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Microsoft Introduces ‘Surface Hub 2’ for Modern Workplaces

The new device is on Windows 10 and its "multi-user sign in" feature will allow many people to log into it using the built-in fingerprint sensor

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Representational image.
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft has unveiled its next-gen workplace “Surface Hub 2” that will help people collaborate and work together irrespective of their locations.

The new Surface Hub 2 comes with 4K+ resolution and 50.5-inch multi-touch display to co-create, harnessing the power of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, Windows 10 and the intelligent Cloud.

“The 4K cameras that rotate with the device, integrated speakers and far field mic arrays allow everyone in the meeting to feel as if they are right in the room with the rest of the group,” Panas Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

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“We’ve sold to more than 5,000 customers across 25 markets. Over half of Fortune 100 companies have purchased Surface Hubs to improve team’s efficiency and how they collaborate – breaking down barriers and creating real business value,” Panay informed.

“In 2018, we will begin to test Surface Hub 2 with select commercial customers. It will be available for purchase in 2019,” he added.

 

The logo of Microsoft
Representational image. Pixabay

The new device is on Windows 10 and its “multi-user sign in” feature will allow many people to log into it using the built-in fingerprint sensor.

Additionally, “Surface Hub 2” will come with options like “Tiling,” that would display multiple pieces of content side-by-side, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, 4K cameras, integrated speakers and far field mic.

Microsoft’s “Surface Hub” was introduced in 2016 in two sizes, 55 and 84-inches with 4K resolution at $8,999 and $21,999, respectively. (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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facial recognition, microsoft
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.

microsoft, facial recognition
“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.”

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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)