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June 28, 2023

Microsoft Bing Chat Update: Image Recognition Support

Microsoft Bing Chat is getting a major update on desktops with support for image recognition, or OCR. This function uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 vision model to detect and understand the objects in an image and then provides a detailed description of the image using realistic examples.

Microsoft is rolling out the Bing Chat vision feature to select users worldwide. After the update, you’ll see a new option next to the voice icon that lets you upload images directly to chat or paste images from the Internet and ask Bing to explain them.

“Image recognition” on Bing Chat

This feature is officially called “image recognition” and only a few users reported having access to it, suggesting it may be a random A/B test. Microsoft confirmed in a statement that Bing Vision is being rolled out to less than 10 percent of regular Bing Chat users, confirming our speculation of random A/B testing.

Microsoft states that you can expect the Bing Vision option to appear for everyone in the coming weeks.

Windows Copilot Integration & Extension to Chrome and Safari

It is important to understand that the feature is also included in Windows Copilot. You can drag an image from the desktop or Explorer, place it in Copilot and ask the AI to explain the image or create something similar. Finally, you can copy the image directly to PowerPoint, Word or the clipboard.

Bing Chat will also soon be available in Chrome and Safari. Microsoft briefly tested Bing Chat support in Safari and Chrome in May, and we expect an official announcement of the extension soon. It is possible to make Bing Chat work in Chrome by changing the user agents, but this can feel redundant, especially since Bard and other chatbots are easily accessible.

Improvements and Future Plans

In addition to support for Chrome and Safari, Microsoft plans to enhance Bing Image Creator with Microsoft’s AI. The feature is likely to get better with the integration of Bing plugins, with officials suggesting that Microsoft is planning a “large-scale plugin rollout” to expand the capabilities of Bing chat.

The company plans to turn each feature into a plugin and create different facets of Search. Microsoft has already made several significant improvements to Bing Chat, such as removing support for Microsoft accounts.

Microsoft used to block users by forcing them to log in with a Microsoft account. This restriction has been lifted because Microsoft is now trying to encourage the adoption of Bing AI over other services such as Microsoft Account or Edge.

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