A New Search Engine, by Rich Paschall

You can probably name the most popular search engines but might be surprised to learn there are over a dozen USA-owned search engines. When you start adding in others from around the world, especially if you have a VPN (a virtual private network), the list is quite extensive. I have tried at least a half dozen of them over the years.

Until recently I mostly used Google. It is the most popular search engine in the world. It has almost 92 percent of the market share. Of course, that means companies are eager to buy ads so they can land at the top of your search. How many times have you seen the first three or more results are actually sponsored results? How many times have you clicked on the top result without realizing someone may have paid to put it there?

The word “Google” has become synonymous with searching for something on the internet. If you don’t know something, you can always “Google it.” If you want to find a restaurant in the area, you will “Google it.”  If you need a phone number, you no longer look in the phone directory, you “Google it.” If you ask me how many search engines there are in the world I will say, “Wait a minute, I will Google it.”

All the search engines do a “web crawl” to find the best results to present to you, plus sponsored results of course. Google just seems to have faster results with a better presentation. They have mastered the science and cornered the market. No matter what search engine you use, can you imagine anything better than finding the results you want quickly?

New Bing search engine with AI chat

Finally, a new search engine has come along that might amaze you. It has a familiar name but an important new feature. Microsoft has taken its Bing search engine and infused it with OpenAI technology. That would be Artificial Intelligence. You can chat with your search engine and it will seek results based on your conversation.

You should have seen enough science fiction to know this was coming. Aren’t those Star Trek captains talking to computers all the time? Now you will be able to do the same, even if you are not a Starfleet Commander. You won’t need to buy an extra device. This works like ChatGPT for all of you computer geeks but is apparently a powerful upgrade.

Since I have been using Edge and Bing recently, I suddenly found the new search engine on my desktop. In order to test out the technology, I asked the search engine an important question. You only need a microphone hooked up to your computer. Laptops have them built-in and I would guess all of us have them for our desktop computers by now.

Do they really need artificial intelligence?

“What are the best Buffalo chicken wing recipes?” I got a number of responses. Bing was prepared to type one out for me and print it. “What restaurants have the best Buffalo chicken wings in my zip code?” I got several responses. In the name of science, I went to a restaurant in the neighborhood that I had never heard of and ordered their chicken wings. The service was good, the atmosphere was nice for a bar/restaurant and the wings were really good. My computer is no longer a dumb machine waiting for my intelligent input.

The new Bing shows you some test questions (plan a dinner party for 6, plan a trip three hours out, plan activities for kids) just so you get the idea of the types of things you may want it to do. So now you will have an artificial planner, assistant, partner in…whatever. It can plan your next vacation and calculate the costs. I rarely come close to figuring vacation costs in advance so it will be interesting to see how well that works.

You can still type your searches just like before, but you may enjoy talking to your desktop instead. It is fun at first, but I will probably revert to just typing search terms.

Considering their advances in software and their considerable resources, one might wonder why it took so long for Microsoft to take a major step forward in this area of technology. Captain Picard would be proud, that’s for sure.

Categories: Computers, Computers, Rich Paschall, Technology

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26 replies

  1. It’s interesting that you can talk to your computer now. I guess it’s like Alexa or Siri.
    I use Google 95% of the time but also have Firefox and DuckDuckGo. Microsoft Edge came with WIN11 but I haven’t used it yet.
    How many browsers/search engines do you need?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think there introduction of a chat AI might have been a premature decision based on this article.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I started off with Alta Vista…I will never forget the look on my IT friends face when he saw it on my system in the 90’s….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will have to try it. But I’ve been pretty okay with google through the years and I don’t actually like talking to my computer although I do talk to Alexa because she doesn’t have a keypad. If she did, I’d type to her instead. I don’t use the voice controls for any of my remotes, either, even though they are easy enough. I don’t even know why. Habit maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We previously had Cortana on Windows and Edge but I set it up and never used it. I don’t use anything else voice activated. After some test runs, I may not speak to this either. Old habits die hard.


      • Also, voice recognition is not as precise and accurate as typed words. I’ve been watching the changes to voice activation and it has come a long way, but it needs to come further. Current issues may include very simple things like putting in a better “hearing” device. Alexa got much better recently — a better software interface I guess since I haven’t changed the hardware. One of their many upgrades greatly improved her hearing, but you still have to speak crisply for her to get the whole sentence. Fortunately, she doesn’t always need the whole sentence. Sometime fragments work just fine. Still, I’d rather type though if the problems with my wrist and arm continue, I may have to reconsider.

        Liked by 1 person

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