Microsoft updates Bing with AI, Reddit partnership to make search results smarter

Reddit bans misogynist community as part of anti-violence crackdown

Partnering with CM Launcher will let Microsoft broaden Cortana's reach among Android users, many of whom like to customize their experience via launcher apps that are responsible for the home screen and organizing and launching their apps. Bing has also quietly been a moneymaker for Microsoft, which has inked several partnerships to get the service on as many devices as possible.

New features starting to roll out include Intelligent Search, Intelligent Image Search and Conversational Search.

For instance, asking Bing, "Is cholesterol bad?" brings up different perspectives - so you can apply the searched information depending on your particular situation - rather than a black and white answer. Reddit information from conversations, communities and Reddit AMAs (Ask Me Anything) sessions will be included in search results. Simply search a person's name to see their AMA snapshot or search for "Reddit AMAs" to see a carousel of popular AMAs.

What's the AI connection to all this? Also powered by machine learning, Microsoft says this feature can "help people understand shorthand by leveraging the Microsoft Graph to surface definitions of terms that have been previously defined". And it's taking cues from its bots like in helping figure out how to prompt users in their queries, officials said.

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With all the voice-assistant competition out there, Microsoft, banking on its success in the business-productivity software space, has high hopes for making Cortana the top voice choice for businesses and professionals, according to a Business Insider report. The demo showed the AI helper not only sorting emails, but summarizing the most important ones. Microsoft also is adding "skills chaining" to Cortana, enabling Cortana not just to book tickets but to also subsequently add an event to a user's calendar. "Time to leave in Outlook is rolling out to iOS users this month in markets where Cortana is available".

Microsoft already has added some AI smarts to Office 365 to enable it to make suggestions in Word documents and declutter users' inboxes.

First and foremost, Microsoft is introducing a preview of Insights in Excel. Reddit's UI is famously not that great on desktop, so Microsoft distilling the wall of text in a more effective manner is pretty essential. However, this latest update would remain muted when someone makes fact-based queries on Bing, for instance, when was Abraham Lincoln born?

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