From Banger To Binger?

So I finally gave into the latest craze of 2023,.  Thanks to the newly available Microsoft Bing Chat update that was released earlier this week, now I can afford to join the millions who already paid $50 or so for the likes of Chat GPT.  So far, I haven’t been asked for a penny, so it’s within my meager budget.

I’ve been skeptical.  When I’ve asked friends to run searches with the paid model of Chat GPT, my resume has been conflated with those of other people with my name.  According to that model, I’m both a doctor in Virginia and a businessman in Denver, as well as who I am.  Some days, I’ve wished I was actually one of those others, particularly on pay days of late.

But as Alan Truly of Digital Trends explains, the newly available Microsoft add-on offered a new reason for optimism and experimentation:

Bing Chat originally launched as only a waitlist, but it’s now available widely at and requires downloading the new version of Microsoft Edge. Just click on “Download Microsoft Edge,” which will then ask you to choose the platform you’re on.

The company also recently integrated Bing Chat into the search bar in Windows 11, which opens a chat window in Microsoft Edge directly from your desktop:

Bing Chat works just like ChatGPT. You can ask it anything, and using an LLM (large language model), will understand and respond in natural human language.

But Microsoft has also been slowly rolling out Bing Chat features, and most of them are available to use now. In particular, the Edge Copilot feature, which provides more suggestions and refinements to the Bing Chat experience.

On the chat tab, it focuses on more conversational language, which provides lots of suggestions on the types of questions you can ask. These include links to learn more, suggested follow-up questions, and functions much more like a traditional search engine.

So far, there has been no mention of charging for Bing’s new AI features. Microsoft clarified that ads are part of the experience from the start and that it doesn’t have plans to charge a fee as of yet.

But from what we can tell, there are still limits on conversations. As of now, the daily limit has been increased to 150 chats per day and 15 chats per session. Once you hit 15 chats in a session, Bing Chat will ask you to move on to a new topic. ChatGPT does not have this limit.

So on a day where I’m particularly exhausted like today and the price is right, I put Bing Chat to the test.  I asked it to describe how I write.  Here’s what it spit out in roughly 15 seconds:

Hmmmm.  I can do a follow-up.  So let’s see–who DO i emulate, Mister Bing?
Some other writers with similar styles to Steven Leblang are Dave Barry, Garrison Keillor, David Sedaris, and Mark Twain. They all write in a conversational and humorous style, using personal stories, witty observations, and colorful language to entertain their readers. They also write about various topics, such as culture, politics, travel, and everyday life. Some examples of their writing styles are:

As Frank Barone used to exclaim, “Holy Crap!”.

Dave Barry, sure.  Anybody who wrote for the Miami Herald is my hero.  Garrison Keillor–well, I was introduced to NPR with his weekly series, though I’m not a fan of his misogyny.  David Sedaris–well, I do have a crush on his sister.

But, really?!  Samuel Friggin’ Clemens?  ME?!?!?

Well, I’m flattered.  But, I’ll admit, a little scared as well.

I’m well aware of the potential for this little puppy to replace real writers.  Numerous websites are already creating content in this or similar manners, now replacing human bylines with the telltale words “by staff”.  The struggles of so many digital media outlets makes the likelihood of more and more adopting this is highly likely, despite the optimism of so many traditional media outlets to use this more as a template rather than a replacement.  Remember,the mindsets of many of the millennial genuises that encouraged the sale of copywritten TV shows to Netflix are among those that are making those kind of recommends to these platforms–all in the name of protitability, of course.

So I asked it the killer question.  Write a story in my style about discovering Microsoft Bing Chat.

After about 20 seconds of somewhat accurate observations, then devolving into an incomprehensible rant about chocolate and cats, here’s what Binger finally spit out:

Sorry! That’s on me, I can’t give a response to that right now. What else can I help you with?

So I guess I’m still needed.

And when I followed up with the ask how can someone else write like me, well, my faith was restored:

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