- Microsoft said the new AI feature, called Copilot, will be available in some of the company’s most popular business apps, such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
- In February, Microsoft introduced a new version of its Bing search engine that included a chatbot powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 language technology.
- OpenAI publicly revealed its GPT-4 software earlier this week and described it as more capable than GPT-3 technology.
Microsoft Microsoft is bringing generative artificial intelligence techniques such as the popular ChatGPT chatting app to its Microsoft 365 suite of business software.
The enterprise technology giant said Thursday that new AI features, dubbed Copilot, will be available in some of the company’s most popular business apps, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
Copilot technology is built on a type of artificial intelligence software known as large language models, or LLMs. Researchers have improved LLM’s capabilities in recent years to be more capable of understanding and responding to text.
The technology industry has been fascinated by the rise of generative artificial intelligence techniques, best exemplified by LLMs that can perform tasks such as drawing pictures based on written prompts and having extended conversations with people through chat interfaces.
“Today is the next big step in the evolution of how we interact with computing, which will fundamentally change the way we work and drive a new wave of productivity growth,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. Will open it.” “With our new co-pilot at work, we are giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface ever – natural language.”
Microsoft is touting the Copilot features as being “more powerful than OpenAI’s ChatGPT embedded in Microsoft 365,” the company said in an announcement. The company said the new Copilot in Word feature will give people “a first draft to edit and iterate on — saving hours of writing, sourcing and editing time.”
However, Microsoft stated that “sometimes CoPilot will be right, other times usefully wrong,” acknowledging that current LLM technology can generate erroneous responses. For example, the company’s recent introduction of a new generation of AI-powered Bing chat tools sometimes generated responses with factual inaccuracies and sometimes awful dialogue.
Microsoft executives demonstrated some of the capabilities of its CoPilot tool during an online presentation on Thursday.
Family members can more quickly create celebration plans and generate PowerPoint slides that use imagery spooled from a person’s Microsoft OneDrive storage account for compelling visuals. Microsoft said that business leaders can easily create emails and send business proposals using the new tools.
Jared Spataro, a Microsoft corporate vice president of modern work and business applications, said Copilot is able to scan and take action based on all the data in the Microsoft Graph, which stores content such as email, files meetings, chats and calendar notes. This Microsoft graph data helps Copilot’s underlying big language model generate more specific and better responses tailored to an individual.
Microsoft didn’t say specifically when the new AI Copilot features will roll out and what the pricing will be, saying only that “over the coming months, we’ll be rolling out Copilot to all of our productivity apps—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, Viva, Power Platform, and more.”
The company said it is testing CoPilot “with a small group of customers to get feedback and improve our model,” but did not disclose the names of the customers testing the software. A Microsoft spokesperson said in an email that the company is “testing Copilot with 20 customers, including eight in the Fortune 500.”
Jaime Teivan, a chief scientific and technical fellow at Microsoft, said Copilot has passed a number of privacy checks and has “mitigations” in case the software is “false or biased or misused”.
“We’re going to make mistakes, but when we do, we’ll address them quickly,” Teevan said.
Much of the excitement over generative AI is due to the overnight success of the ChatGPT tool, which was released in late November by Microsoft-backed AI firm OpenAI.
Microsoft said in January that it would provide a multi-year and multi-billion dollar investment to OpenAI, but did not disclose the exact figure.
In February, Microsoft introduced a new version of its Bing search engine that included a chatbot powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 language technology.
OpenAI publicly revealed its GPT-4 software earlier this week, touting the technology as a significant improvement over its predecessor, GPT-3, which can generate more creative and accurate text responses.
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Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Jaime Teevan’s name.
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