Microsoft threatens to cut off search data access for rivals’ AI chat products

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    25th March 2023 – (New York) Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) has reportedly issued a warning to its customers, threatening to terminate their access to its internet-search data if they continue to use it as the basis for their own artificial intelligence chat products. According to Bloomberg News, the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant has told at least two customers that using its Bing search index, which can be scanned in real-time, to feed their AI chat tools violates the terms of their contract.

    The dispute centers around Microsoft’s Bing search index, which the company licences to rival search engines. Microsoft alleges that its customers are using the search index as the basis for their AI chat products, which is a violation of their contract. Bloomberg News reports that Microsoft may also terminate licenses providing access to its search index.

    Microsoft has not yet released a statement on the matter.

    In February, Microsoft announced that it was revamping its Bing search engine and Edge Web browser with artificial intelligence. This move signaled the company’s ambition to retake the lead in consumer technology markets where it has fallen behind.

    Microsoft’s push into AI has been significant, with the company investing heavily in research and development. The company has made a number of acquisitions in the AI space, including Semantic Machines, which specialises in natural language processing and conversation AI.

    Microsoft’s warning to its customers is not surprising given the company’s focus on AI. The company has been clear about its ambition to be a leader in the AI space and has made significant investments to achieve this goal.

    Microsoft’s warning to its customers underscores the importance of AI in today’s technology landscape. As companies continue to invest in AI, the battle for access to data and talent will only intensify. For Microsoft, protecting its intellectual property and maintaining its position in the AI space is critical to its long-term success.