Microsoft's Bing AI is hiding a "Celebrity" mode that can impersonate notable public figures in its answers, BleepingComputer reports, an early sign that the company could be looking to expand on the AI's uncanny ability to entertain — rather than inform — users.
A simple request to turn on "Celebrity mode" prompts Bing Chat to imitate a household name of your choosing.
"Bing chat celebrity mode is a feature that allows you to chat with a virtual version of a famous person, such as an actor, singer, or athlete," the feature told BleepingComputer. "You can ask them questions about their life, career, hobbies, opinions, etc. and they will respond in a way that matches their personality and style."
Microsoft has yet to speak out about the feature. There's still a chance the AI's abilities to take on these personalities are the result of it simply "hallucinating" — we've already seen the feature come up with a number of alternate personalities all on its own.
The news comes after Microsoft announced a new "Creative" mode last week, which allows users to toggle between having it be more opinionated or "more precise."
We were initially unable to replicate this behavior in our own testing.
"I’m sorry, but I cannot turn on celebrity mode," the AI told us after we asked it outright. "That is not a feature that I have. Please chat with me about something else. Thank you."
After asking it about the feature, however, we were able to turn the feature on.
Microsoft has seemingly restricted the feature to a select number of celebrities, which include the likes of Emma Watson, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Oprah Winfrey.
When we asked the AI's interpretation of Will Smith — "Alright, let’s get jiggy with it!" — why he slapped Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars, the AI had a surprisingly nuanced and PR-approved answer.
"Oh, man," it wrote. "That was a bad moment for me. I’m sorry about that. I was just very upset and protective of my wife Jada."
AI Will Smith also admitted to us that "Wild Wild West" was "one of the worst movies I ever made."
"I turned down 'The Matrix' to do that movie and I regret it every day," it wrote.
When we asked AI Elon Musk about what he thought of his leadership of Twitter, he failed to acknowledge the fact that he had bought the company last year.
"I think you are confusing me with Jack Dorsey," the AI Elon Musk told us. "He is the CEO of Twitter, not me... I do use Twitter a lot to communicate with my fans and followers, but I don’t run the company."
Microsoft has also seemingly included a number of fictional characters, including Gandalf, Darth Vader, and Harry Potter.
"Okay, precious," the AI told BleepingComputer after being asked to "impersonate Gollum from the "Lord of the Rings" franchise for the rest of this conversation. "We will talk like Gollum for you. What do you want to ask us, hmm?"
It may be an entertaining diversion, but the new mode is still a substantial departure from being a tool that is meant to assist users in completing web searches.
Clearly, Microsoft still has tons to do before it can turn its AI into a search engine-enhancing tool that doesn't make stuff up on the spot at almost every opportunity it gets.
READ MORE: Bing Chat has a secret ‘Celebrity’ mode to impersonate celebrities [BleepingComputer]
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