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In a drama-like scenario, Bing helped some people in a boat stuck in France by providing instant solutions and suggestions that usually take time for someone to find in a conventional search process. After this, other individuals started sharing their experiences with Bing and how its chatbot has helped them in different practical ways involving day-to-day issues.
Bing is still far from perfect. The lobotomized Sydney and continuously surfacing issues with Bing prove that. Nonetheless, some people shared how the chatbot can actually be of great help if used correctly. In a recent story shared on Reddit, a user named angusthecrab narrated how Bing helped them in a difficult situation after they found their boat stuck on France waterways. With little knowledge of the French language and being a foreigner in the place, the user described how difficult it was to get help.
“We tried watching Youtube videos to find a fix,” angusthecrab said. “We tried catching passersby who might be able to help, but we don’t speak a lot of French so it was difficult. I even contacted Tourist services who were very helpful at first but then stopped getting back to us. I had emailed so many people I’d almost given up hope and thought we’d need to just abandon ship and go look for a mechanic who could travel. I tried calling, but most people really struggled to understand what I was asking in my bad French and hung up.”
Due to the desperate time, the user shared how the group resorted to Bing, “which up until this point I’d used just like a toy chatbot for messing around with.” According to angusthecrab, the chatbot (under Balanced mode) then provided instant suggestions and solutions helpful for the situation, including boat engine troubleshooting; recommendations of spare part retailers in France; composing an email to a mechanic in French; providing public contact details of a port owner, local canal association, and the city council; and more.
“Mind is blown by how practicably useful this can be,” added the Reddit user. “We’d never have found half of that information out just by asking around or using Google because of the language barrier, and the rest would have taken much longer.”
The story attracted the attention of other users, who started sharing their experiences of how the chatbot helped them in different ways, from identifying issues in various appliances, assisting in filling out forms, performing searches and translations simultaneously, and more.
“I was asking the other day for Bing to search for Vietnamese movies for A1 speakers using Vietnamese and to translate the results back to English for me so that I could understand them,” shared one Reddit user. “It performed its searches in Vietnamese, found relevant Vietnamese search results, and output the results in English for me. It was probably one of the most impressive GPT experiences I’ve had.”
“…I have already used Bing to help me find the correct program to use on a washing machine, where I would previously only find PDFs of the manual that I would have to sift through, that sometimes didn’t even include details about the machine’s programs,” said another user. “It even translated the program names from English to the language of the machine’s menus. I’ve been able to find the same information before, with ‘old fashioned’ searches, but it would include a lot of manually sifting through the results trying to find the information I was looking for. Bing basically lets me skip 90% of the work by sifting through all of it for me.”
The experiences help build a good image for Bing, which might please Microsoft as it tries to continuously promote it as a useful tool for different use cases. However, it is undeniable that the bot is still prone to issues, explaining the endless faulty judgment of “sentient” Bing that different users are sharing. Yet, as stressed by others before, Bing is just software and a good example of a mirror test among individuals. It can be a useful tool if we want it to use that way, but it can also be a cursed product if we provoke and push it to respond in a despicable way.