In addition to today’s launch of OpenAI’s GPT-4, now confirmed to be the GPT model running in Bing, Microsoft also announced that the stable version of its Edge web browser will now feature the new Bing AI chatbot in a sidebar. contain. The feature was first introduced at Microsoft’s AI press event in February, but was previously only available as a developer preview, not a public release.
With today’s official unveiling of GPT-4, Microsoft is delivering the feature, which it calls the “Edge Copilot,” in the stable version of its Microsoft Edge browser.
The update redefines the concept of the sidebar, which previously hosted Edge’s “Discover” feature to provide users with context about the page they’re visiting. Now the new sidebar offers an AI chatbot instead.
When users want to interact with the sidebar and AI features, they simply hover over the Bing icon in the toolbar to open the sidebar. When not in use, the sidebar can be hidden automatically.
While open, users can take advantage of the Edge Copilot, the AI feature capable of “providing intelligent suggestions and insights based on the context of the web page and the user’s goals,” says Microsoft.
As the company explained at the event, the AI chatbot had two main functions when it launched: chat and compose. Together, these can help users summarize long web content, perform comparisons, or even create content in some cases.
For example, one of Microsoft’s demos had shown the AI summarizing a company’s financial statements – but unfortunately it got the numbers wrong, it was later revealed. In another, a developer asked the AI to write a snippet of code while researching tips on Stack Overflow. The AI could convert Python code into Rust. Microsoft even demonstrated the AI that wrote a LinkedIn post after a few prompts were given.
Today, the company suggests that the AI Copilot could also be used to help users write better emails, search the web faster, and learn new skills.
The productivity angle of AI has not been lost on the competition. Google today revealed how it is integrating AI into its own productivity solution, Workspace. The plan includes integrating generative AI into every part of Workspace, including helping users write emails in Gmail, write and edit documents in Docs, generate formulas in Sheets, capture notes in Measure and create text, images, audio, and video in Slides. Microsoft is expected to lay out its response to Google’s move later this week.
While the sidebar is the most anticipated new Edge feature, it can be locked down by IT admins. Microsoft notes that administrators can control whether or not users can access the sidebar in Edge — an important consideration given that some companies, including Walmart and Amazon, now have policies against sharing confidential company information with ChatGPT and other AI -bots .
However, the AI sidebar isn’t the only new feature coming to Edge with this release.
The company also says it’s rolling out a new experience to the Microsoft 365 tab of the Edge Enterprise New Tab page. This now includes a larger version of the Microsoft Feed, which includes more productivity content and moves cards with important emails, recent SharePoint sites, upcoming events, and to-do items to the right side of the tab.
In addition, the browser will deliver several security mode improvements and support a new policy that determines whether or not the user’s browsing history is deleted when the browser app is closed.
Microsoft says the stable version of its Edge web browser will roll out gradually over one or more days. The browser is available for both Windows and Mac platforms.