Microsoft unveils Copilot AI-powered assistant in Word, Excel, more

Clippy's Revenge?

Microsoft unveiled its AI-powered ‘Copilot’ for Microsoft 365 apps at an event on March 16th. Copilot will exist as an assistant with Microsoft’s apps like Word and Excel.

“It works alongside you, embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and more — to unleash creativity, unlock productivity and uplevel skills,” wrote Microsoft’s corporate vice president of modern work and business applications, Jared Spataro, in a blog post.

Users can summon Copilot to handle a variety of tasks, such as providing information about an upcoming Teams meeting or creating a 10-slide PowerPoint presentation based on a Word document. Per Microsoft’s blog, here are some of the things Copilot can do in:

  • Word – Copilot can help you draft and edit documents
  • PowerPoint – Copilot helps make presentations form a simple prompt
  • Excel – Copilot can analyze trends and make visualizations
  • Outlook – Copilot can help “clear out your inbox minutes”
  • Teams – Copilot can summarize key discussion points, including who said what and suggest action items
  • And more…

Microsoft stressed that users are “always in control” when using Copilot and can decide what to keep, modify, or discard. In the blog, Spataro was also quick to say that Copilot will get things wrong but promised it will “always put you further ahead.”

Copilot leverages OpenAI’s GPT-4, though Spataro wrote that Microsoft did more than just embed it in Microsoft 365. Copilot combines “the power of LLMs, including GPT-4, with the Microsoft 365 apps and your business data in the Microsoft Graph.”

Along with Copilot, Microsoft announced ‘Business Chat’ will work across all the Microsoft 365 apps and data, leveraging the company’s ‘Graph’ to bring everything into a single chat interface.

These new features and changes sound ambitious, and it remains to be seen how well they work in the real world. Moreover, there remain many legitimate concerns about AI — Microsoft’s rush to integrate AI into products doesn’t help, especially as the company shutters teams dedicated to responsible AI.

That said, Copilot won’t be available immediately. In the blog post, Spataro said the company will share more about pricing and details “in the coming months.”

Images credit: Microsoft

Source: Microsoft Via: The Verge

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