Windows Copilot will soon allow you to edit photos, shop instantly, and more

Ever since its reveal and launch, Microsoft Copilot has been getting a steady stream of features and an upcoming update will add even more. The latest update, detailed in the official Windows blog, will arrive in late March 2024 and will introduce tons of new skills and tools. 

For instance, you'll be able to type commands to activate certain PC features. Simply type something like “enable battery saver” or “turn off battery saver” and Copilot will take the appropriate action and confirm its completion.

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screenshot of Windows Copilot features

(Image credit: Microsoft)
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screenshot of Windows Copilot features

(Image credit: Microsoft)
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screenshot of Windows Copilot features

(Image credit: Microsoft)

There’s also a new Generative Erase feature in the Photos app that allows you to select and remove unwanted objects or imperfections from your images. Copilot will also receive new accessibility features including Voice Shortcuts, which lets you create custom commands using just a single phrase. You can also now use voice commands on a multi-display setup to better navigate between displays or move files and apps.

New plugins are also coming to Copilot, allowing easy access to various applications in an instant. Shopify, Klarna and Kayak will be added in March, adding to the Copilot features offered via OpenTable and Instacart.

Windows Copliot is finally getting there…

Some previous updates to Windows Copilot have given the tool some serious utility. For instance, you can now use it to generate and edit AI images using text-to-image prompts, powered by Dall-E. An update to this tool, Designer, takes it even further by letting you make tweaks to generated content like highlighting certain aspects, blurring the background, or adding a unique filter.

There was also another very useful plugin added to Copilot recently, Power Automate. It lets users automate repetitive and tedious tasks like creating and manipulating entries in Excel, managing PDFs, and other file management.

Slowly Windows Copilot is getting more and more useful, with tons of new features and improvements that make it worth having around. Maybe it will even make Windows 11 a worthwhile upgrade for those who still haven’t taken the plunge yet and are still looking at Windows 10.

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Amazon tests a new AI assistant to answer your questions while you shop

Amazon is reportedly testing a new AI assistant on its mobile app that can answer customer questions about specific products.

This feature appears to have been initially discovered by e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. According to the firm, the AI can be found under the “Looking for specific info?” section on product pages. The LLM (large language model) powering the feature relies on listing details provided by companies and user reviews to generate responses to inquiries. For example, you can ask if a particular workout shirt is good for running or if it fits well on a tall person. Marketplace Pulse states its main purpose is to save people the trouble of having to read individual reviews by summarizing all the information present into a succinct block of text. 

Amazon AI assistant

(Image credit: Marketplace Pulse/Amazon)

Because it’s in the early stages, the AI assistant is limited in what it can do. You can’t command it to compare two items or “find alternatives.” Although it can’t recommend specific products, Amazon’s chatbot can make soft suggestions. In another example, MarketPlace Pulse asked the app assistant if e-bikes are good for romantic dates. The AI said “not really” and recommended buying a tandem bike instead.

Quirks and unintended features

There are several quirks affecting the chatbot. Unsurprisingly, it’s “prone [to] hallucinating wrong information” about an item. MarketPlace Pulse even claims it outright refused to “answer basic questions”. What’s more, the assistant is capable of answering prompts that apparently “Amazon didn’t build it for.” 

It can generate Python code, write jokes about a product, or answer in languages besides English. CNBC had access to the test and was reportedly successful in describing items “in the style of Yoda from Star Wars.” Despite these abilities, you can’t hold a regular conversation with the AI like you could with ChatGPT.

Amazon's AI assistant quirks

(Image credit: Marketplace Pulse/Amazon)

It’s unknown how widespread the test is. We didn't have access on our phone. Amazon hasn’t said anything official so far, but we reached out to the platform asking for more information about the AI. We also asked Marketplace Pulse if it knows whether the assistant is available to a lot of people or just a select group. This story will be updated at a later time.

Alexa upgrade

Amazon’s AI ambitions don’t stop there as a report from Business Insider reveals the tech giant is currently working on a revamped and paid version of Alexa. The upgrade is called Alexa Plus, which is said to offer a “more conversational and personalized” experience akin to ChatGPT.

The team is aiming to launch Alexa Plus on June 30, according to the report. Unfortunately, development is not going smoothly. A source with intimate knowledge told Business Insider the revamp is “falling short of expectations”. The AI is reportedly hallucinating false information as the team is having a hard time getting the tech to work properly. The project may also be causing a lot of internal fighting with some arguing people are not going to want to pay for another Amazon service.

At a glance, it seems Alexa Plus might miss the June 30 deadline.

If you want your own digital sidekick, check out TechRadar's list of the best AI-powered virtual assistants.

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Yes, you can finally use the Wii Shop music on your web browser

If you're still longing for the days of the Nintendo Wii's Shop Channel, or you have the iconic tune stored in your music app as you walk through a shopping mall, you can experience the same track and others in your web browser thanks to a web extension.

Found on GitHub and compatible with the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers, the extension plays one of the iconic tracks whenever you're on a shopping site such as Amazon.

The extension, which adds a little shopping bag icon in the address bar, doesn't stop with Wii shop music – themes from Wii Home, Wii U eShop, DSi Shop, and 3DS eShop can all be selected instead.

However, Nintendo will most likely be looking to take this down soon, as the music is the property of the company. If you want these music tracks to play as you browse Amazon, be quick.

How to get the best out of the extension

Even though the developer states that the extension will start playing music when you're on a shopping website, you can still enable a track to play on virtually any website.

Go to the extension's shopping bag icon, and after a few seconds, the selected track will play as you're browsing Facebook or solving the latest Wordle puzzle.

Wii Shop extension in Google Chrome

(Image credit: Future)

We should mention that the extension works in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, as they run from certain web engines that help to display websites and play media content.

For Chrome it's Blink, while Firefox runs in a Gecko web engine.

But other browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Opera run on the same engine as Google Chrome, which means the Wii Shop extension will be able to work on these web browsers, even if its' not officially supported by the developer.

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