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Business Tech Roundup: Microsoft’s New Laptop Will “Recall Everything” Employees Are Doing

By May 26, 2024No Comments

(This column originally appeared in Forbes)


1 — Are you ready for Windows Recall?

Microsoft announced its new line of AI-powered laptops this week which will incorporate its AI assistant Copilot deeply into its Windows operation system. But one of the things that caught the most attention was its AI assistant to “recall everything.” According to the report the new features “will include Windows Recall, giving the AI assistant what Microsoft describes as “photographic memory” of a person’s virtual activity.” (Source: ABC News)

Why this is important for your business:

Worried about privacy? Concerned that your company’s information displaying on your employees’ screens is being “remembered” by Microsoft somewhere other than inside your corporate offices? No problem! Microsoft is assuring the world that options will be given to “filter out” what they don’t want tracked, or remembered. Although this could be a great productivity enhancement, it’s likely going to require your IT team coming up with a policy of what should be “remembered” and what shouldn’t, and then implementing that policy.

2 — Microsoft’s new ‘Team Copilot’ AI assistant runs meetings, manages projects, assigns tasks.

Microsoft continues to advance its AI capabilities with “ Team Copilot” — the assistant that “works on behalf of a team.” Examples include, organizing meetings, project management, delegating tasks and tracking action items. As with any team member, Team Copilot is an active participant while keeping projects on track. Similarly, input and direction can be given by team members to the AI assistant when needed. Microsoft indicated a preview of Team Copilot will be available later this year for those who have a Copilot base license. See details here. (Source: GeekWire)

Why this is important for your business:

Will this replace the office manager? Should you fire all administrators? Not so fast. This is a feature, not a product. It’s an enhancement to Teams. Could it have a significant impact on your company’s productivity? Absolutely, as long as you invest in the licenses and -more importantly — in the training needed for your employees to truly leverage these tools.

3 — Google’s new AI tools to help merchants market brands and products.

Google announced new tech tools for merchants to amplify their brand. Google’s VP of Merchant Shopping Matt Madrigal detailed how it will work: A “brand visual profile” will be used in the Search section highlighting a merchant’s information that’s stored on Google Retail. When a shopper enters a specific name in Search, product images, customer reviews, videos, and any promotions will appear — giving shoppers a visual snapshot of the brand. In addition, the AI tool Product Studio will help sellers create “campaign ready” content and product images that can also be utilized as short videos. Other AI tools include virtual try-on and 3D technology to produce high-quality and engaging ads to reach more customers who use Search. (Source: Google)

Why this is important for your business:

These changes will have an enormous impact on businesses that sell products online or use Google Adwords. It will require lots of training and an investment in time to truly leverage their capabilities. Like above, these are not new products. They’re enhancements to existing products.

4 — BesChromebooks 2024: Best overall, best battery life, and more.

PCWorld offered their list of “best overall” Chromebooks for 2024: They start with Lenovo Flex 5i for its 2-in-1 design, strong performance, and keyboard which they call “a real joy.” It’s also praised for its very reasonable price of $500 dollars. Acer Chromebook 516 GE made the list as the “best gaming” for its high-performing CPU and 65-hour battery life, priced at $599.99. The Framebook Laptop is their vote for the “best for Chromebook for tinkerers.” For those who like to disassemble and upgrade their device — any part of this laptop can be replaced or upgraded, and you can mix and match ports, according to PCWorld. For the entire list, visit the link. (Source: PCWorld)

Why this is important for your business:

Chromebooks are a very affordable alternative to full-blown laptops. If you’re thinking of buying for your employees or yourself, this list gives some excellent choices.

5 — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo releases strategic vision on AI safety, announces plan for global cooperation among AI safety institutes.

At the AI Seoul Summit on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute’s (AISI) perspective on artificial intelligence and its sweeping benefits on a global scale, “…only if we do the hard work to mitigate the very real dangers of AI that exist…” she emphasized. With that in mind, AISI’s strategy includes advancing the science of artificial intelligence, facilitating safe and responsible innovation, and supporting institutions and communities around AI safety. Regarding safety — an issue at the forefront of many discussions on AI — tests will be done to determine risk-levels of developing AI along with guidelines to moderate known risks. “That is the focus of our work every single day at the U.S. AI Safety Institute,” Secretary Raimondo said. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

Why this is important for your business:

As much as we’d love to believe that our largest technology companies are going to behave responsibly, the reality is that only government regulation can keep AI developments in check. But do our regulators really understand the implications of this stuff as well?

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