Microsoft is bringing generative AI capabilities to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more with its new Microsoft 365 Copilot. The new AI assistant is seamlessly integrated within the Microsoft 365 apps consumers and business users already use, but it will also be at the core of a new app named Business Chat.
The Microsoft 365 Copilot is the latest brick in Microsoft’s effort to bring generative AI capabilities into all of its products using cutting-edge AI technology from OpenAI. We’ve already seen this with GitHub Copilot, the new Bing Chatbot that the company released in preview last month as well as Dynamics 365 Copilot, a new AI copilot for both CRM and ERP software.
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“Copilot combines the power of large language models with your data and apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet,” said Jared Spataro, CVP of Modern Work and Business Applications at Microsoft. “By grounding in your business content and context, Copilot delivers results that are relevant and actionable. It’s enterprise-ready, built on Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to security, compliance, privacy and responsible AI. Copilot marks a new era of computing that will fundamentally transform the way we work.”
Microsoft 365 Copilot is currently available in early access with select commercial customers, and Microsoft says that the large language models it uses are not trained on customers’ data or user prompts. However, Microsoft 365 Copilot has access to all of an organization’s content including files, agendas, email exchanges, and chat conversations, and it will use that information to deliver relevant responses.
In Office, Microsoft 365 Copilot will be able to create and summarize content in Word, create data visualizations in Excel, or create complete professional-looking presentations in PowerPoint through natural language commands. This goes far beyond the existing “Designer” feature in PowerPoint, as you can see in the video below.
In Outlook, Microsoft 365 Copilot will be able to synthesize complex email threads and respond to emails with a simple prompt. In Microsoft Teams, the AI assistant will offer intelligent meeting recaps with notes, recommended tasks, and more. The copilot will also be able to automatically create chapters to make meeting recordings easier to digest for those who missed them.
Last but not least, the new Business Chat app that Microsoft announced today will be available on the web via microsoft365.com and Bing, but it will also live within Microsoft Teams. This app will leverage the Microsoft Graph to bring together all the information available within an organization and use it to help employees prepare for a customer meeting and more.
“Copilot will fundamentally change how people work with AI and how AI works with people. As with any new pattern of work, there’s a learning curve — but those who embrace this new way of working will quickly gain an edge,” Spataro said today.
Microsoft plans to share more details on pricing and licensing for Microsoft 365 Copilot soon. The AI assistant is currently being tested with a small group of testers, and Microsoft said it will expand its availability soon. Earlier this week, Google also detailed upcoming generative AI capabilities for Google Workspace, and it will be interesting to see which company emerges as the leader in this new AI race.