BY Wesley Diphoko 3 MINUTE READ

Microsoft was once the darling of internet users. At the time this US tech giant was in almost every aspect of tech life. Internet Explorer was the default browser for many and Windows was installed in most machines. Bill Gates was the hero of most young aspirant leaders in technology. Then Google changed everything with their search engine. Everything went downhill from there for Microsoft. An entire movement emerged against the tech giant, to be anti Microsoft became cool. Change of leadership from Bill Gates to co-founder Steve Balmer did not help.Enter Satya Nadella, who stood at a conference once to indicate that Microsoft had become an artificial intelligence first company. Since then Microsoft has been working on something that has just brought the company back in the game. To be precise, since the days of Satya leading Microsoft cloud computing division (Azure) Microsoft has been plotting a comeback. Lately, we’ve seen a significant noise in tech which focuses on artificial intelligence. ChatGPT by OpenAI is now the talk of the tech town. Although OpenAI was initiated as an open source project, Microsoft has invested in the project to guarantee technological returns that will now see US tech giant deploying everything in ChatGPT within Microsoft products. If you were living under a stone during the first last few days of 2023, ChatGPT is an advanced AI chatbot trained by OpenAI which interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests. Basically it does better everything that Google search engine was supposed to do. You submit a question and it answers with context.

Bing (Microsoft search engine) will become the first beneficiary of the technology. This alone has the potential to make Microsoft one of the leading search engines in the world. We are about to witness one of the most important comebacks in the history of technology.

To understand this you have to appreciate the fact that Microsoft Bing has been trailing behind Google search engine for years and was considered a dud. Now tech enthusiasts are considering a comeback to Microsoft via Bing. This has serious implications for Google and industries that were built around Search Engine Optimisation.

Google created a standard that governed how the publishing industry makes money online. All of that is set to change as Microsoft is changing how people find information online.

We are witnessing a significant moment in technological history as a core technology that has shaped a generation is undergoing a shift.

Microsoft has begun a process of infusing ChatGPT across its products. One of them is Edge which has also been largely ignored. It’s also important to recall that at some point Microsoft Explorer was once a browser of choice when there was little choice around. Again Google and others offered a choice that enabled better functionality. Now that Microsoft will enable a browser that is powered by artificial intelligence, there’s no doubt that everything will change.

It’s natural to feel excited about the current changes, however, there’s a need to still exercise caution. There’s a great likelihood that we will also see the misinformation challenge being exacerbated by ChatGPT technology. Everything that it knows is based on information that’s available. The technology has just figured out a way of storing it all together and compiling a response when required. This means if there’s garbage information on that subject matter, the information seeker is likely to get garbage feedback. We therefore cannot yet consider everything we’re told by ChatGPT,even if it’s via Bing,as gospel truth.

We are in the AI moment and everything is changing in front of our eyes. It’s time to review all our practices that were based on the old era in technology. Once again certain professions will be challenged. There will be a need for a shift which will be painful for some. We will need to figure out a way to work with AI powered tools that possess knowledge that was received from traditional sources. For now it’s important to note that Microsoft is back in the game. Google and others will also find ways of catching up which means a change across the board. Sam Altman,the man behind ChatGPT, is the new hero of our day together with Satya Nadella who made Microsoft cool again. Don’t be surprised if Bing becomes the default search engine and Edge a default browser. It’s time to relearn again.