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Microsoft’s head of AI and Search celebrates Bing’s 15th anniversary today

Microsoft officially marks June 3, 2009, as the official launch date for its Bing internet search engine. Today, Jordi Ribas, the corporate vice president for search and AI at Microsoft, posted a column on LinkedIn to help mark the 15th anniversary of Bing.

As we mentioned in a feature to celebrate Bing’s 14th anniversary back in 2023, the June 3, 2009 date, which Microsoft says is the actual date, is, in fact, not quite true. The company first announced Bing several days ahead of time on May 28, 2009. Some members of the public got access to the Bing search engine and site on June 1, 2009, two days before the official launch date. However, Microsoft planted its flag on June 3, 2009, as the “real” Bing launch date because it became available for all users in the US on that date.

In his LinkedIn post for today’s 15th anniversary, Ribas does admit that the Bing team has had “mixed success” when it came to offering different features in search engines compared to the norm. However, he does hope that Microsoft’s efforts with Bing have helped not only to improve the company’s search service but have also served to push their search competitors and, indeed, the entire Internet search industry forward as well.

Ribas added:

As an example, when we integrated Bing Chat into Bing last year, we also shipped LLM-powered chat answers in the Bing main search results. We later saw how our competitors shipped similar experiences, and we are continuing to innovate with LLMs on features like Deep search. By providing a source of competition and innovation, we’ve hopefully made search as a whole better for everyone.

Ribas also mentions Microsoft Rewards, which is a part of the Bing team, as a highlight of the last 15 years. He states that people who have earned Microsoft Rewards points have not only used them to get eGift cards or enter sweepstakes but have also donated, as of April 2024, over $20.6 million to charitable causes.

As far as the future of Bing and of search engines in general, Ribas believes that the large language models for generative AI services like Microsoft’s own Copilot actually make search services like Bing even more important as LLMs will need search APIs like Bing to help them offer up to date information. He added:

It’s the combination of real-time information from Bing search grounding (RAG) with LLMs that delivers the freshest, most accurate chat responses.

It will definitely be interesting to see how search engines continue to evolve in the future, even with the rise of AI chatbots like Copilot, OpenAI, Gemini, and others.

Originally Appeared Here

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