Saturday, September 30, 2023

Microsoft introduced 365 Copilot, an AI “copilot for work”

An AI-powered toolset, Microsoft 365 Copilot, will be available within their suite of office applications, aimed at increasing productivity and speeding up repetitive tasks

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3 min read

An exciting week in the field of artificial intelligence continues – after the GPT-4 system, then its integration into Bing, and then Google’s set of tools for working with documents in the cloud, Microsoft once again raised the bar and announced an artificially intelligent assistant for the office suite of applications, Office 365.

Microsoft 365 Copilot

Microsoft 365 Copilot system relies on large language models, and its help will be available in applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, or Teams. Their goal, they say, is to turn word commands into the most advanced productivity tool in the world and thereby facilitate the performance of everyday, boring, and repetitive tasks, but also to improve the skills of the users themselves, related to Microsoft’s office tools.

Word, Excel
Copilot for Word is able to write, edit and summarize text together with the user, all based on language commands written in natural language. It is possible to choose the tone and style of the text, and leave it to him to write or paraphrase. It will also be useful when strengthening arguments or expressing them more clearly, Microsoft announces.

In the Excel spreadsheet, artificial intelligence will be able to analyze and explore data, and it will also take natural language as a task, not necessarily mathematical formulas. It will discover patterns in data, predict scenarios, even suggest formulas, and create graphs and tabular views.

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PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams
In PowerPoint, Copilot will create presentations based on text documents, including instructions for speakers, resources, and the like. They will be able to shorten long presentations into a more concise format, but also change the form of the presentation – for example, transfer data from a list to a table, add images, and the like.

In the mail client Outlook, help will be available when summarizing long correspondence, writing emails from short entries, as well as when changing the writing style.

In Teams, a popular tool for collaborative work, this system will organize more efficient meetings, suggest topics, warn about missed information, create agendas and minutes of meetings, and the like.

Business Chat
A completely new chat experience in a business environment, Business Chat, will get an immediately integrated AI assistant, which will monitor the conversation, collect data from other applications and thus facilitate teamwork.

Power Platform
In addition to tools for office users, Copilot will add certain functionalities to those for no-code developers, who use tools from the Power Platform. Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Automate will also get help from artificial intelligence, which is still in experimental testing. It should be able to create automated procedures as well as small handy office applications – all with even less need for programming knowledge.

Prices and availability
Microsoft 365 Copilot is currently being tested at 20 large enterprise customers of Microsoft. In the coming period, the number of testers will be expanded, and administrators will be given greater control so that they can spread these tools safely and reliably throughout their organizations. The entire system will be closely connected with the Microsoft 365 billing package, and the company says that it will announce details about its public availability and prices in the coming months.

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