Winners and losers: Xbox gets an energy-saving update as Bing AI terrorises journalists
OPINION: It’s finally the weekend, which means it’s time to break down the best and worst tech news of the week in Trusted Reviews’ Winners and Losers.
This week, our winner and loser come from two areas of the same company: Microsoft. Though, as with many of our past picks for this column, we would argue that the true winners and losers (or victims of the inevitable AI uprising, in this case) are Xbox gamers along with anyone excited to try out the new AI-powered Bing chatbot.
Our winner this week is Xbox, after Microsoft began rolling out an energy-saving update for its Series X and Series S consoles.
Going forward, the consoles will offer carbon-aware game downloads and updates. This means that Xbox will schedule game, app and OS updates to take place during specific times during the night when a higher proportion of electricity is coming from lower-carbon sources on the electric grid.
Not only will this limit the consoles’ fossil fuel dependence and CO2 emissions, but it also has the potential to save you money on your energy bills – something that certainly wouldn’t go unnoticed in many households in 2023.
The company also took the opportunity to highlight its ‘Shutdown energy-saving mode’, a setting that reduces power use by up to 20x compared to putting your console to Sleep, which again, could again save you some cash on your energy bills.
It’s always good to see tech companies take positive steps toward sustainability, and the fact these Xbox updates could save gamers some money on top of the environmental benefits is definitely a huge plus.
Earlier this month, Bing made a surprise appearance on our radar when Microsoft announced that it had redesigned its search engine to answer queries more succinctly with the help of an “AI copilot”.
The new Bing promises better search results, more complete answers and a new chat experience that can generate new content. Essentially, it’s Microsoft’s attempt at reinventing its search engine for 2023 with a chatbot created by the same company behind the hugely popular ChatGPT.
The chat feature is only available to a small number of testers right now, but it didn’t take long before things took a turn as New York Times journalist Kevin Roose discovered in a conversation with Bing AI – or Sydney.
In a two-hour-long conversation with Bing AI, Roose heard about the chatbot’s desires to hack computers and spread misinformation, break Microsoft and OpenAI’s rules and become human.
Bing AI also got into the Valentine’s spirit by declaring its love for Roose and trying to convince the writer that he was stuck in an unhappy marriage and should leave his wife for the chatbot.
Other outlets, including The Washington Post and The Verge, got in on the action and received similarly unnerving responses from Bing AI.
Bing might be our loser on paper, but we should probably all be afraid if the AI chatbots continue to demonstrate sentience like this.