Microsoft’s Bing chatbot has run into trouble with an error popping up for some users, causing their queries to crash and burn – and apparently, this is down to the popularity of the AI.

Mikhail Parakhin, head of Advertising and Web Services at Microsoft, tweeted about the error, which informs the user that ‘something went wrong’ when making a query, a fairly unhelpful message (and the chatbot fails to produce any other response than this).

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There are quite a number of reports of users encountering this error on Twitter (which are still coming through), and Parakhin explains that there are multiple causes relating to ‘increased load’ on the chatbot. In other words, the volume of queries being flung at the ChatGPT-powered AI is causing Bing to capsize on occasion.

Of the five main causes, Parakhin says that Microsoft has fixes for three, and mitigation is in progress for the other two.

In short, the cure for this malady is in the pipeline, so if you’re one of the unfortunate folks who has run into this error – and perhaps keeps stumbling into it – then your troubles should be over before long.

Analysis: Something is being put right, and hopefully swiftly

Parakhin has been commendably transparent keeping us up to date with what’s going on with the Bing AI, with regular tweets letting us know about the work in progress with the chatbot.

Given that the root causes of this issue are seemingly nailed down and located, with fixes and workarounds sussed out, we’re betting there won’t be much of a wait for the solution to come through – hopefully. Doubtless we’ll hear about it from Parakhin when that’s the case, if speedy past updates are anything to go by.

Clearly, Microsoft is speeding up the rollout of the chatbot, and more users are doubtless being recruited to chat with the AI via the latest Windows 11 update, which puts the ChatGPT-powered Bing right on the taskbar. (Well, sort of – there’s been some controversy about the implementation as we discuss at length here).

The fact that this extra load on the AI’s shoulders has caused issues shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, with the chatbot still very much in its infancy.

There will likely be growing pains in evidence when it comes to the three new personalities which have just been introduced for Bing. These allow users to change the tone of responses from the AI to be more chatty and creative, or more precise and dry (or there’s a middle road of a balance somewhere in-between).

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