Microsoft has become an innovating tech giant again in 2023, first by unveiling a new Bing that is powered by AI and machine learning and continuing to put the new tech of Artificial Intelligence in their suite of applications.
The newest, shiniest new program Microsoft has announced is Microsoft 365 Copilot, a piece of Artificial Intelligence that will follow your commands for work production. Jared Spataro, Corporate VP, writes that Copilot will allow us to “reconnect to the soul of our work.” Microsoft 365 Copilot will notably make use of large language models, to better understand the user, and the data specific to your organization.
Microsoft 365 Copilot will have uses in these Microsoft apps: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Teams. What sets Microsoft 365 Copilot apart is their insistence that a user will be able to enjoy these services using natural language, or how they would speak to a friend or colleague. Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO to Microsoft, says that they are “making technology more accessible through the most universal interface—natural language.”
Microsoft 365 Copilot Business Chat
Business Chat from Microsoft will draw information from the large language model created with your organization’s data. With access to data and documents, Business Chat hopes to be able to create and send quick status updates specific to your business, to your team.
Microsoft 365 Copilot in the apps: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook
Copilot sounds like it will be the AI assistant of one’s dreams: a user can begin, edit, source, and write a Word document. With Copilot in PowerPoint, someone can create stunning presentations in a few seconds, with Copilot drawing from information already in the presentation, or from a document within the web of your company. If it works, it sounds impressive.
While using Excel, a user can create data visualizations quickly, to better forecast, analyze trends and present findings.
Copilot in Outlook will solve a problem so well, people may ask why we hadn’t started it before. Copilot will be able to clear your inbox while leaving the communications that really matter. Copilot in Teams will summarize meeting discussion points, and, if you want, send a summary to team members. This is done in real-time during the meeting, and even goes so far as to suggest action items.
Pricing has not yet been announced for Microsoft 365 Copilot. It will likely be priced per user for your organization.
The Copilot System
As mentioned before, Copilot uses your company data to build out its content and answers for users. A major concern of many, that Microsoft enthusiastically tries to assuage, is maintaining privacy and safekeeping personal data. Copilot cannot function as planned without this company data. Spataro writes, “the key to unlocking productivity in business lies in connecting LLMs to your business data — in a secure, compliant, privacy-preserving way.”
He goes on to say that the Copilot System will inherit a specific organization’s security practices and compliance, including two-factor authentication, privacy protections and protections against data leakage. Nor is the Copilot System trained on data from Microsoft tenant profiles, thankfully. It is also smart enough to not serve someone information or data for which they don’t have permissions.
It is going to be incredibly exciting to experience Microsoft Copilot and see what technological jumps may come next. If it does half as much as what Microsoft claims, it is going to be a powerful tool indeed.