Bing went down, and lots of people discovered alternative search engines are whitelabel versions of Bing

It turns out way fewer people knew search engines like DuckDuckGo are just whitelabel versions of Microsoft Bing than I thought. Today, in most of Europe and Asia, search engines like DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Qwant, other alternative search engines, ChatGPT internet search, and even Windows Copilot were all down. It turns out the culprit was Microsoft Bing; and when Microsoft Bing goes down, everyone who uses it goes down too.

Alternative search engines often try to be vague about their whitelabel status, or even outright hide it altogether. Bing is a popular search engine for whitelabeling, so when Bing goes down, almost the entire house of cards of alternative search engines comes tumbling down as well.

DuckDuckGo, for instance, places a lot of emphasis on using specialised search engines like TripAdvisor and direct sources like Sportradar or Wikipedia, as well as its own crawler and other indexes. However, as we saw today, as soon as Bing goes down, DuckDuckGo just stops working entirely. DDG happens to be my main search engine – a case of less shit than everyone else – so all throughout the day I was met with the error message “There was an error displaying the search results. Please try again.”

I don’t begrudge DDG or other search engines for repackaging Bing search results – building a truly new search engine and running it is incredibly hard, costly, and you’ll always be lagging behind – but I was surprised by how many people didn’t know just how common this practice really was. My Fediverse feeds were filled with people surprised to learn they’d been using Bing all along, just wrapped in a nicer user interface and with some additional features.

Building a Psion/EPOC32 emulator

In which I build WindEmu, an emulator for the Psion Series 5mx (a PDA from 1999 running EPOC – the OS that would become Symbian), over the course of just over a week, without access to the actual hardware. Yet another cursed project.

↫ Ash Wolf

I had never seen this before, even though it’s from 2019. You can load the emulator in your browser and use EPOC32 as if it’s running on the real thing, and I have to say it feel remarkably realistic for a project completed in a little over a week. Of course, it may have been tweaked and improved over the years since 2019, but I don’t know by how much. The last GitHub commit was five years ago, so it seems there really hasn’t been much public work done on it since.

An emulator like this is probably the closest most of us will get to the later devices from Psion, since as with all retrocomputing platforms, the number of working devices is rapidly dwindling, and prices for working examples on sites like eBay have gone through the roof.

Google pays $60 million to tell users to eat glue

Google’s new search feature, AI Overviews, seems to be going awry.

The tool, which gives AI-generated summaries of search results, appeared to instruct a user to put glue on pizza when they searched “cheese not sticking to pizza.”

↫ Jyoti Mann at Business Insider

Google’s “artificial intelligence” is literally just parroting a joke Reddit comment from 11 years ago by a person named fucksmith. Google is paying Reddit 60 million dollars for this privilege.

“AI” is going just great.

Cortile: auto-tiling manager that runs on top of your current window manager for X11

Linux auto tiling manager with hot corner support for Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, Xfwm, KWin, Marco, Muffin, Mutter and other EWMH compliant window managers using the X11 window system. Therefore, this project provides dynamic tiling for XFCE, LXDE, LXQt, KDE and GNOME (Mate, Deepin, Cinnamon, Budgie) based desktop environments.

Simply keep your current window manager and install cortile on top of it. Once enabled, the tiling manager will handle resizing and positioning of existing and new windows.

↫ Cortile GitHub page

I’ve always been mildly interested in trying out a proper tiling window manager – of which are millions – but installing and setting up an entirely new environment always felt a bit like overkill for something I’m just curious about instead of actually intending to use it permanently. This seems like a great solution to this issue.

Microsoft Recall takes constant screenshots of everything you do

About a month ago we talked about the rumours, but now the feature’s officially announced: Microsoft is going to keep track of everything you do on your Windows machine by taking a constant stream of screenshots, and then making said screenshots searchable by using things like text and image recognition. As you might expect, this is a privacy nightmare, and the details and fine print accompanying this new feature do not exactly instill confidence.

First, the feature is a lot dumber than you might expect, as it doesn’t perform any “content moderation”, as Microsoft calls it.

Note that Recall does not perform content moderation. It will not hide information such as passwords or financial account numbers. That data may be in snapshots that are stored on your device, especially when sites do not follow standard internet protocols like cloaking password entry.

↫ Privacy and control over your Recall experience

Well, Microsoft says Recall doesn’t do any content moderation, but that’s actually a flat-out lie. Recall will not show any content with DRM that happens to be on your screen, and private browsing sessions in Chromium-based browsers won’t be shown either. You can also exclude specific applications and websites – filtering websites, however, is only available in Edge. In other words, managing this privacy nightmare is entirely left up to the user… Except for DRM content, of course. The mouse must be pleased, after all.

It also seems Microsoft is enabling this feature by default for at least some business users, as machines managed with Microsoft Intune will have Recall enabled by default, and administrators will need to use Group Policy to disable it. There is no way in hell any company serious about data security will want Recall enabled, so I guess this can be added to the pile of headaches administrators already have to deal with.

My biggest worry is the usual slippery slope this feature represents. How long before governments will legally require a feature like this on all our computers? The more Microsoft and other companies brag about how easy and low-power stuff like this is, the more governments – already on the warpath when it comes to things like encrypted messaging – will want their hands on this.

This is such a bad idea.

Dell continues to base its ThinOS client operating system on FreeBSD

Several Dell products use ThinOS 9, such as the OptiPlex 3000 Thin Client, the OptiPlex All-In-One, and the Latitude series laptops, such as the Latitude 3440 and 5440. ThinOS is a ready-to-deploy solution that aims to improve virtual desktops while offering a secure platform for applications and services. It provides users with a seamless and integrated experience, whether remotely or from the office. It’s a software environment that optimizes virtual workspaces.

The latest version, ThinOS 9, is built on FreeBSD 12 with other 3rd-party open source components and is well-known for its robust security and stability. This aligns with the requirements of modern enterprises that demand high performance and protection in their computing solutions.

↫ Dell case study

While Dell and FreeBSD call this a ‘case study’ but while I see plenty of case, I see little study – it’s mostly just a load of marketing speak. That being said, there’s still interesting news in here about the future of ThinOS. The next release of ThinOS, version 10, will make the jump from FreeBSD 12 to the current FreeBSD 14 release, drastically improving hardware support in the process, while also bringing in the various other benefits of the latest FreeBSD release.

It will also improve ThinOS’ compatibility with Linux applications, a feature of FreeBSD, which is something Dell is keen to highlight. It should come as no surprise that ThinOS 10 will also improve its security features, probably also mostly coming along for the ride from FreeBSD 14.

Dell also mentions that it intends to continue using FreeBSD as the base for ThinOS, which could’ve easily gone differently as part of Dell’s acquisition of Wyze, where ThinOS originally comes from. This is good news for FreeBSD, but at the same time, when I look at thin clients on Dell’s website, ThinOS is just one of the options, and every photo shows the devices running Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021. I genuinely wonder what the spread is between buyers opting for ThinOS, Windows, and Linux.

Thin clients have always fascinated me, so perhaps I should go onto eBay, figure out which Dell thin clients are still supported by the latest ThinOS release, buy one, and set up a simple thin client environment in my home – using ThinOS, of course.

Microsoft adds Dev Drive block cloning to Windows

At the heart of developer productivity lies improving performance for developer workloads on Windows. Last year at Build, we announced Dev Drive a new storage volume tailor-made for developers and supercharged for performance and security. Since then, we have continued to invest further in Windows performance improvements for developer workloads.  

With the release of Windows 11 24H2, workflows will get even faster when developing on a Dev Drive. Windows copy engine now has Filesystem Block Cloning, resulting in nearly instantaneous copy actions and drastically improving performance, especially in developer scenarios that copy large files.

↫ Pavan Davuluri on the Windows blog

Sounds like a near and meaningful improvement.

How to make Google’s new “Web” search option the default in your browser

Last week, Google unveiled a new little feature in Google Search, called “Web”. Residing alongside the various other options like “All”, “Images”, “Video”, and so on, its goal is to effectively strip Google Search results from everything we generally don’t like, and just present a list of actual links to actual websites. It turns out it’s quite simple to set this as your default search “engine” in your browser, so somebody made a website to make that process a little easier.

On May 15th Google released a new “Web” filter that removes “AI Overview” and other clutter, leaving only traditional web results. Here is how you can set “Google Web” as your default search engine.

↫ TenBlueLinks.org

It’s important to note that this is not some separate search engine, and that no data is flowing any differently than when using regular Google. All this does is append the parameter UDM=14 to the URL, which loads the option “Web”.

noTunes: a macOS application to prevent iTunes or Apple Music from launching

noTunes is a macOS application that will prevent iTunes or Apple Music from launching.

Simply launch the noTunes app and iTunes/Music will no longer be able to launch. For example, when bluetooth headphones reconnect.

You can toggle the apps functionality via the menu bar icon with a simple left click.

↫ noTunes GitHub page

Apparently, this is such a common complaint that an application had to be made just to gain some semblance of control over what some people still refer to as “their” computer. For both macOS and Windows, there’s a giant industry – you can’t really call it a cottage industry anymore at this point – of tools, applications, and fixes just to deal with or avoid all the user-hostile, anti-choice garbage Apple and Microsoft shove into their respective operating systems.

As a Linux user – and recent OpenBSD convert – I find this absolutely wild. Following any Apple podcast, or reading any Windows website, makes it so clear just how many hoops these people have to jump through and how many weirdly-shaped holes they have to contort into just to be able to gain some vague semblance of ownership of their own hardware. I’m not judging – we all have areas in our lives where we do this, they just differ from person to person – but it’s still confronting to see it so clearly, all the time.

Scarlett Johansson says she is ‘shocked, angered’ over new ChatGPT voice

Lawyers for Scarlett Johansson are demanding that OpenAI disclose how it developed an AI personal assistant voice that the actress says sounds uncannily similar to her own.

Johansson’s legal team has sent OpenAI two letters asking the company to detail the process by which it developed a voice the tech company dubbed “Sky,” Johansson’s publicist told NPR in a revelation that has not been previously reported.

↫ Bobby Allyn at NPR

This story highlights just how much disdain techbros have for the work of creative people. Here’s the timeline:

  1. Nine months ago, Sam Altman approached Scarlett Johansson to ask her if OpenAI could use her voice for a voice assistant features. Johansson declined.
  2. Two days before the launch of the new voice assistant feature, Altman contacted Johansson’s agent again, asking her to reconsider.
  3. Before Johansson or her agent could reply, OpenAI launched the voice assistant, with a voice that sounds remarkably like Johansson’s. Altman even tweeted “Her”, the name of the film in which Johansson portrays an AI.
  4. After everyone started pointing this out, Johansson’s lawyers demanded OpenAI take the new voice down. They complied.

Techbros like Sam Altman deeply despise and undervalue the work of creatives, believing human creativity to be merely an equation to be solved, definable by an algorithm. To people like him, creative work has no value, and as such, is up for grabs to be taken and cut up for his algorithms to spit out as “new” works. This story highlights this perfectly.

The sleaze runs deep with Altman and OpenAI.

Xeon Phi support removed in GCC 15 compiler

Last week I wrote about Intel aiming to remove Xeon Phi support in GCC 15 with the products being end-of-life and deprecated in GCC 14. While some openly wondered whether the open-source community would allow it given the Xeon Phi accelerators were available to buy just a few years ago and at some very low prices going back years so some potentially finding use still out of them especially during this AI boom (and still readily available to buy used for around ~$50 USD), today the Intel Xeon Phi support was indeed removed.

↫ Michael Larabel

Xeon Phi PCIe cards are incredibly cheap on eBay, and every now and then my mouse hovers over the buy button – but I always realise just in time that the cards have become quite difficult to use, since support for them, already sparse to begin with, is only getting worse by the day. Support for them was already removed in Linux 5.10, and now GCC is pulling he plug too, so the only option is to keep using old kernels, or pass the card on to a VM running an older Linux kernel version, which is a lot of headache for what is essentially a weird toy for nerds at this point.

GCC 15 will also, sadly, remove support for Itanium, which, as I’ve said before, is a huge disgrace and a grave mistake. Itanium is the future, and will stomp all over crappy architectures like x86 and ARM. With this deprecation, GCC relegates itself to the dustbin of history.

Modernizing the AntennaPod code structure

AntennaPod has been around for a long time – the first bit of code was published in 2011. Since then, the app has grown massively and had several main developers. The beauty of open-source is that so many people can contribute and make a great app together. But sometimes having many people work on a project can lead to different ways of thinking about how to structure the project. Because of this, AntennaPod gradually grew to have a number of weird code constructs. Our latest release, version 3.4, fixes this.

↫ ByteHamster

The AntennaPod team had an incredible task ahead of itself, and while it took them a few years, they pulled it off. The code structure graphs from before and after the code restructuring illustrate better than words ever could what they achieved. Thy changed 10000 lines of source code in 62 pull requests for this restructuring alone, while still adding new major features in the meantime. Pretty incredible.

Microsoft gives Windows new compiler, kernel, scheduler, and x86 translation layer on ARM

Microsoft’s developer conference Build is taking place this week, so there’s been some major Windows news and announcements, and for once – we’re not talking about more ads in your operating system, or even “AI” shoehorned into, I don’t know, Phone Dialer or Windows Fax and Scan.

First and foremost, Windows is going to get a new compiler, kernel, and scheduler, but despite such massive low-level changes, the marketing version number won’t jump from 11 to 12. Of course, we all know the marketing version number has nothing to do with the actual Windows NT version number, which currently sits at 10. The Windows NT version number, meanwhile, is actually also meaningless, since it magically jumps around left and right too, going from 6.2 to 10 between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, where it has stayed ever since.

“We really focused on modernizing this update of Windows 11,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Windows and Devices Pavan Davuluri at a technical briefing on Microsoft’s campus in mid-April. “We engineered this update of Windows 11 with a real focus on AI inference and taking advantage of the Arm64 instruction set at every layer of the operating system stack. For us, what this meant really was building a new compiler in Windows. We built a new kernel in Windows on top of that compiler. We now have new schedulers in the operating system that take advantage of these new SoC architecture.”

↫ Andrew Cunningham at Ars Technica

The focus is clearly on ARM here, which coincides with the launch of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite, a new SoC that finally seems to truly make ARM laptops that aren’t from Apple a real, competitive thing – so much so that Qualcomm is even breaking with tradition and taking Linux support very seriously for this new chip.

Microsoft also unveiled the name for its new x86 translation layer for Windows on ARM: Prism. Microsoft told Ars Technica that Prism is as fast as Apple’s Rosetta 2, which is interesting because Apple’s M series chips contain special silicon to speed up the translation process, making me wonder if Qualcomm has done the same, or is just brute-forcing it.

Performance like this means the apps customers love work great. Microsoft has partnered closely with developers across the globe to optimize their applications for this processor. In addition, the powerful new Prism emulation engine delivers a 2x performance boost compared to Surface Pro 9 with 5G. On the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, powered by Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors, experiences like Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft 365 and Chrome will feel snappy, quick and responsive.

↫ Pete Kyriacou on the Windows blog

The new Windows on ARM machines using the Snapdragon X Elite will be marketed under the new Copilot+ brand name, which brings with it some requirements, the biggest of which is the neural processing unit: it must be capable of at least 40 trillion operations per second. At the time of writing, the only Windows-capable processor that can boast such numbers is, of course, the new Snapdragon X Elite. AMD and Intel need not apply. They simply cannot match this.

Microsoft tied a bow on all this stuff by unveiling the new Surface Pro and new Surface Laptop, both powered by the new Snapdragon SoCs. You can preorder them today, but they won’t be available until 18 June.

KDE Plasma 6 comes to OpenBSD

Last year marked a significant milestone for both myself and the OpenBSD desktop community, as we successfully ported KDE Plasma 5 and all dependencies to OpenBSD. With the release of OpenBSD 7.5 on April 5, 2024, KDE Plasma in version 5.27.10 has become a part of our lovely operating system. This success is the result of years of development work and commitment to achieving this goal.

KDE launched version 6 of its Plasma desktop environment on February 28, 2024, bringing numerous updates and features as well as the major switch to Qt6. I am immensely proud that the OpenBSD team has managed to prepare for this major update so swiftly. All necessary components have been committed to our CVS tree, and the packages will soon be available.

↫ Rafael Sadowski

Excellent news for OpenBSD users who don’t wish to be using GNOME, Xfce, or one of the smaller build-it-yourself desktop environments. My dual-Xeon workstation, which I switched over from Fedora KDE to OpenBSD, runs Xfce, because I feel a smaller desktop environment is a more natural fit for OpenBSD, but I’m very happy to know that I have KDE to fall back on in case Xfce turns out not to be a good fit for me in the long term.

I’ll give the OpenBSD developers an other experts in that community some more time to iron out any wrinkles, and then I’ll probably give it a go to see just how well KDE will be integrated with the OpenBSD base system.

Windows Server 2025 to ship with DTrace by default

Windows Server 2025 comes equipped with dtrace as a native tool. DTrace is a command-line utility that enables users to monitor and troubleshoot their system’s performance in real-time. DTrace allows users to dynamically instrument both the kernel and user-space code without any need to modify the code itself. This versatile tool supports a range of data collection and analysis techniques, such as aggregations, histograms, and tracing of user-level events. To learn more, see DTrace for command line help and DTrace on Windows for additional capabilities.

↫ What’s new in Windows Server 2025

DTrace was originally developed by Sun as part of Solaris, but eventually made its way to other operating systems as Sun collapsed in on itself and Oracle gave it the final push. DTrace is available for the various surviving Solars-based operating systems, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, macOS, and QNX, and Microsoft ported DTrace from FreeBSD to Windows back in 2018. With Windows Server 2025, DTrace will be shipped out of the box.

Troubling iOS 17.5 bug reportedly resurfacing old deleted photos

iOS 17.5 seems to be experiencing a rather nasty bug that raises some very, very concerning questions about what Apple thinks “delete” really means.

After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other users have also chimed in with similar stories. “Same here,” said one Redditor. “I have four pics from 2010 that keep reappearing as the latest pics uploaded to iCloud. I have deleted them repeatedly.”

“Same thing happened to me,” replied another user. “Six photos from different times, all I have deleted. Some I had deleted in 2023.” More reports have been trickling in overnight. One said: “I had a random photo from a concert taken on my Canon camera reappear in my phone library, and it showed up as if it was added today.”

↫ Tim Hardwick at MacRumors

A report a few days later says that even on devices that have been wiped and sold, photos seem to be reappearing. This is even scarier than photos reappearing on devices you’re still using today – just think of all the iOS devices you’ve had and sold that might still be in use today. Users all over could be looking at old photos you took that you thought weren’t only deleted, but also wiped when you sold the devices in question.

Apple has not said anything yet, but it further illustrates just how untrustworthy companies like Apple really are. Even taking into account it might take some time (minutes? An hour?) for a delete request to propagate through iCloud’s server network, there’s obviously no way photos that were supposedly deleted years ago are resurfacing now – especially when entire device wipes are involved, and any new user isn’t even logged into the same iCloud account.

I hope for everyone involved – the users, that is, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Apple – that this isn’t very widespread, because the last thing any of us needs is old nude photos reappearing on random people’s devices.

What a mess.

Company behind Amiga OS 4 seems to be either going or is in fact bankrupt

So, I won’t be wasting too many words on this – partially because I’m not into cheap soap operas, and partially because there’s no way to know what’s going on with this nonsense without dedicating a year’s worth of detailed study into the subject. So it seems that the company Hyperion, which develops and owns the rights to Amiga OS 4 and Amiga OS 3.2 has gone into bankruptcy proceedings. The main shareholder of Hyperion, someone named Ben Hermans, has apparently set up several shell companies (or something?), and they might now own the rights to the two variants of Amiga OS, or they might not? And those shell companies have also gone into bankruptcy proceedings?

Hyperion has been managed by a receiver since last week (Update)
“Ben Hermans BV” (hereinafter: BHBV) is a private company with limited liability owned by Ben Hermans, which has held 97% of the shares in Hyperion since 2019 and acts as a ‘director’ of Hyperion on paper. In March, bankruptcy proceedings were initiated against BHBV for the second time. In the same month, Ben Hermans had already initiated the founding of a new company with the same name.

As BHBV has not published any statutory annual reports since 2021, it is currently unclear whether the company still holds the majority of shares in Hyperion. Ben Hermans has not responded to an inquiry from amiga-news.de; the appointed liquidator Charlotte Piers tells us she’ll get back to us in the next few days with “a more detailed response”.

↫ Amiga-news.de

I stopped trying to keep track of this stuff years and years ago, but bits and bobs I’ve picked up since is that there’s been countless lawsuits flying back and forth, questions of rights ownership, and all sorts of other drama you can only keep track of by following the various different Amiga websites and forums in great detail on a daily basis.

As is Amiga tradition.

Amiga OS 4 is an interesting operating system that I spent some fun time with for an OSNews review way back in 2009, but at this point, if you’re truly hooked on the Amiga OS way of doing things, just stick to AROS. There’s technically also MorphOS, which is pretty great actually, but unless they sort out their own mess of being stuck to dying PowerPC Macs and move to x86 or ARM, they’re basically on borrowed time, too.

Microsoft’s official Windows performance boost app feels your PC is broken if you snub Bing

I didn’t know this was a thing, but apparently Microsoft offers a Windows tune-up application in the vein of things like CCleaner and similar tools. One of the things it does is protect users from applications that try and change default settings, and it seems the application takes this matter very seriously.

Microsoft may be taking a bit of liberty with that last bit. It looks like the PC Manager feels your PC is broken and needs repair if you changed your default search engine from Bing.

↫ Sayan Sen at Neowin

Setting aside just how defeatist it feels that the creator of Windows needs to make an application to keep Windows from falling over, I find it almost endearing just how hard Microsoft is trying to get users to choose Bing.

If you’ve ever seen the Swedish film Fucking Åmål, it’s also very likely you remember the gut-wrenching, maximally cringe-inducing birthday party for main character Agnes where nobody shows up, while her mother, oblivious to just how deeply disliked Agnes is by her classmates, tries desperately to assure her daughter that people will show up. Director Lukas Moodysson takes no prisoners and drags out the scene to really maximise just how uncomfortably sad the whole thing is.

It’s incredibly hard to watch.

Well, Agnes is Bing, Microsoft is its mother, and nobody shows up to Bing’s birthday party either.

Apple geofences third-party browser engine work for EU devices

Apple’s grudging accommodation of European law – allowing third-party browser engines on its mobile devices – apparently comes with a restriction that makes it difficult to develop and support third-party browser engines for the region.

The Register has learned from those involved in the browser trade that Apple has limited the development and testing of third-party browser engines to devices physically located in the EU. That requirement adds an additional barrier to anyone planning to develop and support a browser with an alternative engine in the EU.

↫ Thomas Claburn at The Register

If any normal person like you and I showed the same kind of blatant disregard for the law and authorities like Apple does in the EU, we’d be ruined by fines and possibly end up in jail. My only hope is that the European Commission goes through with its threats of massive fines of up to 10 or even 20 percent of worldwide turnover.

Slack users horrified to discover messages used for “AI” training

After launching Slack AI in February, Slack appears to be digging its heels in, defending its vague policy that by default sucks up customers’ data—including messages, content, and files—to train Slack’s global AI models.

↫ Ashley Belanger at Ars Technica

I’ve never used Slack and don’t intend to ever start, but the outcry about this reached far beyond Slack and its own communities. It’s been all over various forums and social media, and I’m glad Ars dove into it to collect all the various conflicting statements, policies, and blog posts Slack has made about their “Ai” policies. However, even after reading Ars’ article and the various articles about this at other outlets, I still have no idea what, exactly, Slack is or is not using to train its “AI” models.

I know a lot of people here think I am by definition against all forms of what companies are currently calling “AI”, but this is really not the case. I think there are countless areas where these technologies can make meaningful contributions, and a great example I encountered recently is the 4X strategy game Stellaris, one of my favourite games. The game recently got a big update called The Machine Age, which focuses on changing and improving the gameplay when you opt to play as cybernetically enhanced or outright robotic races.

As per Steam’s new rules regarding the use of AI in games, the Steam page included the following clarification about the use of “AI”:

We employ generative AI technologies during the creation of some assets. Typically this involves the ideation of content and visual reference material. These elements represent a minor component of the overall development. AI has been used to generate voices for an AI antagonist and a player advisor.

↫ The Machine Age Steam page

The game’s director explained that during the very early ideation phase, when someone like him, who isn’t a creative person, gets an idea, they might generate a piece of “AI” art and put it up on an ideation wall with tons of other assets just to get the point across, after which several rounds of artists and developers mould and shape some of those ideas into a final product. None of the early “AI” content makes it in the game. Similarly, while the game includes the voice for an AI antagonist and player advisor, the voice actors whose work was willingly used to generate the lines in the game are receiving royalties for each of those lines.

I have no issues whatsoever with this, because here it’s clear everyone involved is doing so in an informed manner and entirely willingly. Everything is above board, consent is freely given, and everybody knows what’s going on. This is a great example of ethical “AI” use; tools to help people make a product, easier – without stealing other people’s work or violating various licenses in the process.

What Slack is doing here – and what Copilot, OpenAI, and the various other tools do – is the exact opposite of this. Consent is only sought when the parties involved are big and powerful enough to cause problems, and even though they claim “AI” is not ripping anyone off, they also claim “AI” can’t work without taking other people’s work. Instead of being open and transparent about what they do, they hide themselves behind magical algorithms and shroud the origins of their “AI” training data in mystery.

If you’re using Slack – and odds are you do – I would strongly consider urging your boss to opt your organisation out of Slack’s “AI” data theft operation. You have no idea how much private information and corporate data is being exposed by these Salesforce clowns.