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Microsoft Postpones Introduction of Controversial AI Recall Feature on New Windows Computers

New laptops with Microsoft Windows are set to ship next week, but without the much-anticipated Recall feature, which has sparked privacy and cybersecurity concerns.

Recall was designed to periodically capture screenshots of a computer’s display, giving Microsoft’s AI assistant, Copilot, a “photographic memory” of a user’s activities to aid in recalling past actions and improving productivity. Last month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduced Recall, highlighting it as a significant step towards creating AI systems that can “instantly see us, hear us, and reason about our intent and surroundings.” “We’re entering a new era where computers not only understand us but can anticipate our needs and intentions,” Nadella said in May.

However, on Thursday, Microsoft announced a delay in the general release of Recall. Initially planned for new PCs starting Tuesday, the feature will now first be available to a select group of Windows Insider program users. According to Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows and devices, this step will help “ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security.”

Despite the delay in Recall, the new AI features in Windows 11 will still be available on high-end computers from Microsoft partners such as Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung, as well as on Microsoft’s own Surface devices. This decision comes amid increasing scrutiny and competition in the tech industry, particularly regarding generative AI technologies that can compose documents, create images, and serve as personal assistants.

At its annual Build event last month, Microsoft unveiled a new class of AI-enhanced personal computers, underscoring its commitment to leading the AI revolution in consumer tech. These devices are expected to bring significant advancements in AI integration, offering users smarter and more functional computing experiences.

By rolling out Recall initially to a smaller group of expert users, Microsoft aims to gather valuable feedback and ensure that the feature meets the highest standards of privacy and security before a wider release. This cautious approach reflects the company’s dedication to responsible AI development in an increasingly competitive landscape.

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