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Microsoft Integrates ‘Adblock Plus’ into Edge for Android Beta Users

Previously, Google had unveiled its own ad blocking in Chrome for Android but that has not been able to block ads on the majority of sites

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Hackers bleeding large Indian firms by $10 mn on average each year: Microsoft. (Wikimedia commons)

Microsoft is reportedly building the content-filtering and ad blocking extension “Adblock Plus” into its Edge browser for Android beta users.

“The adblocker is available in the Microsoft Edge settings and does not require a separate add-in to download and install,” The Verge reported on Monday.

The tech giant has reportedly partnered with “Adblock Plus”, to build this functionality straight into the browser.

“Once you have enabled ‘Adblock Plus’ in Edge, advanced options are listed to configure the content blocker. The available options are limited to managing a whitelist and disabling acceptable ads,” added a report from tech website ghacks.com.

Logo of Microsoft outside it's office
Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office, Pixabay

Previously, Google had unveiled its own ad blocking in Chrome for Android but that has not been able to block ads on the majority of sites.

Microsoft released Edge, a new web browser for Windows 10 when it released the first version of Windows 10 to the public. The browser was made available available for Android tablets only recently.

Also Read: Microsoft Brings AI-powered Visual Search to Bing

According to The Verge, the company plans to roll out the adblock-integrated browser version “more broadly to all Edge for Android users soon”.

The browser has reportedly reached over 5 million installs already on the Google Play Store. (IANS)

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Microsoft Rejects Request to Install Facial Recognition Technology in Officers’ Cars and Body Cameras

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found

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FILE - Brad Smith of Microsoft takes part in a panel discussion "Cyber, big data and new technologies. Current Internet Governance Challenges: What's Next?" at the United Nations in Geneva, Nov. 9, 2017. VOA

Microsoft recently rejected a California law enforcement agency’s request to install facial recognition technology in officers’ cars and body cameras because of human rights concerns, company President Brad Smith said Tuesday.

Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white, male pictures.

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found.

“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan” against a database of suspects, Smith said without naming the agency. After thinking through the uneven impact, “we said this technology is not your answer.”

microsoft, facial recognition
Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white, male pictures. Pixabay

Prison contract accepted

Speaking at a Stanford University conference on “human-centered artificial intelligence,” Smith said Microsoft had also declined a deal to install facial recognition on cameras blanketing the capital city of an unnamed country that the nonprofit Freedom House had deemed not free. Smith said it would have suppressed freedom of assembly there.

On the other hand, Microsoft did agree to provide the technology to an American prison, after the company concluded that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety inside the unnamed institution.

Smith explained the decisions as part of a commitment to human rights that he said was increasingly critical as rapid technological advances empower governments to conduct blanket surveillance, deploy autonomous weapons and take other steps that might prove impossible to reverse.

‘Race to the bottom’

Microsoft said in December it would be open about shortcomings in its facial recognition and asked customers to be transparent about how they intended to use it, while stopping short of ruling out sales to police.

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“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan” against a database of suspects, Smith said without naming the agency. Pixabay

Smith has called for greater regulation of facial recognition and other uses of artificial intelligence, and he warned Tuesday that without that, companies amassing the most data might win the race to develop the best AI in a “race to the bottom.”

ALSO READ: Samsung to Inspect Problems Related to Galaxy Fold Screen

He shared the stage with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who urged tech companies to refrain from building new tools without weighing their impact.

“Please embody the human rights approach when you are developing technology,” said Bachelet, a former president of Chile. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw declined to name the prospective customers the company turned down. (VOA)