Microsoft continues to add AI capabilities to its Bing search engine, even outside of the GPT-based chat capabilities it’s pushing. Accordingly a feature roundup blog post, Bing will now create “AI-generated stories” for some searches and give you a small multimedia presentation of what you looked up. The company says it’s a way to “consume bite-sized information” while searching for specific topics.
The stories are similar to those you’d find on social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat, with a progress bar letting you know when it’s moving to the next slide. Slides contain text that explains what you’re looking for, along with related images and videos. You can also unmute the story to have a voice read the text to you, complete with background music.
The stories don’t show up on every search – when a colleague and I tried it out, we got them to show up when we looked up “cubism,” “impressionism,” and “tai chi,” but not for terms like “iPhone,” “Apple” or “best restaurants Spokane”. To be fair, not every quest needs a story; If I’m just looking for dinner, I don’t want a robotic voice reading me the history of my local dining scene.
According to Microsoft, stories will be available to people searching in English, French, Japanese, German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and Arabic.
The company also announced that it’s updating the “knowledge maps” that appear to the right of search results, saying it’s “expanded the richness and breadth of Bing-powered knowledge maps with generative AI.” The cards can contain their own stories (I searched for Seattle and two stories were offered), as well as elements such as timelines about a country, a city, or the history of an event.