As Microsoft uses its influence in the computer industry to reimagine the next generation of keyboards, pressing a button will be one way to summon an artificial intelligence agent.
Starting this month, some new computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system will come equipped with a special “Copilot key” that launches the software giant’s AI chatbot.
Letting third-party computer manufacturers add an AI button to laptops is Microsoft’s latest move to leverage its close partnership with ChatGPT maker OpenAI and position itself as a gateway for applications of generative AI technology. It’s movement.
Although most people now connect to the internet and AI applications on phones rather than computers, it’s a symbolic kickoff to a year that promises to be more competitive as tech companies compete against each other with AI applications. All ethical and legal implications have yet to be resolved. Last month, the New York Times sued both OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging that tools such as ChatGPT and Copilot (formerly known as Bing Chat) were built to infringe on copyrighted news articles.
This keyboard redesign is the biggest change to PC keyboards since Microsoft introduced the special Windows key in the 1990s. Although Microsoft’s four-square logo design has evolved, this key has been featured on Windows-oriented keyboards for nearly 30 years.
The latest AI button has a ribbon-like Copilot logo and is located near the space bar. On some computers it replaces the right “CTRL” key, on others it replaces the Menu key.
Microsoft isn’t the only company with customized keys. Apple pioneered this concept in his 1980s with a “Command” key marked with a looped square design (at one time also displaying his Apple logo). Google includes a search button on Chromebooks, and he first experimented with AI-specific keys to launch the voice assistant on the now-discontinued Pixelbook.
However, Microsoft has greater control over the PC market through licensing agreements with third-party manufacturers such as Lenovo, Dell, and HP. About 82% of all desktop computers, laptops and workstations run Windows, compared to 9% for Apple’s internal operating system and just over 6% for Google, according to market research firm IDC.
Microsoft hasn’t yet said which computer manufacturers will include the Copilot button beyond its own premium Surface devices. Some companies plan to unveil new models at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas next week, the paper said.