Microsoft is bringing generative artificial intelligence technologies such as the popular ChatGPT chatting app to its Microsoft 365 suite of business software.
The enterprise technology giant said Thursday that the new A.I. features, dubbed Copilot, will be available in some of the company’s most popular business apps, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
The Copilot technology is built upon a type of artificial intelligence software known as a large language model, or LLM. Researchers have improved the capabilities of LLMs in recent years to become more capable of understanding and responding to text.
The technology industry has been captivated by the rise of generative artificial intelligence technologies, best exemplified by LLMs that can do tasks like create images based on written prompts and carry on extended conversations with people via chat interfaces.
“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,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “With our new copilot for work, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface — natural language.”
Microsoft is pitching the Copilot features as being more powerful than simply being “OpenAI’s ChatGPT embedded into Microsoft 365,” the company said in an announcement. The company said that the new Copilot in Word feature will give people a “first draft to edit and iterate on — saving hours in writing, sourcing, and editing time.”
However, Microsoft added that “sometimes Copilot will be right, other times usefully wrong,” acknowledging that current LLM technology can produce inaccurate responses. For instance, the company’s recent debut of a new generative AI-powered Bing chat tool sometimes produced responses containing factual inaccuracies and occasionally eerie dialogue.
Microsoft executives demonstrated some of the capabilities of its Copilot tool on Thursday during an online presentation.
Family members can more quickly create celebration plans and generate accompanying PowerPoint slides that use imagery spooled from a person’s Microsoft OneDrive storage account for compelling visuals. Business leaders can more easily create emails and send business proposals using the new tools, Microsoft said.
Jared Spataro, a Microsoft corporate vice president of modern work and business applications, said Copilot is able to…
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