Microsoft was quick to limit Bing’s AI chats to prevent disturbing answers, but it’s changing course just days later. The company now says it will restore longer chats, and is starting by expanding the chats to six turns per session (up from five) and 60 chats per day (up from 50). The daily cap will climb to 100 chats soon, Microsoft says, and regular searches will no longer count against that total. With that said, don’t expect to cause much havoc when long conversations return — Microsoft wants to bring them back “responsibly.”
The tech giant is also addressing concerns that Bing’s AI may be too wordy with responses. An upcoming test will let you choose a tone that’s “precise” (that is, shorter and more to-the-point answers), “creative” (longer) or “balanced.” If you’re just interested in facts, you won’t have to wade through as much text to get them.
There may have been signs of trouble considerably earlier. As Windows Centralnotes, researcher Dr. Gary Marcus and Nomic VP Ben Schmidt discovered that public tests of the Bing chatbot (codenamed “Sidney”) in India four months ago produced similarly odd results in long sessions. We’ve asked Microsoft for comment, but it says in its most recent blog post that the current preview is meant to catch “atypical use cases” that don’t manifest with internal tests.
Microsoft previously said it didn’t completely anticipate people using Bing AI’s longer chats as entertainment. The looser limits are an attempt to strike a balance between “feedback” in favor of those chats, as the company says, with safeguards that prevent the bot from going in strange directions.