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Ads are appearing on Microsoft’s Bing chatbot.

Photo: Microsoft Bings

Bing’s AI-powered chatbot is getting advertising. On Wednesday, Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi wrote in a blog that the company is “exploring inserting advertising in the chat experience.” When we inquired for specifics, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed that you might start seeing them.

“Yes, advertising will display in the new Bing, notably in chat (as in the conventional search results),” Microsoft director of communications Caitlin Roulston told The Verge. However, as the new Bing is in preview, its appearance may vary. We’re researching new ad experiences and will share more.”

Microsoft discussed Bing advertisements with ad agencies in February. Debarghya Das posted a sample ad from an inquiry regarding inexpensive Honda automobiles. Two phrases include citations with a little “Ad” box that lead to Bing.

I can’t see any Bing Chat advertising, so I can’t comment on the “variability” Roulston referenced. However, Das’s example sounds like a reasonable method for Microsoft to label an ad, and if that’s the experience everyone gets, it won’t be too intrusive.

We don’t know how many advertisements we’ll see or how Microsoft will decide to show an ad or get a response from a publisher or website. Mehdi’s blog post claims Microsoft intends to “split the ad income with partners whose content led to the chat response,” but it doesn’t address how it would balance ad and non-ad answers. In addition, ads will increase the cognitive strain of deciding if an answer is trustworthy.

The queue for Bing Chat ads moves swiftly.

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