Bing Chat has quickly become an AI-powered chatbot cum search engine that is relied on by millions. However, a big part of this experience is that up until now, Bing Chat can only be used when the user is online However, there is now a chance that we will see it as a viable option to use as an independent AI like how we use ChatGPT.
The information comes from Windows Latest which has already tested this feature. If you’re wondering how to use Bing Chat offline yourself, this experience is reportedly only available to a ‘small group of users‘ so regular users have no dice for now. This offline mode is reportedly being called the ‘no search mode.’ Hopefully, we will see this feature implemented in Bing Chat for everyone soon.
So why is Microsoft doing this, and how could it be advantageous? According to the sources of WindowsLatest, Microsoft has received feedback that people tend to prefer a faster overall chatbot. Bing Chat is normally slow because it searches the web and then gives you the optimal results. So now, with the no search mode for Bing, the AI works offline and functions in an identical manner to GPT, as revealed by the testing. You can see how the AI behaved in offline mode below. Do notice the Search toggle on the right, which is used to trigger the offline-only mode for Bing. Allowing this mode adds versatility to the Bing AI Chat.
Basically, by enabling this upcoming offline mode, users can get to use the AI directly. Then, it can answer your questions without ever searching the internet for information. The testing revealed that Bing Chat works much faster when the search integration feature is turned off. However, it does give more outdated information for certain queries. Windows Latest theorizes that Microsoft may be using a combination of GPT 3.5 & GPT 4 here. When the AI was asked about the version of ChatGPT it is using, it refused to answer, saying that it is “not allowed to discuss anything about my training data”.
WindowsLatest also said that Bing Chat will be getting third-party plugins. According to them, Microsoft is currently testing five third-party plugins, and any three can be used at once in the conversation. A new topic has to be started to switch between plugins, though. One of the plugins is called OpenTable, which provides restaurant recommendations.
It will be super useful to use Bing AI Chat offline. It is possible that we could see Microsoft allowing this for the Copilot AI as well. I theorize this due to the addition of NPU-chip for offline AI in upcoming Intel 14th Gen CPUs. However, I also advise taking this with a grain of salt as it makes only half sense for Microsoft to ditch the search engine for an offline mode that might make Bing’s performance worse.
Are you excited to use the offline mode for Bing Chat? Do you think having an offline mode for AI chatbots is a useful feature that more companies should adopt? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.