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Being Bing: Microsoft’s overlooked AI tool

In this Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, file photo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, center, answers a question from the audience at the annual Microsoft shareholders meeting as Brad Smith, left, president and chief legal officer, and Amy Hood, chief financial officer, look on, in Bellevue, Wash. As Microsoft begins to talk more about its ambitions in advancing the next stage of artificial intelligence, some see the company's Bing search engine as the overlooked foundation to those efforts. Nadella describes Bing as a “great training ground for building the hyper-scale, cloud-first services” that have allowed the company to pivot to new technologies as its computer software business wanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Microsoft’s Bing search engine has long been a punch line in the tech industry, an also-ran that never came close to challenging Google’s dominant position.