Microsoft’s Copilot AI is Changing the Way We Work

All in all, Microsoft promises to be a game-changer in the world of work. It just announced its latest AI-powered tool, Copilot, which is designed to assist users with generating documents, emails, presentations, and more. Copilot will be powered by GPT-4 from OpenAI, and will appear as a chatbot in the sidebar of Microsoft 365 apps. Users will be able to summon it to generate text in documents, create PowerPoint presentations based on Word documents, or even help use features like PivotTables in Excel. Copilot will also be able to provide information on upcoming Microsoft Teams meetings, preparing people with updates on related projects, organizational changes like recent hires, and even updates on co-workers who might have returned from vacation. The tool can also be used in Word to draft documents based on other files. The AI-generated text can then be freely edited and adapted.

Copilot in Word. Image: Microsoft

With its advanced AI technology and natural language processing, Copilot promises to become more productive, creative, and efficient in our daily tasks. Copilot combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool. Move over coffee, we’ve got a new best friend!

Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, said, “Today marks the next major step in the evolution of how we interact with computing, which will fundamentally change the way we work and unlock a new wave of productivity growth. With our new copilot for work, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface — natural language.”

Copilot is integrated into Microsoft 365 in two ways. It works alongside you, embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more — to unleash creativity, unlock productivity, and uplevel skills. Microsoft is also announcing an entirely new experience: Business Chat. Business Chat works across the LLM, the Microsoft 365 apps, and your data — your calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and contacts — to do things you’ve never been able to do before. You can give it natural language prompts like “Tell my team how we updated the product strategy,” and it will generate a status update based on the morning’s meetings, emails, and chat threads. It’s like having a personal assistant at your fingertips!

While Microsoft is certainly moving quickly with its AI-powered vision for Office apps, there will certainly be concerns around the accuracy of its AI models, particularly when Microsoft 365 users may well be using them with business data in the months ahead. To address these concerns, Microsoft says it’s testing its Microsoft 365 Copilot with 20 customers right now and will be expanding the preview in the coming months.

Copilot became the latest example of how AI is being integrated into everyday business workflows. Google recently announced similar AI features for Google Workspace, including AI-assisted text generation in Gmail, Docs, and more. As AI continues to develop, it’s likely we’ll see more and more tools like Copilot that aim to automate everyday tasks and make our lives easier. However, as with any new technology, there will be a learning curve. Users will need to become familiar with the prompts and commands that AI responds to, as well as the ways in which it integrates with the various apps. But we believe that the potential benefits of using AI far outweigh the initial investment of time and effort.

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