hometechnology NewsMicrosoft announces Copilot for Work, an AI powered feature for the 365 app suite

Microsoft announces Copilot for Work, an AI-powered feature for the 365 app suite

Microsoft announces Copilot for Work, an AI-powered feature for the 365 app suite
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By Vijay Anand  Mar 16, 2023 9:32:27 PM IST (Published)

Microsoft claims 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, it said.

Microsoft on Thursday unveiled its latest Artificial Intelligence-powered tool, Microsoft 365 copilot, which in the company's words, will "turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet." Microsoft said the new feature combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with users' data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps.

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“Today marks the next major step in the evolution of how we interact with computing, which will fundamentally change the way we work and unlock a new wave of productivity growth,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “With our new copilot for work, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface — natural language.”
"Humans are hard-wired to dream, to create, to innovate. Each of us seeks to do work that gives us purpose — to write a great novel, to make a discovery, to build strong communities, to care for the sick. The urge to connect to the core of our work lives in all of us," said Jared Spataro, the head of Microsoft 365, during a virtual event on Thursday.
"But today, we spend too much time consumed by the drudgery of work on tasks that zap our time, creativity and energy. To reconnect to the soul of our work, we don’t just need a better way of doing the same things. We need a whole new way to work," he added.
According to Microsoft, 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, and Business Chat,  which works across the LLM, the Microsoft 365 apps, and data — calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings and contacts.
"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 said in a blog post, adding, "With Copilot, you’re always in control. You decide what to keep, modify or discard."
Major features of Microsoft 365 Copilot
Unleash creativity: With Copilot in Word, users can jump-start the creative process — Microsoft claims Copilot gives you a first draft to edit and iterate on. Copilot in PowerPoint helps you create impactful presentations with a simple prompt, And with Copilot in Excel, you can analyse trends and create professional-looking data visualisations in seconds, the company said.
Unlock productivity: From summarising long email threads to quickly drafting suggested replies, Copilot in Outlook helps you clear your inbox in minutes, not hours. And in Teams, it can summarise 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, Microsoft said.
According to Microsoft, among developers who use GitHub Copilot, 88 percent say they are more productive, 74 percent say that they can focus on more satisfying work, and 77 percent say it helps them spend less time searching for information or examples.
Business Chat: Business Chat purportedly works across all your business data and apps to produce the information and insights you need from a sea of data — so knowledge flows freely across the organisation.
Uplevel skills: According to Microsoft, 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."
Enterprise-ready AI
Microsoft says it is uniquely positioned to deliver enterprise-ready AI with the Copilot System. "Copilot is more than OpenAI’s ChatGPT embedded into Microsoft 365. It’s a sophisticated processing and orchestration engine working behind the scenes to combine the power of LLMs, including GPT-4, with the Microsoft 365 apps and your business data in the Microsoft Graph — now accessible to everyone through natural language," Microsoft said.
"Built on Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to security, compliance and privacy. Copilot is integrated into Microsoft 365 and automatically inherits all your company’s valuable security, compliance, and privacy policies and processes. Two-factor authentication, compliance boundaries, privacy protections, and more make Copilot the AI solution you can trust," the company added.
Microsoft says it will bring Copilot to all its productivity apps — Word, Teams, Viva, Power Platform, and more — and added that it will share more details on pricing and licensing soon.
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