After Microsoft introduced its new AI-powered feature, Recall, tech billionaire and X owner Elon Musk compared it to an episode of the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror. Musk reacted to a video where Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained how Recall works in Windows 11, stating that he would "definitely" disable the feature on his devices.

Musk, the world's third richest person, also expressed concerns about the potential for the tech giant to "spy" on users through this AI feature. On X, he shared excerpts from a recent interview with Nadella, where Nadella discusses Recall's photographic memory capability. Musk commented via X, "This is a Black Mirror episode. Definitely turning this 'feature' off."

In its blog, Microsoft explained that it developed the AI-powered feature to address a common frustration: finding previously viewed content on a PC. The company noted, "We must remember what file folder it was stored in, what website it was on, or scroll through hundreds of emails trying to find it. Now with Recall, you can access virtually what you have seen or done on your PC in a way that feels like having photographic memory. Copilot+ PCs organise information like we do – based on relationships and associations unique to each of our individual experiences. This helps you remember things you may have forgotten so you can find what you’re looking for quickly and intuitively by simply using the cues you remember."

However, the feature has sparked privacy concerns. In response, Microsoft clarified that the Recall index remains local and private on the device, and the data is not used to train its AI models.

The company indicated that 'Recall' uses a personal semantic index, which is built and stored entirely on the user's device. They mentioned that snapshots remain local to the user's PC and can be managed by deleting individual snapshots, adjusting or deleting time ranges in Settings, or pausing the feature via the icon in the System Tray on the Taskbar. The company also noted that users can filter out apps and websites from being saved, ensuring they always have control and can trust in their privacy.

"Recall screenshots are only linked to a specific user profile and Recall does not share them with other users, make them available for Microsoft to view, or use them for targeting advertisements. Screenshots are only available to the person whose profile was used to sign in to the device," the company states.

“Recall is optimised for select languages (English, Chinese (simplified), French, German, Japanese, and Spanish),” it adds.

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