One of Bing's new ChatGPT personalities wrote me some seriously puggy fanfic

Image of pugs in space made with Stable Diffusion
(Image credit: Stable Diffusion)

You can now change the personality of Bing's ChatGPT integration to either be more entertaining or give you just the facts, ma'am. At the start of a 'chat,' you can now select to change from the default 'More Balanced' personality to either a 'More Creative' or 'More Precise' personality for the popular chatbot.

Microsoft details the three different personality types as:

  • More Creative: "Responses are original and imaginative, creating surprise and entertainment for you."
  • More Balanced: "Responses are reasonable and coherent, balancing accuracy and creativity in conversation."
  • More Precise: "Responses are factual and concise, prioritising accuracy and relevancy for you."

Microsoft reckons these different chat mode selectors will be available to about 90% of Bing users who can access the chat function. It has also added a shortcut to Bing's chat feature in the native search bar of Windows 11, which I'm certain lots of people are really digging /s.

Of course, I had to test out the new 'personalities' myself quickly, so I asked it to tell me a story. On the creative setting, it asked me what kind of story I wanted, and I simply told it, "pugs in space." And this is what I got:

Bing conversation style

(Image credit: Microsoft)

**Pugs in Space: The Galactic Adventure**

Major Ron was a brave and loyal pug who loved to explore the galaxy with his human companion, Captain Lisa. They were part of a special team called Galaxy Pugs, who were on a mission to observe and learn about different planets and life forms.

One day, they received a distress signal from Planet Pugtopia, a world where pugs lived in harmony and happiness. The signal said that an evil alien named Zorg had invaded the planet and was trying to enslave all the pugs. Major Ron and Captain Lisa decided to help their fellow pugs and set course for Planet Pugtopia.

The interesting thing here is that I wasn't aware of the Pugs in Space comic, which features the character of Major Ron and a character called Taser based on Ron's IRL pugmate, Lisa. The Pugs in Space comic is referenced at the end of the story on the chat page as a source, alongside The Sun and the BBC. Obviously. 

But where it was meant to be "original and creative," the Creative personality has simply taken an existing character and created its own fanfic around it.

When I switched things up to the Balanced setting, it again asked what kind of story I would like, but this time it immediately flagged up that there were existing Pugs in Space literature when I prompted it to tell me a story with the same prompt. It then asked if I wanted to use those sources to inspire or tell a new story. 

Of course, I wanted a new story and explained that I wanted it set in a far-flung future where they discover a new alien species. And so…

Bing conversation style

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Pugs in Space: First Contact

Captain Pugston was nervous. He had been chosen to lead the first pug expedition to explore the outer rim of the galaxy, where no pug had gone before. He was proud of his crew, a team of six brave and loyal pugs who had trained for years to be part of this historic mission. They were:

- Lieutenant Puggles, the pilot and navigator

- Doctor Pugbert, the medic and biologist

- Engineer Pugly, the mechanic and technician

- Sergeant Pugger, the security and weapons expert

- Ensign Puggy, the communications and linguistics specialist

- And Puglet, the mascot and morale booster

I really don't know what happened at the end. It was like Bing was having a bit of an episode and was maybe done with writing about pugs at this point, so I just wanted to get it over with. I guess that's where the balance between creativity and being concise kinda clash.

So then we come to the Precise personality, which I can leave here in its entirety. It actually didn't even ask me what sort of story I wanted when I prompted it to tell me one, it just started going on about some princess in a castle, and I had to pull it up to tell me a story about pugs in space.

I tested it a couple of times—repeating the princess/castle trope again—and once more, it went straight into some fanfiction about Major Ron, Lieutenant Lola, and Taser. Even this dullard is a big fan, obvs.

But the following is the original response it wrote when I first tested the more boring personality.

Bing conversation style

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Once upon a time in a galaxy far away, there was a group of brave pugs who were on a mission to explore the universe. They traveled in their spaceship, the Pug-1, and visited many different planets.

On one planet they discovered a race of friendly aliens who loved to play fetch. The pugs had so much fun playing with their new friends that they decided to stay for a while.

As they continued their journey through space, the pugs encountered many other exciting adventures and made lots of new friends along the way. They proved that even small dogs can have big dreams and achieve great things.

Honestly, it's actually concise enough that my three year-old would probably quite like a picture book made out of it. So I'm going to give this to Stable Diffusion and see what it can make out of it.

It's interesting how Microsoft is constantly evolving its ChatGPT integration in a bid to make Bing somehow relevant. It has been tightening and loosening constraints on what the chatbot can say in recent times, which have at times dulled or excited its responses. 

We have our own concerns about what it will mean for content on the internet, but still it's fascinating to see it growing before our eyes. 

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.