May 26, 2022

image credit: Microsoft

Among other updates, Windows 11 today is getting an AI-enabled eye contact feature that makes it feel like you’re always looking at the screen. Don’t use it.

There’s nothing better than looking into the dull eyes of an AI-enhanced host during a video conference to make you question the nature of your reality. The presenter’s eyes are glued to the screen, and only occasional static shows that there is still a living person on the other side, perhaps reading a pre-written presentation word for word.

Microsoft Windows head Panos Panay says it makes meetings “more human,” but it feels fake. Instead, it’s better to use a cartoon avatar. And just to be clear: it’s not required. You are just as amazing as you are, whether you are looking at the camera or not.

(And yes, Apple has been doing this with FaceTime for a few years now, but it’s much more subtle.)

There are some hardware requirements before you can enable this feature. We asked Microsoft PR what it was yesterday. They are still trying to find an answer, so we will update this post as soon as we know more.

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