Microsoft Copilot is casually displaying ads when answering users' prompts

It's happening on Copilot Pro, as well.

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Microsoft Copilot ads

It has been quite a week for Windows enthusiasts: Microsoft has quietly added Windows features that make the operating system display or recommend ads to users. Let’s say, they’re not happy about it.

But if that is not enough, buckle up. It seems that Microsoft is making its popular AI model, Copilot, display ads through recommendations when answering users’ prompts, and the same as before, users are not happy.

This Reddit user was surprised to find out they’re getting several product recommendations when asking about the weather in Copenhagen. Copilot told them it would rain, but it also recommended they wear something comfy, such as a pair of sneakers; not just any sneakers, though, but very specific ones.

And not just one pair, but three pairs of sneakers, because, you know, one ad is not enough. And by the time Microsoft Copilot finished its answer, half of it was composed of ads.

The issue, it seems, it’s not entirely new, and it has been around for quite a while, meaning Microsoft Copilot has been displaying ads since January, according to another post made on the official Microsoft forums. That time, surprisingly, it was happening in Copilot Pro. So you’ll pay $20 to have the AI model advertise products to you.Microsoft Copilot ads

I was playing around with some basic prompts, specifically “health benefits of soy foods” and separately “how to play tennis.” While the responses were accurate, each response had advertisements, the first for soy foods and the second for books about tennis. This happened in all three chat modes. Is there a way to turn that off? The Klarna and Shop plug-ins are disabled and personalization has been turned off. That’s one nice thing about ChatGPT – no ads.

Back then, however, the worried user got a response from an independent Microsoft advisor, stating:

The advertisements that you see in the responses are not generated by Copilot, but by the web sources that Copilot uses to provide you with relevant information. Copilot does not endorse or promote any products or services that may appear in the responses.

The independent advisor also had advice for the user: using the Copilot app on the web instead of the Copilot extension in the browser seems to do the trick. Why? Well, apparently, the Copilot app has a built-in ad blocker that filters out most of the ads from the web sources, according to the advisor.

But should all Copilot versions, no matter where they’re located, have a built-in ad blocker?

Other users are obviously not happy about Microsoft Copiltot displaying ads:

The moment Copilot was even announced, I knew this was what it would be: nothing but a front for selling your data to advertisers who target the results back at you.

The only surprise here is how transparent about that it turned out to be.

Reddit user

When did this whole ads market/economy took over everything ? TV, radios, internet and now operating systems…

Reddit user

What do you think about Microsoft Copilot displaying ads? Let us know your thoughts.

More about the topics: AI, Microsoft copilot