Microsoft Drops Its Recall AI Tool From PC Launch of Copilot Plus     – CNET

Microsoft Drops Its Recall AI Tool From PC Launch of Copilot Plus – CNET

Microsoft pulled its Windows Recall artificial intelligence feature from its June 18 release for Copilot Plus PCs after weeks of criticism from users and privacy advocates.

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Microsoft said in a blog post on June 13 that its Recall feature, which was announced May 20, would be removed from its upcoming launch of Copilot Plus PCs next week. 

Instead, the company said it will offer the feature to its Windows Insiders Program, which is designed for developers and fans who want to test new software before it’s ready for the general public. 

“We are adjusting the release model for Recall to leverage the expertise of the Windows Insider community to ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Windows and Devices Pavan Davuluri wrote on Thursday. “This decision is rooted in our commitment to providing a trusted, secure and robust experience for all customers and to seek additional feedback prior to making the feature available to all Copilot Plus PC users.”

Read more: After Heavy Criticism of Windows Recall, Microsoft Changes Tack on the AI Tool

Microsoft’s decision to remove Recall for Windows PCs represents the latest in a series of unusual missteps that have drawn criticism to the software giant as it’s raced to add AI tools across its product line. Last year, the company limited an AI chatbot it added to its Bing search engine, after users reported receiving a series of unsettling messages and sometimes inaccurate responses to search queries.

Copilot Plus PCs are marketed with a suite of features that represented Microsoft’s latest AI efforts. The PCs have an included neural processing unit, or NPU chip, that helps power features like better photo editing; live transcription and translation for video and audio; and Recall. 

Microsoft pitched Recall as an AI tool that would helpfully keep track of what you’d been doing and help you backtrack to a website, document or app you’d previously been working on. Privacy experts quickly raised alarms, though, warning that other people who have physical access to a given computer could potentially access them. Microsoft promised changes, disabling Recall by default and requiring additional biometric “Windows Hello” security in order to enable or use the service. Still, the company faced significant criticism.

The company’s moves also come mere days after Apple announced a series of AI enhancements for its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. Called Apple Intelligence, the company said it designed the features with privacy in mind, promising that data accessed and analyzed by the AI would not be logged or tracked. The company has also invited security experts to test its technology, in what it hopes will be a “new standard” for the industry. Apple plans to offer a test version of its Apple Intelligence software this fall.

Read more: AI Atlas, Your Guide to Today’s Artificial Intelligence

Ian Sherr

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