It seems there is nothing that can stop tech giant Microsoft from reaping the fruits of its massive investments in artificial intelligence technology, particularly with ChatGPT maker OpenAI.
Only a month after launching its most powerful Bing search engine, which ran for a limited period of time before finally becoming available to all users this week, the Redmond-based software leader has also integrated AI technology into its most popular suite of productivity tools.
The Satya Nadella-led tech juggernaut launched its Microsoft 365 Copilot on Thursday as the world’s most effective productivity tool thanks to the combination of large language models’ (LLMs) capability, processing user data in the Microsoft Graph, and Microsoft 365’s most popular applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, among others.
Copilot, which is now undergoing testing with a small number of commercial clients, combines the power of large language models (LLMs), business data, and Microsoft 365 apps, which, according to Microsoft, will help users have freedom with creativity, boost productivity, and advance their skills.
“With Microsoft 365 Copilot, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible with advanced AI and the most universal user interface: natural language,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.
“With our new copilot for work, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface—natural language.”
In a blog post, Jared Spataro, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Modern Work & Business Applications, highlighted the new features, which work in two ways. First, it is embedded in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams which users can experience with their usual work or study activities.
The second feature is a whole different experience as the company introduces Business Chat.
Business Chat harnesses LLMs, Microsoft 365 apps, and user data and embeds into calendars, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and contacts which you can common via natural language prompts like what you would normally do on the now popular ChatGPT.
What are some of the new features of Microsoft 365 Copilot?
Copilot in Word offers a first draft that can be revised and improved upon, saving time on writing, sourcing, and editing. It also facilitates the creation of attractive PowerPoint presentations using pertinent material from earlier publications. With Excel, Copilot quickly analyzes trends and produces visually appealing data representations.
Long email threads are summarized by Copilot in Outlook, which also creates recommended responses. Copilot also helps automate repetitive operations in Power Platform and highlights important conversation topics in Teams.
Copilot users also claim more concentration and productivity, as well as less time spent looking for facts or precedents. Copilot develops a new knowledge model for businesses, utilizing data and insights to shorten the time spent looking for solutions.
Microsoft 365 Copilot’s foundational skills are a game changer for user productivity: it can create, summarize, analyze, collaborate, and automate using your specific business content and context.
In the months ahead, Spataro said, the Microsoft team will continuously ensure responsibility and ethical standards in the use of AI-powered technology in its 365 applications.
“A multidisciplinary team of researchers, engineers, and policy experts reviews our AI systems for potential harms and mitigations — refining training data, filtering to limit harmful content, query- and result-blocking sensitive topics, and applying Microsoft technologies like InterpretML and Fairlearn to help detect and correct data bias,” Spataro said.
“We make it clear how the system makes decisions by noting limitations, linking to sources, and prompting users to review, fact-check, and adjust content based on subject-matter expertise.”
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