Microsoft is ready to reveal some exciting new projects, most of which may be tied to ChatGPT, the powerful new AI-chatbot that’s captured the imaginations of consumers, students, businesses, and anyone with a job it could replace.

That is, for the moment, just a guess. Microsoft invited me out to its Redmond, Washington, campus with little more than a promise of cool stuff, face time (from an audience perspective) with company CEO Satya Nadella, and hands-on experiences with whatever the company unveils.

While Microsoft’s been mum about the purpose of this secretive event, which it’s not even live-streaming, most signs point to ChatGPT.  It comes just weeks after Microsoft invested $10 billion in OpenAI’s white-hot chatbot. Plus OpenAI CEO Sam Altman all but confirmed the news when he tweeted a photo of himself and Nadella at Microsoft’s campus with the caption, “hello from redmond! excited for the event tomorrow.”

The event has all the earmarks of a strategic flag planting with AI as the newly claimed territory. Microsoft could announce ChatGPT integration not only with the anticipated Bing search engine, but with Windows 11 (or Windows 12), Office, Teams, and the Edge browser.

We’ll know more starting at 10am PT / 6pm GMT (or 4am AEST on February 8, for those in Australia). The keynote should last an hour and could be packed with announcements. Stay here for all the latest updates.

I wonder if Sam Altman, the mastermind behind OpenAI and ChatGPT knows how to keep secrets? Here’s his Twitter post that may have prompted Microsoft to let the cat out of the bag about the event a bit early.

It wasn’t much to go on but having Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and Altman in one place and the latter mentioning not just his location but the event as well, pretty much blew Microsoft’s chance at a big surprise reveal.

Oh well, CEOs do CEO stuff, and we just sit back and watch.

hello from redmond! excited for the event tomorrow 6, 2023

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(Image credit: Future)

Okay, Bellevue, which is right next to Seattle and not far from Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters, doesn’t appear too excited about today’s event. It’s been cold and rainy here since yesterday.

I’d ask ChatGPT why it rains so much in Seattle, but the popular chatbot is now overwhelmed and I won’t be able to access it until OpenAI scales up. Maybe that $10 billion Microsoft is pouring into it will help.

In any case, we’re about two hours away from Microsoft’s big reveal. I’ll soon be heading over to Microsoft’s campus to register and get situated. Just remember, there’s no livestream, so this Live Blog will be one of the only ways to learn what Microsoft plans to do with ChatGPT.

We got the closest thing to a preview of what Microsoft could have in store today earlier this week when a Bing user briefly got access to a version of the search engine with ChatGPT integration.

Student and designer Owen Yin (below) was treated to a ChatGPT-enhanced Bing for a short period, during which he discovered that you get 1,000 characters to ask more open-ended questions than the ones traditional search engines are comfortable with. That all sounds rather familiar.

One of the screenshots shows a search focused on art and craft ideas for a toddler, “using only cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, paper and string”. This is the kind of specific request that ChatGPT currently loves to answer, albeit with varying results. 

It’s almost certain that we’ll see demos on these lines at Microsoft’s event today, but we’re expecting a lot more, too.

Bing’s ChatGPT integration just appeared for me. Replaces the search bar with a composer for natural-language questions 3, 2023

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