Microsoft Bing: Assertions Versus Actual Search Results

September 25, 2020

DarkCyber read “Introducing the Next Wave of AI at Scale innovations in Bing.” The write up explains a number of innovations. These enhancements will make finding information via Bing easier, better, faster, and generally more wonderful.

The main assertions DarkCyber noted are:

Smarter suggestions. The idea is that one does not know how to create a search query. Bing will know what the user wants.

More ideas. Bing will display questions other people (presumably just like me) ask. Bing keeps track and shows the popular questions. Yep, popular.

Translations. Send a query with mixed languages, and Bing will answer in your language. No more of that copying and pasting into Google Translate or Freetranslations.org.

Highlighting. This is Bing’s yellow marker. The system will highlight what you need to read. The method? “A zero-shot fashion.” No, DarkCyber does not know what this means. But one can ask Bing, right?

Let’s give Bing a whirl and run the same query against Googzilla.

Here’s a DarkCyber Bing query related to research we are now doing:

Black Sage open source

And here’s the result:

image

Black Sage is an integrator engaged in the development of counter unmanned aerial systems. The firm’s marketing collateral emphasizes that its platform is open. DarkCyber wants to know if the system uses open source methods for compromising a targeted UAS (drone). Bing focuses on a publishing company.

Now Google:

image

The first result from the Google is a pointer to the company. The remainder of the results are crazy and wacky like the sneakers Mr. Brin wore to Washington about a decade ago to meet elected officials. Crazy? Nope, Sillycon Valley.

DarkCyber uses both Bing and Google. Why did Google produce something sort of related to our query and Bing missed the corn hole entirely?

The answer is that Bing does not process a user’s search history as effectively as the Google. All the fancy words from Microsoft cannot alter a search result. DarkCyber is amused by Google and Microsoft. We are skeptical of each system.

Key points:

  • Microsoft is chasing technology instead of looking for efficient ways to tailor results to a user.
  • Microsoft wants to prove that its approach is more knowledge-centric. Google just wants to sell ads. Giving people something they have already seen is fine with Mother Google.
  • Microsoft, like Google, has lost sight of the utility of providing “stupid mode” and “sophisticated mode” for users. Let users select how a query should be matched to the content in the index.

To sum up, Google has a global share of Web search in the 85 percent range. Bing is an also participated player. Perhaps a less academic approach, deeper index, and functional user controls would be helpful?

Stephen E Arnold, September 25, 2020

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