Microsoft’s Dan Johnson On How Windows 11 Is Integrating AI-Powered Search

By Alice Duthie
on 18 March 2023

Microsoft has recently announced major updates to Windows 11 that meet the new age of AI, reinventing and improving the way people get things done on their PCs.

New features in this update include bringing the new AI-powered Bing to the taskbar, a preview of Phone Link for iOS, and a host of other improvements across touch, accessibility, sustainability and more. 

Having the AI-powered Bing search engine accessible from the taskbar will make it easier than ever to conveniently find comprehensive answers to search queries. This innovative update comes at a time when natural language processing software like ChatGPT has everyone talking.

Dan Johnson, Windows Category Lead, ANZ, Microsoft explained the new changes to Women Love Tech.

Dan Johnson, Windows Category Lead, ANZ, Microsoft

What are the new changes being introduced?

Microsoft introduced new changes to elevate user experience on Windows 11, including integrating the new AI-powered Bing directly into the taskbar.

A capability that our customers have been needing and asking for is also being rolled out through the Phone Link for iOS capability, enabling Windows 11 software for PCs to talk to iPhones in order to display notifications, send messages, and make and receive calls.

We also introduced other features across touch, accessibility, and sustainability, amongst others, to make people’s lives easier. This includes allowing users to utilise Windows Studio Effects with advanced AI for broadcasting purposes, implementing braille display support, enhancing voice access in key apps, and highlighting new energy recommendations for users’ power and battery.

windows 11
Phone Link for iOS capability

How do they benefit us?

The integration of the built-in AI-powered Bing into the taskbar, empowers users to find the answers they’ve been looking for and harness the world’s information, faster than ever before, and communicate in other languages seamlessly. Soon, hundreds of millions of Windows 11 users can get access to this new technology to search, chat, answer questions and generate content right from their Windows taskbar.

In terms of the other features, the Windows Studio Effects with advanced AI will help users broadcast their best self in videos, implement braille display support, and enhance voice access in key apps to improve user accessibility to the operating system, and new energy recommendations for power and battery will help users take action and control of their environmental impact.

windows 11
Windows Studio Effects

What is the future for AI? How do we stop unconscious bias for AI and what is Microsoft doing in that regard?

At Microsoft, we believe AI is the defining technology of our time. We have made significant investments in the space and believe in the expansive capabilities AI can provide – helping everyone from scientists and salespeople to farmers, software developers, and security practitioners – if used responsibly.

Bias in AI will happen unless it’s built from the start with inclusion in mind. The most critical step in creating inclusive AI is to recognise where and how bias infects the system. We believe that commitment to the principles of fairness, reliability and safety, privacy and security, and inclusiveness, supported by an underlying foundation of transparency and accountability—provide a solid framework for building trust and should guide the development of AI.

We are proactively focused on the risks created by data bias and are conducting research and developing tools to make detecting and correcting data bias more feasible in complex AI systems. To do so, we’ve introduced tools including the InterpretML toolkit, enabling developers and data scientists to understand model behaviour and provide model explanations to business stakeholders and customers; and Fairlearn, which allows developers and data scientists to leverage specialised algorithms to ensure fairer outcomes for everyone.

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