Introducing Copilot, Microsoft’s new AI
Microsoft hosted a recent online event called “The Future of Work with AI”, where they announced that they will be implementing AI into their product suite for both consumers and businesses. They shared how Microsoft 365 apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams, the Microsoft Graph, and the new Microsoft Large Language Model, will work together to introduce a new feature in their cloud productivity suite called ‘Microsoft 365 Copilot’.
Microsoft and OpenAI
It’s important to look at Microsoft’s journey with AI and how they have positioned themselves with the most innovative technology we have seen in 2023. In 2019, 2021, and again in 2023, Microsoft have invested tens of billions of dollars into OpenAI to help fund the future of AI, using supercomputing at scale, AI-powered experiences and also for use within their own platforms.
OpenAI hit the mainstream in 2023 when it released ChatGPT, which is now a service you can integrate into your own products, consuming it from Microsoft Azure.
AI in Microsoft 365
With innovation from OpenAI, Microsoft has looked at how to integrate AI into their productivity suite and demonstrated how Microsoft 365 Copilot will be your helping hand, as you will be able to call it into your email, documents, or across the platform using @copilot.
Copilot is your digital assistant to help bring content together. You can ask Copilot to build a presentation based on a document you’ve already written, or to summarize rows of data into your quarterly business summary in Excel and then write you an email to send to the board. Microsoft Copilot is there to help you get work done, make better decisions with your data, and to help you analyse and action meetings.
One of my favourite features was the Microsoft Teams integration. Using the existing features that can understand what you are saying, Copilot can build actions from the meeting but you can also ask it if all points have been actioned from the call. From listening into the meetings, it can pick up questions that were asked, so if you ask @copilot “have all questions been answered in the call?”, it will then give you a summary of what might need answering still. You can also ask it to produce meeting minutes and actions to takeaway. A screenshot of how can be seen here:
Microsoft Loop and Business Chat
Hidden away for a while, Microsoft Loop has reappeared with integration with Copilot, allowing you to share pages, data, and files with your team. You can ask for a page to be pulled into a SWAT analysis and just like that, it appears. Copilot can then be asked to put this into a slide if you want.
Business Chat will appear on a new dedicated website and also be integrated into Microsoft Teams. This means you can ask it questions around data you have visibility on, providing you with better insight into information.
The applications aren’t just in the Microsoft 365 apps, information can also be pulled from Viva Sales, and you will be able to ask the PowerPlatform to build automation to help keep actions in check.
What about Ethics?
Microsoft talks a lot about ethical AI and its responsibility to ensure that AI and machine learning are used effectively and accurately. During the online presentation, Microsoft discussed the importance of data and how it can be challenging for an AI bot to understand everything straight away. They talked about this being the start of a journey and how Copilot will mature, so businesses will have a better digital assistant/@copilot.
You can watch the presentation now and let us know how you plan to use the future of Microsoft 365 productivity. https://news.microsoft.com/reinventing-productivity/