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Week in tech: Microsoft introduces AI key on keyboards

Soon, some new PCs running on the Windows 11 operating system will have a special ‘Copilot key’ to launch Microsoft's artificial intelligence chatbot

Microsoft's new Copilot key is seen on a Dell computer, next to the alt key, in this undated photo provided by AxiCom.
Microsoft's new Copilot key is seen on a Dell computer, next to the alt key, in this undated photo provided by AxiCom. (AP)

Here’s a look at what made news in the world of science and technology this week.

Microsoft adds new AI key to keyboards

Earlier this week, Microsoft unveiled a dedicated AI (artificial intelligence) key on keyboards that will launch its AI chatbot CoPilot on personal computers. The keyboard redesign will be Microsoft's biggest change to PC keyboards since it introduced a special Windows key in the 1990s, a report in the Associated Press said. Starting this month, some new PCs that run Windows 11 will have a special “Copilot key” that launches the chatbot, the report said, adding: “Dell Technologies on Thursday was the first to unveil a Copilot key on its newest XPS laptops... Microsoft hasn't yet said which other computer-makers are installing the Copilot button beyond Microsoft's own in-house line of premium Surface devices. It said some of the companies are expected to unveil their new models at next week's CES gadget show in Las Vegas.” Microsoft has, of course, invested heavily in AI in recent years through its partnership with ChatGPT maker OpenAI.

CES 2024: AI to dominate the show?

The first big tech show of the year starts in Las Vegas on 9 January, but there are some top themes that will highlight the 2024 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). AI will be front and center at CES 2024, an official press release said, with applications that can improve healthcare, sustainability, productivity, accessibility and more. The likes of Garmin, Intel, Qualcomm and Walmart are some of the exhibitors to watch out for in this department. LG’s smart home AI agent can do it all is an early example of things to come. 

Mobility and sustainability will also be huge this year. Self-driving and electric vehicles and personal mobility will be a theme that could be seen in launches and showcases from the likes of BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Honda. CES 2024 will be held in Las Vegas from January 9-12, showcasing more than 4000 exhibitors, including global brands and startups, industry professionals, media and government leaders.

SpaceX launches first set of satellites with direct-to-mobile capabilities

Elon Musk-led SpaceX on 2 January launched a Falcon 9 rocket with the first set of Starlink satellites that can beam phone signals from space directly to smartphones. Mobile telecommunication company T-Mobile will use SpaceX's Starlink satellites to provide mobile users with network access in parts of the US, the companies had announced in August 2022, a Reuters report said. According to its official website, Starlink is a satellite internet constellation of thousands of satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth, at about 550km, and cover the entire globe.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also read: 6 cars to look forward to in 2024

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