Ahh, the internet: A wonderful place where even browsing seemingly inoffensive websites can result in absurd or obscene advertisements for products and services that are most likely a scam being shoved down your throat. Don't you just love our lives?
Well, it seems Microsoft doesn't mind too much, as it was confirmed that the official launch for the company's artificial intelligence, Copilot, will be built with third-party advertisements (via ghacks). If you're not already worried, you might want to reconsider.
Why should we trust Windows Copilot?
Ads are obnoxious, but some might wonder what's the big deal with Copilot implementing third-party ads? Google and Bing do the same thing after all. However, there have been numerous instances where the ads I've been shown on Google have bewildered or offended me. A great video from last year by Hank Green on YouTube highlights these issues.
If you imagine a world where only trusted manufacturers and services are advertised to users, it might not be too bad. But that's a far off dream, and no company has been successfully capable of avoiding scams, misleading business tactics, offensive content, or potential malware surfacing all around the internet. Will Copilot be capable of telling the difference?
Beyond just that, relying on a corporate-funded AI to determine what products the user is shown when asking it specific questions sounds like a dystopian building block. If I ask my Copilot companion for gaming laptop recommendations, why should Microsoft have the power to decide what's best for me? Even if it's taking recommendations from trusted websites that review those products, the AI is still acting as an aggregate.
This is the company that begs and pleads users to give the abysmal Microsoft Edge browser another chance when trying to download Google Chrome. Can we truly trust that same company to advertise products to us?
I'm not arguing that other AI-fueled platforms are any better. In fact, each one is worthy of intense scrutiny, but I am absolutely getting rid of Copilot as soon as it appears on my Windows device.
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Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.