Issue No. 128April 2023
Coming Soon – Microsoft 365 Copilot
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been all over the news lately with the release of ChatGPT at the end of 2022. ChatGPT is an artificial-intelligence chatbot developed by an AI research company called OpenAI. It is based on the GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) language model. It uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like responses to text inputs in a conversational manner. Microsoft recently threw their hat into the AI ring with the announcement of Microsoft 365 Copilot. Microsoft 365 Copilot combines the power of OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps to “to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet.” We wanted to share a few highlights from Microsoft’s press release on Copilot, a feature that will undoubtedly change the way we work and improve productivity in the workplace.
“Copilot is integrated into Microsoft 365 in two ways. It works alongside you, embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and more — to unleash creativity, unlock productivity and uplevel skills. Today we’re also announcing an entirely new experience: Business Chat. Business Chat works across the LLM, the Microsoft 365 apps, and your data — your calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings and contacts — to do things you’ve never been able to do before. You can give it natural language prompts like “Tell my team how we updated the product strategy,” and it will generate a status update based on the morning’s meetings, emails and chat threads.
Microsoft 365 Copilot transforms work in three ways:
Unleash creativity. With Copilot in Word, you can jump-start the creative process so you never start with a blank slate again. Copilot gives you a first draft to edit and iterate on — saving hours in writing, sourcing, and editing time. Sometimes Copilot will be right, other times usefully wrong — but it will always put you further ahead. You’re always in control as the author, driving your unique ideas forward, prompting Copilot to shorten, rewrite or give feedback. Copilot in PowerPoint helps you create beautiful presentations with a simple prompt, adding relevant content from a document you made last week or last year. And with Copilot in Excel, you can analyze trends and create professional-looking data visualizations in seconds.
Unlock productivity. We all want to focus on the 20% of our work that really matters, but 80% of our time is consumed with busywork that bogs us down. Copilot lightens the load. From summarizing long email threads to quickly drafting suggested replies, Copilot in Outlook helps you clear your inbox in minutes, not hours. And every meeting is a productive meeting with Copilot in Teams. It can summarize key discussion points — including who said what and where people are aligned and where they disagree — and suggest action items, all in real time during a meeting. And with Copilot in Power Platform, anyone can automate repetitive tasks, create chatbots and go from idea to working app in minutes.
But Copilot doesn’t just supercharge individual productivity. It creates a new knowledge model for every organization — harnessing the massive reservoir of data and insights that lies largely inaccessible and untapped today. Business Chat works across all your business data and apps to surface the information and insights you need from a sea of data — so knowledge flows freely across the organization, saving you valuable time searching for answers. You will be able to access Business Chat from Microsoft 365.com, from Bing when you’re signed in with your work account, or from Teams.
Uplevel skills. Copilot makes you better at what you’re good at and lets you quickly master what you’ve yet to learn. The average person uses only a handful of commands — such as “animate a slide” or “insert a table” — from the thousands available across Microsoft 365. Now, all that rich functionality is unlocked using just natural language. And this is only the beginning.
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.”
There is no firm release date set for when Microsoft 365 Copilot will be available, but Microsoft is currently testing the feature with 20 customers, including 8 in Fortune 500 enterprises. It is estimated that the feature will be more broadly available in the coming months. The full announcement from Microsoft can be found here. We will be sure to share more details about this exciting new feature as more details become available! As always, feel free to reach out to our engineering team at [email protected] for more information on this topic.