Microsoft’s Copilot – What We Know So Far

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise. No matter where you look and no matter what industry you examine, AI is growing in terms of use, and acceptance. The thing that’s so great about AI is that it’s there to benefit businesses and consumers alike. Certainly, the latest development from Microsoft has plenty to offer organisations but, equally, it’s great for families who are using a PC at home.

So, what’s new from Microsoft? Known as Copilot, this AI is set to be embedded in the Microsoft 365 suite. How does it work and what can it offer? That’s what we’re going to explore now.

A closer look at Copilot

The latest announcement from Microsoft is that it’s set to bring AI tech, such as ChatGPT, to its popular 365 suite of tools. Going by the name Copilot, it will allow the benefits of AI to be embedded in popular programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Copilot has been built upon a specific kind of artificial intelligence software. This is known as large language model and is commonly referred to as LLM. Over recent years, the power and capability of LLM have drastically improved. That has led to the stage where it is now able to both understand and respond to text. 

How AI is going to the next level

The tech industry is almost in awe of the rise in AI. Another industry that has seen real benefits from the growth of AI is gambling. As the technology has become more mainstream in recent times it has contributed to the popularity of casino sweepstakes, to name just one area. This technology has developed to its next generation and its capabilities are way beyond anything possible just a short time ago. It’s LLM that gives the best example of just how things have come. That’s because this allows things such as image creation to be automated based on written prompts, as well as carrying on conversations via chat interfaces.

As Microsoft unveiled plans for Copilot, it quickly became apparent that this is a major step forward. In fact, the company went as far as stating that this development is not only a huge step in terms of evolution but that it will have a fundamental impact on how we all interact with our computers. 

While Microsoft is famed for ChatGPT and the waves that this AI has created, the company is keen to point out that Copilot goes beyond this. What’s on offer is something that is much more powerful with the ability to create drafts and then respond to feedback to improve. The time that this is going to save people is nothing short of phenomenal and there will be significant boosts in terms of productivity.

Copilot is not fool-proof

While there is no doubt that Copilot will make waves, even exceeding the noise around ChatGPT, it’s important to bear in mind that AI is still not perfect. Microsoft itself has referred to the fact that there are times when the software will be right but at others, it could be wrong. This means that there is still the need for the human touch to check, verify and request edits.

While excited about its new offering, Microsoft is more than open about its potential limitations. Indeed, it has already had experience here with the launch of its AI-powered chat tool on Bing. This has been shown to provide inaccurate responses at times and so users need to approach it with a degree of caution. 

How Copilot will benefit both businesses and families

When it comes to how businesses will benefit from Copilot, its uses are pretty much endless. It will open up new ways for business leaders to craft emails as well as generate business proposals. These new tools can ensure that documents are created in much shorter timescales and that they are feature rich.

With families, Copilot allows people to enjoy Microsoft 365 on an entirely new level. Imagine creating celebration plans using PowerPoint. With Copilot, you can seamlessly add images directly from your OneDrive and create something visually stunning. Yes, to some extent this can be achieved now but Copilot makes it much quicker and easier.

When will we get to use Copilot?

The good news is that Microsoft has developed a tool that is outstanding and has many benefits to offer. The slight downside is that, after generating an abundance of excitement, no one actually knows when the launch date is. We’re yet to know when we can tap into Copilot’s power while using the likes of Word and Mail, and we’re yet to find out how much it will set us back.

What we do know is that Microsoft has said Copilot will be released in the coming months. At present, it is still seeking feedback from those testing the software so that they can make any essential tweaks. The company is by no means aiming for perfection: with AI constantly developing, Microsoft knows that tweaks will be a frequent requirement.

The Microsoft buzz

While the likes of Alphabet (the parent company of Google) is making strides where AI is concerned, the reality is that Microsoft seems to be leading the pack. Here’s a look at just some of what Microsoft has achieved and what’s been creating a buzz:

  • November 2022 – ChatGTP appeared in a fashion that seemed to be an overnight success. Coming from the Microsoft-backed company, OpenAI, this tool has shown people just what AI can achieve 
  • January 2023 – Microsoft stated that it would invest multiple billions into OpenAI to drive development
  • February 2023 – an upgraded version of the Microsoft search engine, Bing, was launched. This included a chatbot that had OpenAI’s GPT-4 technology behind it
  • March 2023 – OpenAI publicised the advancements that have been made by moving from GPT-3 to GPT-4

It appears that this is just the start of what Microsoft will be offering in terms of AI. The launch of Copilot is eagerly anticipated and you can be sure that other companies will be hot on Microsoft’s heels with the release of their own versions. 

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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