Last month, in addition to announcing its Bing AI for the eponymous search engine and Edge browser, Microsoft also has plans to plug ads into the user experience. And now, slightly over a month since the initial reports indicating as such, the company has confirmed that it has started doing tests to that effect.
In a new Bing blog post, Microsoft says that it is “exploring ideas” with its publishing partners on ways to “continue to distribute content in a way that is meaningful in traffic and revenue”. And one way to do this is “placing ads in the chat experience to share the ad revenue with partners whose content contributed to the chat experience”. And while the illustrative screenshot provided in the blog post doesn’t show this in action, but Debarghya Das of Glean has shared a tweet showing it in action.
Bing Chat now has Ads!
It's going to be fascinating to see how the unit economics of Ads in language models will unfold and affect search advertising.
— Deedy (@debarghya_das) March 29, 2023
On one hand, it’s nice that the ads are labelled as such when they appear, and quite clearly at that, if the screenshot reflects what everyone will experience once it’s rolled out more generally. But on the other, it does beg the question: will the responses to prompts be skewed further away in terms of accuracy?
Large Language Model (LLM) AI’s, be it Bing or Bard, or others of its kind, already have an issue of passing off inaccurate statements as fact. For now, we can probably agree that this is unintentional. That being said, the placing of ads make it seem like a financial incentive for responses to be skewed away from actual answers.
At any rate, Microsoft says that “These conversations are early days”. There may still be rapid changes to this implementation moving forward, but for now we can only wait and see where this goes down the road.
(Source: Microsoft, Debarghya Das / Twitter)
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Telegram for more updates and breaking news.