Microsoft has announced its latest plans to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into its popular office software, Microsoft 365. The tech giant revealed a new AI “copilot” that will be available for Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and Outlook emails. The feature is designed to offer a draft in these applications, streamlining content creation and freeing up time for workers.
Microsoft’s AI copilot is currently open only to select business customers for testing. The company said it believes that this next generation of AI will unlock a new wave of productivity growth. During a live-streamed presentation, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, emphasized that AI would enable a new level of productivity growth and unlock new opportunities.
Microsoft, which has outpaced its peers through investments in OpenAI, showcased a new “business chat” experience that can pull data and perform tasks across applications on a user’s written command. The technology company believes that AI will help to reshape how people work and its new AI copilot feature will improve the way users interact with its office software.
At the center of this competition are Microsoft and Google, which on Tuesday announced AI features for Gmail and a “magic wand” to draft prose in its own word processor. Microsoft and Google have been rapidly investing in and building new AI products since last year’s launch of ChatGPT, the chatbot sensation that demonstrated the potential of so-called large language models.
Microsoft’s announcement highlights the rapid evolution of AI technology. The company said that AI can open up the computational wizardry of its Excel spreadsheet software to anyone who can describe a calculation they would like in plain text. Moreover, AI can summarize email threads and virtual meetings as they occur in its Teams collaboration software, similar to live notes by AI that Google demonstrated to reporters this week.
Microsoft’s new business chat experience can answer questions such as “tell my team how we updated the product strategy” by taking cues from a morning’s worth of emails, meetings, and chat threads. The company said that this technology would significantly improve productivity for its users.
Microsoft’s AI copilot is similar to what Google is offering, and the competition to deploy AI software is driving companies large and small to innovate. This week’s drumbeat of news, including new funding for AI startup Adept, shows that companies are looking to invest heavily in AI technologies.
In addition to the AI copilot and the business chat feature, Microsoft also showcased several other features that use AI to improve productivity. The company said that it was committed to developing new products that use AI to unlock productivity growth, and it is investing heavily in AI research to achieve this goal.
Overall, Microsoft’s latest AI announcement highlights the company’s commitment to using AI to reshape the way we work. The AI copilot and business chat features will be a game-changer for businesses and will improve productivity and streamline content creation. As the competition between Microsoft and Google intensifies, we can expect to see more innovations in AI technology in the years to come.