Microsoft warned two companies using its Bing search index, saying it could revoke their licenses if they continue using Bing’s internet-search data for their AI chatbot services. According to a report from Bloomberg, anonymous sources said these companies violate the search index contract terms.
Microsoft is not the only company now trying to explore the power of generative AI. Google recently opened its waitlist for Bard for users in the US and UK, allowing a limited number of people to use its chatbot that is being fashioned to compete with the ChatGPT-powered Bing. However, aside from Google and different Chinese tech firms, there are other companies also now entering the AI battle, including DuckDuckGo (DuckAssist), You.com (YouChat), and Neeva (NeevaAI). Nonetheless, one important thing to note about these companies is their reliance on the Bing search index to gather some information needed by their chatbot creations.
The report didn’t specify the two names of the companies warned by Microsoft, but the three are highlighted as some of the software company’s customers with access to the Bing search index. To recall, You.com, a new search engine launched in 2020, launched its YouChat chatbot in December 2022. That was even before the first rumors about Microsoft’s AI efforts for Bing were revealed. However, the success of the company’s chatbot relies on Bing, and it might soon come to an end. With Microsoft and Google being the only tech companies indexing the web, and with the latter being more restrictive than the former when it comes to its search index, companies like You.com might face dead ends.
“We’ve been in touch with partners who are out of compliance as we continue to consistently enforce our terms across the board,” Microsoft told Bloomberg. “We’ll continue to work with them directly and provide any information needed to find a path forward.”