Bing AI Finds Its Voice as It Comes to Mobile

Bing Chat on mobile and in Skype
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Bing Chat, the AI chatbot based on ChatGPT that took the world by storm just two weeks ago, is going mobile. While Bing Chat was previously only available on a laptop or desktop in the web browser, Microsoft announced that it is now on the Bing and Edge mobile apps on iOS and Android.

I had to update Bing on my iPhone to get the chat function, but since I have access to the Chat preview, it automatically worked. Bing did ask for access to my location for results targeted to my position, and it also needed to use my microphone. That's because you can now talk to Bing using your voice, and — on mobile — it will talk back to you.

At the moment, Bing's voice is a generic female voice that's lacking a bit in the emotion department. It's in the vein of Siri and Alexa's default settings, though those can be changed, and options include male voices and different accents. Hopefully Bing will eventually allow this type of customization. Voice is also available on desktop.

But Bing's jump to mobile isn't just in Edge and the Bing app: Microsoft is also putting the AI chatbot in Skype. In this case, you add Bing to conversations between you and your friends or in group chats. From there, you can tag @Bing to ask questions, and the Bing AI will answer. According to Microsoft's blog post, you'll be able to pick between getting answer in text, bullet points, or a "simplified response."

Bing can also act as translator in Skype — Microsoft says it is "fluent" in over 100 different languages. Outside of Skype, Microsoft says it also plans to bring Bing to other chat services, such as its Teams app, in the future.

People who already have access to the Bing chat preview will get Skype access later today, and the company is warning about a bug:

"In the first few days of testing these mobile experiences, you may occasionally find connectivity issues in low-bandwidth situations. We’re aware of the issue and are working on a fix."

Microsoft says that more than one million people have been brought into the Bing preview from over 169 countries. The company has made some changes to the chatbot, limiting its use and output after it went off the rails during long conversations (it would have been scary to hear it speaking some of what it said to me out loud!). Since then, the company has been slowly lifting the guardrails, allowing more, slightly longer conversations.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon