Bing Chat, Microsoft’s AI-powered chatbot experience, is heading to the enterprise.
At its annual Inspire conference, Microsoft unveiled Bing Chat Enterprise, a version of Bing Chat with business-focused data privacy and governance controls. With Bing Chat Enterprise, chat data isn’t saved, Microsoft can’t view a customer’s employee or business data and customer data isn’t used to train the underlying AI models.
“We’ve heard from many corporate customers who are excited to empower their organizations with powerful new AI tools but are concerned that their companies’ data will not be protected,” Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s chief communications officer, wrote in a blog post shared with TechCrunch. “[Using Bing Chat Enterprise,] what goes in — and comes out — remains protected, giving commercial customers managed access to better answers, greater efficiency and new ways to be creative.”
To Shaw’s point, where it concerns chatbots like Bing Chat, companies have expressed concerns about confidential data ending up with developers who trained the models on user data. Recently, Apple restricted the internal use of tools including OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft-owned GitHub’s Copilot, following on the heels of Samsung, Walmart, Verizon, Bank of America, JPMorgan and others.
According to a survey from Cyberhaven, as many as 6.5% of employees have pasted company data into ChatGPT while 3.1% have copied and pasted sensitive data to the chatbot.
Besides the data controls, Bing Chat Enterprise, which is available in preview beginning today, is functionally similar to Bing Chat — answering queries in text as well as with graphs, charts and images. For example, an employee can ask Bing Chat Enterprise to create messaging for a new product or compare a product with a competitor, and include in the prompt sensitive data like product specs and pricing.
Soon, via an upcoming feature called Visual Search, Bing Chat Enterprise will be able to respond to questions about uploaded images and search the web for related content. Visual Search began rolling out today in Bing Chat on mobile and the web.
Yusuf Mehdi, consumer chief marketing officer at Microsoft, and Jared Spataro, CVP of modern work and business apps, explain the ins and outs of Visual Search in a blog post:
“Visual Search lets anyone upload images and search the web for related content. Take a picture, or use one you find elsewhere and prompt Bing to tell you about it — Bing can understand the context of an image, interpret it and answer questions about it.”
Bing Chat Enterprise can be used wherever Bing Chat is supported — that is, Bing.com/chat, the Microsoft Edge sidebar and soon from Windows Copilot, the Windows-native version of Bing Chat. It’s free for customers subscribed to Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard and Business Premium and in the future will be available as a standalone offering for $5 per user per month.
Bing Chat Enterprise is enabled automatically when an employee logs into Bing with the Microsoft Account associated with their organization.
The pressure’s on to monetize viral AI-powered chatbot technologies such as Bing Chat. ChatGPT reportedly cost OpenAI tens of millions of dollars to process the millions of prompts people fed into the software in January alone. Meanwhile, financial analysts estimate that Bing Chat, which is underpinned by OpenAI’s GPT-4 model, needs at least $4 billion of infrastructure to serve responses to all of Bing’s users.
The launch of Bing Chat Enterprise comes several months after Microsoft-owned GitHub rolled out Copilot for Business, a $19-per-month enterprise version of the AI-powered code completion tool. For its part, OpenAI debuted ChatGPT Plus, a paid service that delivers a number of benefits over the base-level ChatGPT, including priority access to new features and improvements.