Bing is improving several key search features with updates designed to provide users with a wider range of results.
Now, when users search using Bing, they can expect to see:
- Better autosuggest predictions
- More ‘people also ask’ recommendations
- Intelligent answers in more regions
- Semantic highlighting in search snippets
Each of these updates are made possible due to advancements Microsoft has made in the areas of Natural Language Representation and Natural Language Generation.
Here’s how these updates will enhance the Bing search experience going forward.
Better Autosuggest Predictions
A new technology called Next Phrase Prediction is being integrated into Bing’s autosuggest feature.
What that means for users is Bing can now provide full phrase suggestions in real time for long queries.
Previously, Bing’s approach to handling autosuggestions for longer queries was limited to completing the current word being typed by the user.
Now, Bing can generate phrase suggestions for long queries before a user starts typing the next word.
Here are some examples of suggestions that Bing wouldn’t have been able to show previously.
In addition, since phrase suggestions are being generated in real-time, autosuggest results are no longer limited to previously entered queries.
As a result of this update, coverage of autosuggest completions increases considerably, which improves the overall search experience.
More Questions in ‘People Also Ask’
Bing can now generate question-answer pairs in the People Also Ask (PAA) block for queries that haven’t been entered before.
“We use a high-quality generative model on billions of documents to generate question-answer pairs that are present within those documents.
Later, when the same documents appear on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), we use the previously generated question-answer pairs to help populate the PAA block, in addition to existing similar questions that have previously been asked.”
This update allows for greater exploration of search results by asking more questions instead of just browsing documents.
Expanding Intelligent Answers
Bing is expanding intelligent answers to 100 languages and 200+ regions, which covers almost every area Bing is available in.
Previously, Bing’s intelligent answers were only available in 13 markets.
Bing’s intelligent answers are similar Google’s quick answers. The key difference is Bing’s intelligent answers are only displayed when the same answer is backed up by multiple trusted sources.
Google’s quick answers, on the other hand, are pulled from a single source.
Semantic Highlighting in Search Snippets
Bing is improving search snippets in all markets with a feature called semantic highlighting.
This feature allows Bing to highlight words in snippets beyond simple keyword matching.
Semantic highlighting is designed to help users find information faster without having to read through the entire snippet.
Previously, Bing’s ability to highlight snippets was limited to matching the exact keywords a user typed in the query.
“Highlighting the answer in a caption is similar to Stanford’s Machine Reading Comprehension test in which Microsoft was the first to reach human parity on the benchmark.
With Universal Semantic Highlighting, we can identify and highlight answers within captions, and do it not just for English but for all languages.”
Here is an example for the query “what temperature is a fever for coronavirus.”
Notice how Bing doesn’t highlight the words used in the query.
Rather, Bing highlights the answer the user is looking for (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
Expect updates similar to these in the future as Microsoft continues to make advancements in natural language processing.
Source: Bing Blogs