New AI announcements are coming in every other day as the technology is evolving increasingly fast. It all started with ChatGPT and now both Microsoft and Google are heavily invested in the AI race. Microsoft is planning on adding its GPT-based Bing AI to Windows and now the company has announced its next step: Copilot.
Copilot, your new Office assistant
Copilot is an AI-powered assistant that’s going to be built into the Microsoft 365 apps. It’s going to be able to assist you with creating presentations as well as writing emails and documents. It’s built upon the GPT-4 technology created by OpenAI and from what we know so far, it looks like it’s going to make work a lot easier.
What can Copilot do?
Have a Word document and quickly need a presentation based on its content? Copilot can generate the PowerPoint presentation for you. You could also ask Copilot to analyze the data from an Excel file and reformat it or present it in a more engaging way. Basically, the AI assistant will be capable of drafting new documents for you based on other office files.
Copilot will be built into Outlook as well and can help you deal with the flooding inbox faster. The AI can generate responses and you will be able to tell it how long you want the reply to be and in what tone of voice. If you’re tagged into a long chain of emails Copilot can provide a summary so you don’t have to go through them all to stay up-to-date.
When you are taking part in a Teams meeting Copilot is capable of transcribing the meeting and if you happen to be late it can catch you up. You can also get a quick summary of the most important parts after the meeting. In Excel, Copilot is even capable of performing a full SWOT analysis based on your data.
Can we trust our Copilot?
The short answer is no. The implementation of all the new AI features is moving very quickly and just like with ChatGPT you are going to have to fact-check Copilot. Microsoft representatives themselves are pointing out that it’s not going to be 100% accurate all of the time so it’s going to be important to check its work.
On their official blog, Microsoft has mentioned that they are going to be linking to sources which will make it easier to check the accuracy. They also mentioned that they are going to be clear about how the system works and what limitations it has. Users will also be actively prompted to review and fact-check Copilot’s work.
Currently, Copilot is being tested by a small group of customers and more will be added “soon”. So while Microsoft is being careful there is a lot of learning on the go. The massive tech company is in a tight race with Google and the pressure is high to release new features as quickly as possible. Incidentally, the announcement of Copilot comes just a few days after Google announced AI features for Google Workspace which included a lot of similar features.