Breaking news: Microsoft abandons ChatGPT in EU after AI recommendation

Stop - Pixabay[German]Microsoft's plans to roll out its AI solution Copilot worldwide with its products do not seem to be working out very well at the end of the day. Following extreme headwinds  in US congress and in the EU, I understand that Redmond has decided to postpone the rollout of Microsoft Copilot indefinitely. I did some research behind the scenes and came across a surprising reason for this decision. I was told, the recommendation was made from an AI model.


Bullshit bingo AI aka Copilot

The introduction of AI solutions such as ChatGPT or Copilot, as it is called at Microsoft, is "absolutely hot shit" for the company. No Microsoft event, no Microsoft marketing document in the USA without these buzzwords.

So why does it matter that even after many months, this stuff is still in beta form (elegantly disguised as a preview) and only really regurgitates halfway sensible answers in English with a lot of goodwill. Anyone who has ever tried ChatGPT or Copilot in Portuguese, French or German will be amazed. I hear similar things from colleagues in Poland, Lithuania, Finland, our Swiss-Germans or other Slavic countries.

Show stopper EU AI Act and EU DMA

Overall, we can make three crosses here in Europe, that the Digital Markets Act (DMA) exists in the European Union. Back in November 2023, Microsoft announced that it would delay the rollout of its own AI solutions such as Copilot for the European Union because a number of clarifications were still pending under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). I had already addressed this in the blog post Windows 11 23H2: Rollout chaos; no copilot in Europe thanks to DMA.

In the meantime, the EU has also launched the AI Act. The "EU Artificial Intelligence Act" is a proposal for a European regulation on artificial intelligence (AI) – the first comprehensive regulation on AI by a major regulatory authority worldwide. The Act categorizes the applications of AI into three risk categories.

  • Firstly, applications and systems that pose an unacceptable risk, such as state-run social scoring as used in China, are banned.
  • Second, high-risk applications, such as a resume scanning tool that ranks job applicants, are subject to certain specific legal requirements.
  • Finally, applications that are not explicitly prohibited or classified as high-risk remain largely unregulated.

I didn't mention it in the blog (I don't feel like doing that shit), but on March 13, 2024 that the EU Parliament had passed the regulation for artificial intelligence (AI Act) by a large majority. Now the whole thing is going its way and will become law for the foreseeable future.


Is Microsoft making the exit?

The big question is what the US companies will do in the face of this development in Europe. They will have to comply with the EU DMA and the EU AI Act and make significant adjustments to their products.

The delay in Microsoft Copilot, rumored in insider circles that Microsoft's plans collide violently with the requirements from Brussels, has now led to Microsoft's boss Satya Nadella more or less stepping on the brakes, I was told. Copilot worldwide come hell or high water Yes, but with the exception of the EU.

I heard that the rollout will be suspended there for the foreseeable future, although my sources, who wish to remain anonymous, believe that Copilot will probably no longer be available in the EU. By the time the EU DMA and EU AI Act declarations are finalized, the hype will have long since died down and Copilot will probably be deprecated.

However, when I insisted on whether more precise dates could be given, my sources were unwilling to commit themselves. At least I was able to find out one thing – one of my sources suddenly had to go to the toilet urgently and I was able to spot an analysis supported by Microsoft Copilot in the form of PowerPoint slides on his desk. Only two slides of the presentation were halfway visible, one was a kind of summary.

Microsoft Copilot concluded that the introduction of the AI model in the EU entailed too many legal risks and tied up too many resources. Microsoft should therefore put the plans for the EU rollout on hold forever and reallocate resources to the rollout in other countries. Languages such as Tamil, Bengali, Kiswahili and so on are still a major challenge, but have a much larger population than the vanishing European countries.

Addendum: Microsoft also got a big slap on the wrist in the USA, the IT managers of the US Congress have simply banned the use of Microsoft Copilot – see my article US Congress bans the use of Microsoft AI solution Copilot.

Any other possible decisions?

Oh yes: At the very bottom was a slide where I read the name Satya Nadella several times. Much of it was obscured, only the title "Who is the right CEO for Microsoft's Future?" was clearly legible. There was also a recognizable section where I interpreted the fragments I spied (I had to read overhead) to mean that the current CEO had achieved undeniable merits for Microsoft.

But at the end there was a sentence: "Microsoft HR should start a search for a new …", which unfortunately continued on a subsequent page. But I couldn't read it because my source came back from the toilet. But I think the three dots could be replaced by CEO – because Mr. Nadella has been in the chair for 10 years now. Even Steve Ballmer only sat in the boss's chair for 14 years and he was one of Bill Gates' buddies who built up Microsoft.

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