Microsoft announces Copilot 365 powered by generative AI to “change work as we know it”

In a pre-recorded demo event dubbed “The future of work with AI— which struck this reporter as a highly produced infomercial (“Wait, there’s more!”) — Microsoft capped off an epic week in Generative AI by announcing Copilot 365 to “change work as we know it”.

Building on the earlier “Copilot” verbiage that accompanied his Bing Ads last month, Copilot 365 combines large language models – to know GPT-4than Microsoft confirmed powers Bing – with Microsoft Graph data (from your calendar, email, chats, documents, meetings) and Microsoft 365 apps, including Teams, Word, Outlook, and Excel.

For example, by connecting to your calendar and email, Copilot 365 can help you prepare for the day, generating points to focus on during your next meeting. It can also generate documents based on existing documents; create a PowerPoint, complete with layouts and images; to use natural language analyze data in Excel; and automatically capture meeting notes.

In addition to being integrated into 365 apps, Copilot is also offered as a sidekick in a new Business Chat experience.

According to a Microsoft Blog jobBusiness Chat” works alongside you, using the power of Microsoft Graph to bring together data from your documents, presentations, emails, calendars, notes, and contacts. Bring together information from multiple sources to keep everyone in the team on the same page and moving forward together. Spend less time focusing on the tools and more time focusing on the work that matters most. Today, our preview customers will be able to access Business Chat in Microsoft Teams.

In a separate space announcementMicrosoft also launched the new Copilot in Power platform For No-code/low-code powered by AI software development, including:

  • Copilot in Power Apps: Describe what you want the application to do, and it will generate a data table. You can then refine and improve the application with natural language.
  • Copilot in Power Automate: Automate flows with natural language in seconds to digitize and accelerate business processes.
  • Copilot in Power Virtual Agents: Use generative AI to create intelligent conversational chatbots in minutes.

Microsoft Copilot 365 offers a starting point for almost any knowledge assignment

Copilot now essentially becomes the starting point for all knowledge work in Microsoft.

Forrester AI analyst Rowan Curran weighed in on the announcements. “Integrating generative AI capabilities such as text and image generation into everyday office and productivity tools has the potential to dramatically change the workflows of people in a wide range of professional roles,” he told VentureBeat. “Having the ability to generate a summary of a white paper in a blog post, and the ability to do so in your main productivity application, reduces the friction of integrating these tools into workflows. work, because the user does not need to go to another tool to use them.

However, he pointed out that the models become much more powerful when honed on a company’s specific data.

“As the major productivity suite vendors begin to enable this feature, we may begin to see an acceleration in usage of these features, even if they don’t take off immediately in their initial release,” he said.

The impacts might not transform the workplace tomorrow, he explained. “But the wheel has started to move forward, and over the next few years we can expect to see cumulative effects from using these built-in generative capabilities.”

Microsoft wraps up epic week of generative AI

The Microsoft Copilot 365 release caps off an epic week in generative AI. It started with Google’s announcements on Monday about new generative AI capabilities and features for developers, through a PaLM API and in Google Cloud, as well as new integrations for Google Workspace users, including in Gmail and Google Docs. .

Google’s announcements looked much more like a laundry list of generative AI than Microsoft’s finely honed marketing effort. And they arrived just a month after Google unveiled its search chatbot. Bard and less than a week after Bloomberg reported that a new Google internal directive “requires generative AI to be integrated into all of its biggest products within months.”

The AI ​​productivity party continues

Yet this two-horse Big Tech productivity race shows no signs of slowing down. A big question is what will happen to the warm AI Productivity App Party who has been dancing in Silicon Valley for months now.

For example, can startup productivity darlings from Jasper and Tome to HyperWrite and Writer compete with offerings from Microsoft and Google? Or will Big Tech take over this dance floor for good?

This story is updated…

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