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Microsoft’s AI stance would be laughable if it weren’t so bad

It’s been a long while since we last did this but it’s once again time to have a chat with the Winotaur, the Macalope’s Microsoft counterpart!

THE MACALOPE: Hey, man! Long time no see!

THE WINOTAUR: How come you only call me when you think my team did something wrong?

THE MACALOPE: Because… it’s more fun that way?

THE WINOTAUR: Uh-huh. Typical.

THE MACALOPE: OK, sure, I should have called you when Microsoft said it would work with unions while Apple has been running around trying to crush them.

THE WINOTAUR: You should have!

THE MACALOPE: And, the Macalope should congratulate you on becoming the most valuable company! Again. Apple and Microsoft have been going back and forth for a while now on that but the Macalope thinks Microsoft is on top right now.

THE WINOTAUR: I dunno, what day is it?

THE MACALOPE: Just checking here… yep, Microsoft, then Apple, then Nvidia.

THE WINOTAUR: Pff. Nvidia.

THE MACALOPE: Seriously.

THE WINOTAUR: That’s a made-up name.

THE MACALOPE: Right? But, look, that’s the past.

THE WINOTAUR: It’s technically the present but…

THE MACALOPE: Well, everything is AI now.

THE WINOTAUR: Except for Siri, sure.

THE MACALOPE: Uhhh, that’s a work in progress. Say, you still naming your digital assistant after a seemingly nude character from a video game?

THE WINOTAUR: Uh, no, we stopped that.

THE MACALOPE: Regardless, we gotta talk about this guy. This one particular guy.

THE WINOTAUR: Not sure who you’re referring to.

THE MACALOPE: The Macalope thinks you probably do. Now, we haven’t talked a lot recently because since Steve Ballmer left, Satya Nadella has been doing a pretty good job.


THE MACALOPE: Don’t… don’t say “word.” But this week… well, let me just pretend to look something up here again…

THE WINOTAUR: It’s your column. Pad it however you like. They really pay you for this?

THE MACALOPE: [shrugs] Okay, just gonna read this from The Verge… “Microsoft’s AI boss thinks it’s perfectly okay to steal content if it’s on the open web.”

THE WINOTAUR: [nods] Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.

THE MACALOPE: That would be Mustafa Suleyman to put a name to the world-class wrongness.

THE WINOTAUR: How is he wrong?

THE MACALOPE: Really? You don’t see any problem with that?

THE WINOTAUR: Open web, baby. What part of “open” are you not understanding?

THE MACALOPE: The… copyrighted part? Let the Macalope just quote him…

THE WINOTAUR: I forgot how grating you using the third person is.

THE MACALOPE: “I think that with respect to content that’s already on the open web, the social contract of that content since the ‘90s has been that it is fair use. Anyone can copy it, recreate with it, reproduce with it.” That’s… that’s not how that works.

THE WINOTAUR: You’re just sore because Apple’s so late to AI.

THE MACALOPE: The Macalope can get his own glue and rock recipes, thanks. But is that your stance, too? That everything on the web is just there for the taking, as long as you’re a big company?