Microsoft Threatens to limit data access from competitor AI search tools

Sources with knowledge of the situation claim that Microsoft Corp. has threatened to cancel competing search engines licences to use its internet search data if they continue to utilise it as the basis for their own artificial intelligence chat products. As excitement for the trending technology grew, rivals quickly launched their AI search tools.

The developer of the programme grants permission to other web search providers, including Apollo Global Management Inc.’s Yahoo and DuckDuckGo, to use the information included in its Bing search index, a quick-scannable real-time map of the internet. In February, Microsoft had a ChatGPT relative, OpenAI’s AI-driven conversation technology, into Bing.

Many tech firms have launched their own AI search tools

Alphabet Inc made Google’s conversational AI product Bard available to the general public this week. The privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo introduced DuckAssist, a feature that uses artificial intelligence to compress search results. Two more recent search engines, and Neeva Inc., which debuted in 2021, have also released AI-powered search services, YouChat and NeevaAI.

Microsoft: Microsoft threatens to restrict data from rival AI search tools
Credits: The Economic Times

These search chatbots seek to integrate ChatGPT’s conversational capabilities with the data offered by a traditional search engine. Because indexing the whole web is expensive and requires servers to store data and a continuous internet scan to include updates, DuckDuckGo,, and Neeva’s standard search engines use Bing to give some of their information. Putting such information together for a search chatbot would be equally difficult and expensive.

The development of AI chatbots has effects on jobs as well

According to the sources, who asked to remain anonymous because they were discussing a personal disagreement, Microsoft has informed at least two clients that utilising its Bing search index to feed their AI conversation tools is against their contract. According to the persons, the Redmond, Washington-based software corporation, threatened to revoke the licences granting access to its search index. Microsoft did not immediately respond with a statement.

Smaller search engines could only find an alternative if they were included in Microsoft’s index. Due to Google’s restrictions on the usage of its index, only Microsoft and Google have complete web indexes. As a result, almost all other search engines utilise Bing.

Even as generative AI pushes artificial intelligence into the public more quickly than many people had anticipated, every organisation strives to determine its role in this new technology. According to several publications today, the emergence of GPT-4 and other generative AI tools will jeopardise some occupations. These tools can write, code, produce graphics, and provide answers in seconds.