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Microsoft Pulls Windows 10 October 2018 Update That Wipes Your Data

The company plans to investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating

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Microsoft
Microsoft's beta Android launcher has digital health feature. Pixabay

After several users complained that installing the Windows 10 October 2018 update has been wiping off their data, Microsoft on Saturday announced putting a halt to the availability of the update.

“We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating,” the tech giant posted on its Support page.

Users who have manually downloaded the update have been advised to not “install it and wait until new media is available”.

Microsoft has also provided links for people to contact the company.

Microsoft
Logo of Microsoft outside it’s office. Pixabay

“We will provide an update when we resume rolling out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update to customers,” the post added.

Users who installed the “Windows 10 October 2018” update complained that the process wiped out their user profiles, including documents and photos, the media reported.

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An alarming number of users have taken to social media forums and Microsoft’s own support website to complain about the serious issue.

Since Microsoft had not started automatically pushing this latest update out, only people who visited “Windows Update” manually and checked for updates installed the latest software version. (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)