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Microsoft’s ‘AI Browser’ Edge Is a Precursor to the ‘AI’-ification of Everything

Microsoft is trying to rebrand its Edge internet browser. No longer should its name remind you that its icon shortcut sits alone and forgotten at the edge of your Windows desktop. Now Microsoft is trying to claim Edge is on the cutting edge of AI. The Redmond tech giant has started calling its native internet explorer “Microsoft Edge: AI Browser.” If you think that’s already a little on the nose, expect more companies to do so in the coming year.

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The moniker appears when searching for Edge on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store (though the “browser” is lowercase on Play Store, for some reason). Microsoft had already called it “your AI-powered browser” after adding Bing AI capabilities to it last year, but now the “AI” is right out front for people downloading the mobile app. The description for the app now talks up the browser’s GPT-4 capabilities with the built-in Copilot chatbot following on from Bing search. The browser also has access to OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 AI image generator model, accessible through the copilot. The Verge first noticed this name change. Microsoft updated the app store pages during the holiday break.

At the same time, Microsoft silently released a full Copilot app on both iOS and Android. It’s essentially the same deal as the ChatGPT app (though it gives you access to GPT-4 for free), offering users access to the Copilot chatbot features and DALL-E image creation. Unlike the Copilot in Bing or on desktop, it doesn’t have the ability to access your usage history any of your other apps, so while you can ask it to draft your dry work emails for you, it’s up to each user to copy and paste the text.

Apple has some (purportedly) stringent privacy demands for apps available on its devices. The App Store description also dedicates a lot of time to describing the privacy features of Edge, noting that there’s “no search history saved” to Bing or users’ Microsoft accounts. However, in the company’s terms of service under its “AI Services” section, Microsoft does note it processes and stores your AI inputs “for purposes of monitoring for and preventing abusive or harmful uses or outputs of the service.” The company has previously claimed in a blog post last year that Bing Enterprise Chat, the business-oriented version of the Bing AI, doesn’t save chat data and that “no one at Microsoft can view your data.”

However, none of this branding appears when you search for Edge in the Microsoft Store. This is likely because all Windows PCs come stock with Edge already, but it also shows how CEO Satya Nadella and company are trying to be the first to try and surf the AI branding tsunami that’s about to crash down on our heads in 2024.

So you already have “E-” devices and “Smart-” tech, but the following big sea change this year will be the explicitly “AI-” branded devices. We have CES just around the corner, and already, we’re seeing devices that use modern deep learning algorithms put the “AI” up front. Take LG’s Signature OLED M4 and G4 TVs, the company just announced today. These TVs boast the “cutting-edge AI processor, “ claiming it helps enhance picture quality through AI-enhanced upscaling. We won’t see these in person for another week, so we don’t know if said processor results in a marginally better display, but that’s not really the point.

It’s only one more step before LG or other TV makers brand their devices “AI TVs.” Next week, we’ll see even more devices promoting AI upfront. We’ll likely see AI make its way inside refrigerators, vacuums, massage chairs, and many more obvious consumer devices. Google and Samsung are in a race to promote their smartphones as the “true AI phone.” Last year, Intel debuted its new mobile chip, all while trying to coin the term “AI PC.”

So don’t be too surprised this year if you read something on the new “AI e-bike” or the redubbed “AI toilet.” Eventually, the word will be as omnipresent as “smart” is now, as it becomes so universal that the term becomes entirely meaningless.

Originally Appeared Here

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