Microsoft’s New Recall AI Feature Can Remember Everything You Ever Do on Your PC

If you’re worried about any lapses in your memory, you may want to think about buying a Windows PC.

Microsoft just introduced a new feature to its repertoire of AI tools called Recall. The idea is pretty straightforward. Recall remembers everything you do on your device and uses an AI-assisted search to retrieve information about your usage on-demand.

According to Microsoft, the scope of things Recall can well, recall, is expansive. Think browsing history, conversations, activity inside apps, meetings, and basically anything else you do on your computer.

Second Brain

If you’re thinking this sounds a lot like a preexisting Windows 10 feature, Timeline, which came out in 2018, you’re pretty much right on the money. The Timeline feature was discontinued a couple of years back, however, and while I haven’t had a chance to use Recall for myself yet, I’m going to assume it’s much more sophisticated than Timeline.

In fact, Recall is advanced enough to require its own hardware. Currently, if you want to use Recall on Windows 11 you’ll have to buy one of the company’s “Copilot Plus” PCs, which come with the necessary AI hardware (the company’s Neural Processing Unit) to actually make the feature work.

Like Copilot, Recall makes Surface Laptops even more AI-centric.

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In addition to strengthening Microsoft’s already growing array of AI-powered features for its also-growing ecosystem of AI-powered Surface laptopstools like Recall also evoke one of the main uses of next-gen AI that I’ve seen cropping up over the past few months — second brains.

While Recall isn’t quite as intrusive as AI pendants like the ones made by Limitlesswhich record things that you do out in the real world, the sentiment is kind of the same. With AI you’ll never actually forget bits of information ever again.

No Cloud Needed

And yes, logging every single thing you ever do on your computer is indeed a privacy nightmare, which is why Microsoft says everything Recall does will run locally on your device as opposed to being sent to the cloud.

There’s still the risk of someone cracking open your laptop in person and using Recall to steal your private information, but I’d say the chances of that happening are much slimmer than a hacker breaking in through the cloud. Plus, if you choose, you can not log into certain apps or activities if you don’t want them recorded by Recall.

Recall might not be as flashy or upfront as Copilot, which similarly is an AI assistant meant to launch and access parts of your Windows laptop, but it’s yet another example of Microsoft leaning into AI as the future of PCs. Now, we just wait to see if anybody actually wants a feature like Recall or if the ick factor is too high.

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