Microsoft Unveils AI “Copilot” and New “Business Chat” Experience for Microsoft 365

Microsoft Unveils AI “Copilot” and New “Business Chat” Experience for Microsoft 365

On Thursday, Microsoft unveiled plans to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into more of its products, including its widely used office software suite, Microsoft 365.

The company introduced a new AI “copilot” that will speed up content creation and free up workers’ time by providing drafts in Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and Outlook emails.

The copilot will be available for testing to select business customers.

Microsoft also showcased a new “business chat” experience that uses natural language to perform tasks across applications on a user’s written command.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the new generation of AI will unlock a new wave of productivity growth.

The competition to deploy software that can reshape how people work is heating up, with companies large and small investing in and building new AI products.

Microsoft and Google-owner Alphabet are at the center of this competition.

This week, Google announced AI features for Gmail and a “magic wand” to draft prose in its word processor.

Microsoft’s AI copilot is powered by ChatGPT, an AI technology that learns from past data to create content.

ChatGPT was launched last year and is evolving rapidly.

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, released a more powerful version known as GPT-4 this week, which is included in Microsoft’s updated Bing search engine.

In one of its biggest updates on Thursday, Microsoft said AI can open up its Excel spreadsheet software to anyone who can describe a calculation they want in plain text.

Microsoft’s AI can also summarize email threads and virtual meetings as they occur in its Teams collaboration software, similar to live notes by AI that Google demonstrated this week.

Microsoft’s new business chat experience can answer questions by taking cues from emails, meetings, and chat threads.

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