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Elon Musk Criticizes Microsoft Feature That Gives PCs 'Photographic Memory'

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Musk may have been referring to the Black Mirror episode "The Entire History of You," where people in a futuristic world have memory implants that record everything and let them replay their memories later.

Microsoft's new "Recall" feature consists of Windows taking screenshots behind-the-scenes of all on-screen activity. Users can then type into the AI-powered search tool at a later time and Recall will analyze those prior screenshots and pull up relevant past moments. This search feature goes one step further than a simple text-based keyword search because the AI tool is able to look for relevant images that could match a text query as well.

For some, this could be helpful if you remember something you want to revisit but can't recall its exact name or have a visual memory. For others, like Musk, the constant recording and capturing of all your computer activity could feel like a bit too much surveillance is taking place just to power a search tool.

"It's all being done locally," Nadella said in the interview when asked about users being potentially creeped out by the new feature. "That's why Recall works as a magical thing because I can trust it, that it is on my computer."

It's also easy to disable the Recall feature on your PC if you don't want it. If your computer has the Recall feature, you'll be able to turn it off by going into your settings and navigating to: Privacy & Security > Recall & Snapshots. From there, you'll be able to turn off the "Save Snapshots" toggle. If you want to keep Recall enabled for most of your activity but don't want it to capture and remember specific websites, it's also possible to add their URLs to an exclusion list from this same settings page.

"We are at the very early stages of understanding how our relationship with AI agents should be shaped by us primarily, because that's the only way to build trust," Nadella added. "It's a personal, maybe even spiritual, decision of how we want to [do that]."

As some X users have pointed out, it's perhaps a bit ironic that Musk believes Microsoft is taking its tech too far. Musk's Neuralink is paving the way for a transhumanist future with its chips that can be connected to the human brain. The chip has encountered issues with some of its threads detaching, and faced allegations of animal cruelty during its early development.

Musk's jab at Microsoft isn't surprising considering the Tesla and X.AI founder is also suing OpenAI. Earlier this year, Musk argued that the AI startup he helped create should be held liable for abandoning its original non-profit mission after Microsoft made a "multibillion-dollar" investment in OpenAI.

By: DocMemory
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