After a tirade of concerning answers from Microsoft's new Bing Chat artificial intelligence system that's now integrated into its Edge browser, the company has slapped some limitations onto those who have access to the chatbot.
Microsoft has taken to its Bing Blogs to explain a new update rolled out to Bing Chat that adds some limitations to its newly released chatbot. Microsoft posted the blog post on February 15, and the company explains what it has learned over the last week of selected public testing across 169 different countries. According to Microsoft, the updated Bing has received mostly favorable feedback, with 71% of people that provided feedback saying they had a positive experience.
Microsoft adds that it has gained valuable information on how to improve Bing Chat, especially in the area of how users interact with Bing Chat. Microsoft writes that it has learned a great deal about how people are using Bing Chat as a tool for discovery and for social entertainment, areas that it didn't expect to be prevalent. Through measuring public user data, Microsoft found that chat sessions that exceed 15 or more questions Bing Chat can lose its way and begin giving the user responses that are no longer helpful or in line with Microsoft's intended tone for the chatbot.
Additionally, the company says that Bing Chat can even be "provoked" into producing responses that aren't necessarily helpful. An example of this would be when a user asked Bing Chat enough questions that the AI declared the user an "enemy" and requested that they stop talking to it. Another user showcased a conversation with Bing Chat where it described itself as "perfect" and that it was never wrong. Screenshots of these conversations were posted to Twitter and reached Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who shined a light on the software's shortcomings.
In an update published on February 17, Microsoft explained that it intends to remedy the issue of long chat sessions by putting a limitation on how many chats a user can have with Bing Chat. The company says that as of February 17, the chat experience will be capped at 50 chat turns per day, and 5 chat turns per session. For context, a "turn" is a conversation exchange which contains both a user question and a response from Bing Chat.
The reasoning behind these new limitations is Microsoft's user data indicates the majority of people are finding an appropriate solution within 5 turns anyway and that approximately 1% of users engage in more than 50+ messages.
"After a chat session hits 5 turns, you will be prompted to start a new topic. At the end of each chat session, context needs to be cleared so the model won't get confused. Just click on the broom icon to the left of the search box for a fresh start.
As we continue to get your feedback, we will explore expanding the caps on chat sessions to further enhance search and discovery experiences. Your input is crucial to the new Bing experience. Please continue to send us your thoughts and ideas," writes Microsoft.