Microsoft reportedly in early conversations with ad agencies about inserting paid links in Bing search AI chat results
Microsoft has reportedly had initial talks with ad agencies about plans to insert advertisements into Bing AI search results generated by OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot.
Microsoft showed the ad technology in a demonstration to a major ad agency last week, Reuters reported.
The company said it plans to allow paid links within responses to queries of the search engine chatbot, the report said, citing an unnamed ad executive.
Microsoft is already testing the ads, which have appeared within results shown to users in the chat tool’s limited tests, according to users.
The ad executive said Microsoft is inserting conventional paid search ads into AI chat search results where the user references keywords related to a particular business.
Another ad format Microsoft is planning causes related ads to pop up when the user references a particular industry, such as hotels, the executive reportedly said.
Microsoft said in a statement that the potential of AI technology in search advertising is only starting to be explored and that it aims to work with its partners and the ad industry to develop the technology.
The tool is currently being trialled with a small number of users, with millions more on the waiting list to gain access.
Google announced a similar feature called Bard at a press conference a day apart from Microsoft’s announcement of its Bing AI search plans.
The tech giants are seeking to cash in on intense interest around generative artificial intelligence spurred by ChatGPT, which gained 100 million users only two months after its launch late last year.
In a research note sent to clients earlier this month ad firm Omnicom told clients search ads accompanying AI chats could generate generate lower revenue in the short term if chatbots take up the upper part of a screen without including ads.
The firm said it believes intuitive AI conversations are likely to become the dominant way consumers carry out internet searches.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that (the Microsoft and Google) announcements signal the biggest change to search in 20 years,” the company said.
Google experienced the downside of the interest in chatbots when an ad for Bard showed the bot providing incorrect information, causing Google’s share price to plummet.