Earlier in the month, Microsoft announced the addition of an AI that’s similar to, and improved from, ChatGPT, to its Bing search engine. It’s not widely available to everyone yet, but it has still been making the rounds on the internet for saying some outlandish things. But according to a recent report, the company is already exploring methods of monetising it, and naturally, the way to do this is with ads.
Reuters reports that Microsoft is already discussing with ad agencies about the ways it plans to make money from this improved, AI-powered Bing search. The report cites an anonymous ad executive from the company who says that a demo of the new Bing was shown to a major ad agency. Said exec also said that the company plans to allow paid links to appear within the AI chatbot’s responses to search results.
On one hand, this sounds pretty much just like the same ads from regular search, but shoehorned into this particular feature. But on the other, the report notes that “the more human responses from the Bing AI chatbot will generate more users for its search function and therefore more advertisers”. Microsoft may also give ads within it more prominence on the page compared to traditional search ads. This may take the form of the ads filling up the top of search pages, showing up above the chatbot.
While these tests of integrating ads into the new AI-powered Bing are already underway, Microsoft has not yet provided a timeline for when brands can pay for links to show within the chatbot. But for the average consumer, the bigger question would probably will be if the ads will skew the AI’s responses. After all, it’s already giving questionable answers to queries while ads are not yet in the equation.
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