Microsoft Build 2023, the developer conference, witnessed Microsoft’s rapid integration of OpenAI’s AI technology into its products and services. In a significant move, artificial intelligence plugins, like those used in ChatGPT, are now operational across Microsoft’s entire portfolio. Additionally, travel brands including Tripadvisor, Trip.com, Skyscanner, Fareportal, and Spotnana are developing new plugins. These plugins allow large language models to access real-time data and assist users in tasks such as travel bookings.
Adopting OpenAI’s open plugin standard introduced for ChatGPT in March, Microsoft ensures interoperability between plugins built on this standard within the Microsoft and OpenAI ecosystems. Expedia and Kayak were among the first brands to launch plugins for ChatGPT, and they are now accessible across Microsoft platforms.
According to Microsoft, developers can now build plugins that function seamlessly across consumer and business surfaces, including ChatGPT, Bing, Dynamics 365 Copilot, and Microsoft 365 Copilot. The integration offers a more natural user interface for AI apps built on Azure OpenAI Service, enhancing user experiences.
Microsoft plans to roll out over 50 new plugins in the coming weeks, extending the functionalities of ChatGPT and Bing. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, expressed enthusiasm for the opportunities these plugins create for developers and consumers alike.
“With plugins built right into chat, across desktop and mobile, Bing makes relevant recommendations based on your conversation. For example, you can use the OpenTable plugin to ask about restaurants or related topics. This becomes even more powerful on mobile when you’re on the go with the Bing mobile app. We are excited for the new opportunities this creates for developers and consumers alike,” wrote Mehdi.
Mehdi highlighted the Tripadvisor plugin, emphasizing its potential to help millions of people enhance their travel experiences by leveraging the world’s largest travel guidance platform. While Trip.com’s plugin is currently functional, details about the plugins from Tripadvisor, Skyscanner, and Spotnana remain undisclosed, and Fareportal did not respond to inquiries.
Addressing a key criticism of ChatGPT’s limited knowledge scope, Microsoft unveiled a solution. ChatGPT Plus subscribers can now use “Browse with Bing” within the chat platform, enabling access to up-to-date information from the web. This feature will be available to all users in the near future, enhancing ChatGPT’s responses with current data and citations.
Separately, other travel brands, including Turo, Klook, GetYourGuide, and Trip.com, have also enabled plugins in ChatGPT. Google, too, made substantial updates to its search and marketing tools, introducing the Search Generative Experience (SGE) powered by generative AI, capable of handling complex, multi-step searches by aggregating information from multiple sources.
With Microsoft’s integration of AI technology and the introduction of new plugins, users can expect enriched experiences and more comprehensive, up-to-date information across various Microsoft platforms.