Your Monthly Biz Tech Roundup from Seeto

As May starts, the backlash against AI appears to have begun. With Italy taking steps to ban ChatGPT, other European nations looking to follow in their footsteps and leading names in artificial intelligence penning a warning to the industry, has the AI gold rush pressed west without considering safety? We’ll bring you up to speed in the Seeto Take.

We have all the business tech news and views you need to know this month, featuring exciting new functionality coming to Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.

National Pet Day fell on 11th April, so for a bit of fun, we’re introducing you to the pets of Seeto. Although they’re more likely to be found on the keyboard (hey, it’s warm!) than in #help-it-support, they brighten up our day and might, on occasion, pop up on a call.

Finally, for those who celebrate, May the fourth be with you 🌌, happy Eurovision (🇬🇧 🇺🇦) and long live the coronation. For those who don’t, take solace in the fact that there are three bank holidays this month.

Need To Know

Microsoft 365

It’s office, but not as we know it

Microsoft is reportedly planning to unbundle its Teams remote collaboration software from its Office productivity suite in an attempt to head off an official EU antitrust investigation. The move comes after Slack, a competing remote work platform, complained to EU regulators in 2020, asking officials to make Microsoft sell Teams separately from its ubiquitous Office suite. We’ll let you know if anything changes.

Read more at Engadget

Video killed the email star

Microsoft is working on new features for Outlook users on Android and iOS. Video in email could be the next big thing because these new features include voice compose, allowing users to dictate emails, video playback in the Outlook app and the ability to seamlessly capture video while in the Outlook mobile app and then upload it to email. The features are expected to roll out in the coming months. 

Read more at MSPowerUser

OneNote Copilot, your AI assistant

Microsoft has just released OneNote Copilot, a new AI-powered assistant, in preview to Windows Insiders. The assistant can help you take notes, create lists, and more and uses your notes, calendar, and other data to make suggestions and complete tasks. Copilot is expected to roll out to everyone later this year.

Read more at MSPowerUser

Google Workspace

All eyes on me

Ever wished you could focus your meeting view to just the presenter or hide someone with a distracting video feed? Your wish is Google’s command: you can now turn off the video feed from other participants during a Google Meet call. Any changes are only seen by you, so nobody has to know your feelings on your coworkers’ jazzy wallpaper.

Read more on the Google Blog

Everything is better with friends

We already know that you can control your Google Slides directly in Google Meet and, recently, Google added the ability to view your speaker notes within Meet. The Workspace team just keep making the presenting experience more integrated and Google are now rolling out a new feature that allows multiple people to present together in Meet. Co-presenters can control the presentation, view speaker notes, and chat with other participants.

Read more on the Google Blog

Mobile

An Apple update keeps the bad guys away

Apple’s latest iPhone and iPad software updates make it so that updates download by default, saving us all the need to run those updates. It’s a great change, because it means iPhone users will always be running the latest version, keeping devices more secure and up-to-date. We love one less thing to worry about!

Read more at BGR

Security

Macs don’t need antivirus software (more than ever)

Since the “I’m a Mac” campaign of the late 2000s, the myth has persisted that Macs don’t need antivirus software. That hasn’t been true for a long time, but things could worsen with ransomware gangs debuting crypto-locking malware for MacOS. This also serves as your periodic reminder to install your AV updates.

Read more at Arstechnica
Read more at Digital Trends

AI

ChatGPT: io non so vivere senza te

Italy’s data protection authority has blocked access to OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, citing concerns about the bot’s data privacy practices. The decision is a blow to OpenAI, which had hoped to launch ChatGPT in Europe. It remains to be seen whether other European countries will follow Italy’s lead, with the case highlighting the growing debate about the regulation of artificial intelligence. 

Read more at Euronews

Focus on

Sustainable futures

As Leonardo DiCaprio said to the UN back in 2014, “We only get one planet”. As IT professionals, we’re painfully aware of the impact our industry has on the world. From harmful mining of non-renewable resources such as gold and rare earth metals, to landfills of e-waste, the air miles in tech supply chains and the massive power, water and land requirements of global data centres, IT is far from green.

Seeto takes sustainability seriously and our strategy is simple: We will give more than we take from our planet and help our customers to do the same.

We support our customers in reusing technology and responsibly recycling devices when they reach the end of their useful life. Our preferred delivery service, DHL, was the first logistics company to commit to a zero-emissions target and runs off 80% renewable energy. Wherever possible we reuse packaging materials and, when they can no longer be reused, we recycle as much as possible, including thin plastics. Our packaging materials are, as far as possible, made from recycled materials and recyclable – we’re always looking to replace with better alternatives.

We have partnered with Ecologi to offset the entire carbon footprint of our employees, at work and including emissions from their homes, personal travel, holidays, food, hobbies and more. We have already planted over 800 trees and avoided almost 60 tonnes of CO2e.

Introducing the Seeto Furr-mily 🐶 🐱

It was National Pet Day on April 11th. Seeto loves pets at work. Did you know pets can provide companionship, reduce stress, and boost morale? Studies have shown that employees who bring their pets to work are more productive and less likely to take sick days.

Co-Founder, Laurene Hamilton, says “working from home and having a dog is great. My furry friend ensures that I maintain a healthy work-life balance. She provides an excellent excuse for me to take a break from my laptop and get some fresh air with a midday walk!”

Without further ado, allow us to introduce the pets of Seeto: 

The Seeto Take

What has AI ever done for us?

AI-generated image of four automatons with glowing green screen for eyes staring into computer monitors.

Last month we reported on the open letter from the AI community pleading for a slowdown in the development of artificial intelligence technologies, on the redundancies at Microsoft in the ethics and society team and business concerns over the use of AI in the workplace.

These words may come back to haunt me, but at the moment (at least) the future appears to be in Artificial Intelligence and the so-called “foundation models” such as ChatGPT and Google Bard: artificial intelligence systems trained on huge volumes of data.

The potential challenges of AI are now matters of national and international importance. The Prime Minister has invested £100m in an AI task force, with a mission “to lead the way in developing safe and trustworthy AI as part of shaping a more innovative UK economy”. On the other side of the pond, US President Joe Biden made the following remarks to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology: “AI can help deal with some very difficult challenges like disease and climate change, but we also have to address the potential risks to our society, to our economy, to our national security.”

Safety is clearly key, but with access to artificial intelligence models becoming increasingly democratised, how can we as business tech leaders and users make the most from Artificial Intelligence? There is a real fear at the moment that those who can leverage AI in their work are those who will prosper, much as those who could adapt to the mainframe computer and, eventually, the personal computer were those who succeeded through that particular great change in the world of work. Although, AI has the potential to help people gain skills to better compete with more experienced, potentially better-educated peers.

Competition is hotting up in the AI space with Amazon expected to enter the fray, and Chinese behemoths Alibaba and Baidu both recently releasing their own AI offerings.

If you’re ready to embrace AI, there’s no need to wait for it to arrive in Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Notion, your HR information system or other business tech tools. With Microsoft putting AI on the Bing homepage, Google making Bard available to anyone with a Google Account (my waiting time being two short minutes for access) and ChatGPT’s new GPT-4 model typically costing fractions of a cent, there are myriad opportunities to get value from artificial intelligence. Whichever tool you use, you should avoid entering privileged information, as it is not always clear how the data entered will be used.

Recent OS Updates

Last updated 4 April 2024

Windows

Microsoft currently supports Windows 10 and Windows 11.

  • Windows 10 version 22H2 (10.0.19045)
  • Windows 11 version 22H2 (10.0.22621) and version 23H2 (10.0.22631)

macOS

Apple officially supports the following Mac operating systems:

  • macOS Sonoma 14.4.1
  • macOS Ventura 13.6.6
  • macOS Monterey 12.7.4

iOS and iPadOS

The supported iPhone and iPad operating systems are:

  • iOS 17.4.1
  • iPadOS 17.4.1

Android

Google supports the following Android operating systems:

  • Android 14
  • Android 13
  • Android 12
  • Android 11

Note that your device manufacturer may not support every version that Google produces security fixes for.

Learn how to check and update your Android version here.