Microsoft will begin limiting conversations with the new chatbot on its Bing search engine to five questions per session and 50 questions per day, the company said on Friday.
Microsoft released a new version of Bing less than two weeks ago, combining the search engine with artificial intelligence technology developed by OpenAI, a San Francisco start-up, with fanfare at an event on its campus in Redmond, Washington.
A number of other big tech companies, including Google, are working on similar services. But Microsoft has acted quickly to gain a technological advantage over its rivals, and the company has promised that AI will eventually be integrated into a wide range of its products.
Microsoft expected its chatbot to sometimes respond inaccurately, and it built in safeguards against people trying to get the chatbot to behave strangely or say harmful things. Still, early users who engaged in open, personal conversations with the chatbot found its responses unusual — and sometimes creepy.
Now people are prompted to start a new session after asking five questions and the chatbot has responded five times.
“Very long chat sessions can confuse the underlying chat model,” Microsoft said on Friday.
On Wednesday, the company wrote in a blog post that it “didn’t fully envision” people using the chatbot “for broader world discovery and social entertainment.” The chatbot became repetitive and sometimes irritable during long conversations, it said.
Microsoft said its data showed about 1 percent of conversations with the chatbot contained more than 50 messages. It said it would consider increasing the limits on questions in the future. The company also plans to add tools to give users more control over the chatbot’s tone.