Microsoft could turbocharge Edge browser’s autofill game by using AI to help fill out more complex forms

Microsoft Edge looks like it’s getting a new feature that could help you fill out forms more easily thanks to a boost from GPT-4 (the most up-to-date large language model from the creators of ChatGPT, OpenAI).

Browsers like Edge already have auto-fill assistance features to help fill out fields asking for personal information that’s requested frequently, and this ability could see even more improvement thanks to GPT-4’s technology.

The digital assistant currently on offer from Microsoft, Copilot, is also powered by GPT-4, and has seen some considerable integration into Edge already. In theory, the new GPT-4 driven form-filling feature will help Edge users tackle more complex or unusual questions, rather than typical basic fields (name, address, email etc) that existing auto-fill functionality handles just fine.

However, right now this supercharged auto-fill is a feature hidden within the Edge codebase (it’s called “msEdgeAutofillUseGPTForAISuggestions”), so it’s not yet active even in testing. Windows Latest did attempt to activate the new feature, but with no luck – so it’s yet to be seen how the feature works in action. 

A close up of a woman sitting at a table and typing on a computer (a laptop)

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff)

Bolstering the powers of Edge and Copilot

Of course, as noted, Edge’s current auto-fill feature is sufficient for most form-filling needs, but that won’t help with form fields that require more complex or longer answers. As Windows Latest observes, what you can do, if you wish, is just paste those kind of questions directly into Edge’s Copilot sidebar, and the AI can help you craft an answer that way. Furthermore, you could also experiment with different conversation modes to obtain different answers, perhaps. 

This pepped-up auto-fill could be a useful addition for Edge, and Microsoft is clearly trying to develop both its browser, and the Copilot AI itself, to be more helpful and generally smarter.

That said, it’s hard to say how much Microsoft is prioritizing user satisfaction, as equally, it’s implementing measures which are set to potentially annoy some users. We’re thinking about its recent aggressive advertising strategy and curbing of access to settings if your copy of Windows is unactivated, to pick a couple of examples. Not forgetting the quickly approaching deprecation date for Windows 10 (its most popular operating system).

Copilot was presented as an all-purpose assistant, but the AI still leaves a lot to be desired. However, it’s gradually seeing improvements and integration into existing Microsoft products, and we’ll have to see if the big bet on Copilot pans out as envisioned. 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

A new Windows 11 bug can be tweaked to turbocharge your File Explorer

A newly-discovered Windows bug can be activated to turbo boost your File Explorer in Windows 11. X (formerly Twitter) user @VivyVCCS made the discovery and shared it. 

Multiple users have been complaining that their Windows 11 is sometimes slow to load and that it takes a while to get search results in File explorer. According to Neowin, tests have shown that in some respects, Windows 10 is actually faster than Windows 11 – which is pretty embarrassing for Microsoft.

However, the new bug has been found that affects the navigation bar, but which also causes much faster loading times for folders and files. You can see a demo of this in @VivyVCCS’s post

See more

The effect of the trick

Neowin also reports that this trick can speedsup the search function within File Explorer. MSPoweruser also claims that this F11 full-screen trick can improve the loading performance of your directory and slash down the “Working on it…” time in Windows 11 devices that don’t make use of an XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language) navigation bar.

This increases File Explorer’s responsiveness. Triggering the bug prompts the contents of a folder and thumbnail previews for files to load immediately, and Neowin quotes a Reddit user that compared this altered loading time to that of File Explorer in Windows 7, which was widely praised for its speediness.

This isn’t the only nifty trick that isn’t widely known. You can force Task Manager process updates to pause by holding down Ctrl for some time while the process updates window in Task Manager is open. Doing this can help you end tasks more easily instead of trying to pin them down as they jump around in the Processes window. 

Trying it for yourself

In order to try this out for yourself, you’ll first need to have Task Manager open. You can open it by pressing Ctrl + Windows key + Delete or search for it in the search box in the taskbar.

You can then  trigger this bug by the following procedure: 

1. Open or switch to File Explorer in full-screen mode. You can do this by pressing F11

2. Exit full-screen mode. Press F11 once more. 

Undetermined source of the bug

According to Neowin, this bug (and possibly also the workaround) affects all versions of Windows 11, stretching from the original release all the way up to the most cutting-edge Canary update channel Insider builds. 

It’s not yet established exactly why this trick works, or whether this has any adverse effect on other parts of Windows 11. 

This is a handy tip to make use of, but you’d hope this sort of thing would be incorporated into Windows 11 by default. Windows 11 is supposed to be Microsoft putting out its best modern operating system, so it's not a great look if there are bugs that actually improve its performance. 

You might also like:

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More