Microsoft is adding more artificial intelligence components into its products. This week, the company announced it’s folding new AI-powered shopping tools into its Bing search engine and Edge web browser.
The news follows Microsoft in February unveiling Bing search powered by the large language technology behind ChatGPT, calling its search engine an “AI-powered co-pilot for the web.” Search results began incorporating info from OpenAI, and Bing added a chat window to help you with things like making shopping lists, summarizing PDFs, generating LinkedIn posts and getting advice on your queries.
In early May Microsoft opened the Bing AI chatbot to people with a Microsoft account, and later that month the company made it available to everyone else.
Here’s a look at the three main areas where AI will now be included.
Bing will use AI to generate buying guides tailored to your shopping-related searches. Those guides will take a term such as “college supplies” and offer categories, product suggestions, and tables comparing items. The buying guides can be accessed in Bing Chat or in the Edge sidebar.
The Bing guides are available now in the US and coming soon to other markets. The Edge buying guides are starting to roll out worldwide.
Some online shoppers love to delve into their research, carefully reading multiple reviews and weeding out brands that don’t pass muster. If you need an answer quickly, though, or just hate all that detailed online analysis, Microsoft now promises to let you skip it.
The AI-aided Bing Chat will suggest what aspects about a purchase to consider, and then users can ask the program to briefly summarize what online users are saying. Review summaries are beginning to roll out worldwide this week.
Once you’ve picked out your product, the Microsoft shopping tools home in on price. The company has partnered with various US retailers who have existing price-match policies. Even after a purchase, the feature will monitor the item’s price and help you request a match if the price on your item drops.
Price comparison and history features are built into the Edge browser, and online coupons and cash-back offers can be applied automatically. The Edge sidebar will also remember your shipping confirmation and tracking number info, so you don’t have to hunt it up in your inbox. These features are already available in select markets.
Editors’ note: CNET is using an AI engine to help create some stories. For more, see this post.