* This blog post is a summary of this video.

Exploring Bing Chat: An AI Assistant Powered by Large Language Models

Author: John Savill's Technical TrainingTime: 2024-02-06 06:35:00

Table of Contents

Understanding Bing Chat and Its Capabilities

Bing Chat is an AI-powered conversational search assistant from Microsoft. It combines traditional web search capabilities with large language model inference to provide helpful, on-topic responses to natural language queries and conversations. Bing Chat goes beyond just passing user prompts directly to a large language model though. It utilizes an orchestration layer to dynamically enhance prompts with additional context and information from both search results and the user's current browser page before querying the language model.

This grounding process allows Bing Chat to provide up-to-date, useful responses beyond just the knowledge cutoff date from when the underlying language model was trained. At the same time, the conversational nature of Bing Chat allows for an interactive experience where users can ask followup questions and clarify or expand on previous responses while staying in context.

How Bing Chat Differs from Traditional Search Engines

While traditional search engines like Bing focus on indexing web pages and providing relevant results for keyword queries, Bing Chat takes a conversational approach. Users can ask questions and engage in an ongoing dialogue rather than just submitting one-off search queries. Bing Chat combines its search index and web content with the generative capabilities of a large language model tuned for dialogue. This allows Bing Chat to provide not just factual information, but also logical explanations, creative responses, and an overall assistive experience focused on the user's specific needs and context within a conversation thread.

The Role of Large Language Models in Bing Chat

Bing Chat utilizes a proprietary large language model developed by Microsoft called Prometheus underneath its orchestration layer. After the user's query is enhanced via grounding, Bing Chat queries the Prometheus model to generate the most likely helpful response. As a large language model with self-attention mechanisms, Prometheus is trained on massive datasets to predict probable next words and phrases in a dialogue. This allows it to produce human-like exchanges by continuing lines of reasoning, answering followup questions in context, clarifying ideas, and adapting its responses based on the flow of each unique conversation.

Key Advantages of Bing Chat's Grounding Approach

Bing Chat combines the best aspects of search and large language models through its grounding process. By enhancing user prompts with additional context before querying its language model, Bing Chat overcomes the knowledge cutoff limitations most models face. The orchestrator automatically searches for and appends relevant information to queries, allowing for up-to-date responses. And by integrating browser page context when enabled, Bing Chat can even digest, summarize, and answer questions about the user's current web content.

Best Practices for Interacting with Bing Chat

When getting started with Bing Chat, keep a few best practices in mind:

  • Be clear and concise in stating what you want Bing Chat to help with or respond to

  • Use the 'New topic' button between distinct conversational threads

  • Specify any relevant context about what you want Bing Chat to act as or how you want output formatted

  • Validate any information Bing Chat provides rather than blindly relying on it

Prompt Engineering Tips and Examples for Advanced Bing Chat Use

For more complex requests, structured prompts can help guide Bing Chat's responses. Useful templates include:

  • You are a [role] who will [action] as [format]

  • Act as a [persona] and [task]

Some examples:

  • You are a marketing assistant who will summarize this text as bullet points

  • Act as a Linux terminal and execute the ps command

The Bing Chat Helper GitHub has additional prompt engineering examples for productivity, coding, content creation, and more.

Integrating Bing Chat into Your Browser for Convenient Access

The latest Microsoft Edge update features Bing Chat integration for easy access while browsing. With the sidebar enabled and Page context setting turned on, Bing Chat can summarize web pages and answer questions related to your current content.

The sidebar icon allows you to invoke Bing Chat over any page for quick assistance without having to leave your browser. This puts the powerful capabilities of Bing Chat right at your fingertips for streamlined productivity.

Helpful Resources for Getting Started with Bing Chat

Microsoft provides several useful resources to help get up and running with Bing Chat:

  • Bing Chat Helper GitHub – Examples prompts for different personas/tasks

  • Bing Chat page – Overview of key capabilities and limitations

  • Bing product updates – Latest news on new features

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

Bing Chat represents an exciting new paradigm, combining conversational search, robust information retrieval, and AI assistance. Key takeaways include:

  • Grounding overcomes language model limitations through orchestration and search

  • Conversational flow and clarification questions improve context

  • Browser integration via Microsoft Edge enables convenient access

  • Prompt templates help guide productive interactions and advanced use cases


Q: How does Bing Chat differ from a traditional search engine like Bing?
A: Unlike traditional Bing web searches, Bing Chat uses AI and natural language capabilities powered by large language models to have a conversational dialog and provide synthesized responses.

Q: What is prompt engineering for Bing Chat?
A: Prompt engineering involves carefully structuring the prompts you provide to Bing Chat to get optimal results. This includes techniques like specifying the role you want it to take on.

Q: What benefits does Bing Chat's grounding approach provide?
A: Grounding allows Bing Chat to enrich the initial prompt with additional context and information from web searches before querying the language model. This results in more relevant, up-to-date responses.

Q: How can I easily access Bing Chat in my browser?
A: The new Microsoft Edge browser has Bing Chat integration. Just click the chat icon to bring up the sidebar and start chatting.

Q: Should I validate the responses from Bing Chat?
A: Yes, it's a good practice to validate the information Bing Chat provides since the AI could potentially hallucinate incorrect responses in some cases.