tool that generates annotated summaries.
Microsoft has reportedly threatened to disconnect access to Bing's data for these search engines if they don't cease utilizing it for their AI chatbot products. “We've been in touch with partners who are out of compliance as we continue to enforce our terms across the board consistently”, Microsoft told Bloomberg. “We'll continue to work with them directly and provide any information needed to find a path forward”.
It is uncertain whether Microsoft has already taken any action against any search engines or how this dispute will affect the future of AI chatbot products. While Microsoft may want to keep its search data exclusive to its chatbot product, its competitors may argue that they are not violating any terms or infringing on any intellectual property.
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