Conversational search comes to Bing

The Bing search engine is open to questions. (Microsoft)

The Bing search engine is open to questions. (Microsoft)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 7:00 AM ET

No, Microsoft hasn't launched a new feature that will allow users to find out who is talking about them, but it has just tweaked its search engine so that a quest for information is less like dealing with an algorithm and more like conversing with a knowledgeable friend.

And that's because a search on Bing no longer has to end with a single query or question. Once Bing has grabbed the first set of search results, you can carry on asking more questions about the same topic, within the same search.

In a blog post to announce the update, Yan Ke, the principal development lead on the Bing relevance team, gives the example of asking Bing who is the President of the US. "We will show you the answer. From there you might ask, 'who is his wife' or 'how tall is he.' Bing maintains the context and keeps the conversation moving forward."

The end goal will be to remove all computational barriers to accessing something like a web search so that using a computer, smartphone, tablet or smartwatch becomes the same as interacting with another person, i.e. someone who understands your voice, its tone and the context as well as the command itself.

And although the new way of searching is only a small step towards this goal, Ke signs off by promising that many more features will be coming to Bing in the near future.


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