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Microsoft's new AI key is the first change to keyboards in 30 years

Microsoft hasn't revealed which computer brands will have the Copilot key, but Dell was the first to show it on their new XPS laptops.
Microsoft's new AI key is the first change to keyboards in 30 years
Posted at 1:49 PM, Jan 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-04 15:50:09-05

Microsoft is introducing a new key on personal Windows computer keyboards to activate its AI Copilot service, the tech giant announced Thursday.

The first devices featuring this new “Copilot key,” which will sit next to the right-hand alt key, will be available this month on computers that run Microsoft's Windows 11, marking the first significant change to keyboards since the 1990s.

"Nearly 30 years ago, we introduced the Windows key to the PC keyboard that enabled people all over the world to interact with Windows,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, in a press release. “We see this as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC.”

The key will activate the built-in Windows Copilot in Windows 11, featuring a ChatGPT-like chatbot for answering queries or performing actions within Windows. 

Microsoft hasn't revealed which computer brands will have the Copilot key, but Dell was the first to show it on their new XPS laptops.

While most now use their phones for AI, this marks the start of a competitive year for tech companies to incorporate AI in their products. But as AI capabilities expand, the U.S. is closely monitoring system updates, recognizing the increasing implications for the safety and security of Americans.

Last year, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring developers of AI systems to share safety test results and essential information with the U.S. government. The order also aims to establish standards, tools, and tests to ensure the safety, security, and trustworthiness of AI systems.

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