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Microsoft 365 gets a host of new AI-powered features

Summary

Microsoft has unveiled Microsoft 365 Copilot, a suite of productivity and enterprise apps using AI models such as OpenAI's GPT-4. Copilot can do different tasks depending on the app it is used with, such as writing, editing, summarizing, generating text and creating presentations in Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Microsoft is testing Copilot with select commercial customers and plans to release more information about pricing and licensing soon. There are concerns about the accuracy of AI models, but Microsoft is working to improve it by filtering prompts through the Microsoft Graph and providing users with information to double check their results. Google is also rolling out a suite of AI-powered tools, but Microsoft is facing an internal shortage of the server hardware needed to run its AI.

Q&As

What new AI-powered features are included in Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 includes new AI-powered features such as Microsoft 365 Copilot, which combines the power of AI models with business data and Microsoft 365 apps, and Business Chat, which brings together data from across documents, presentations, email, calendar, notes and contacts.

How will Copilot be used in different Microsoft 365 apps?
Copilot in Word can write, edit, summarize and generate text, while in PowerPoint and Excel, Copilot turns natural language commands into designed presentations and data visualizations. Copilot in Excel can also reveal correlations, propose what-if scenarios and suggest new formulas based on users’ questions. In Outlook, Copilot can help synthesize and manage inboxes as well as draft responses with toggles to adapt the length or tone. In Teams, Copilot provides real-time summaries and action items.

What is the purpose of Business Chat in Copilot?
The purpose of Business Chat in Copilot is to help summarize chats, write emails, find key dates or even write a plan based on other project files.

How is Microsoft ensuring the safety, security, and compliance of Copilot's responses?
Microsoft is filtering the prompts fed to Copilot through the Microsoft Graph, Microsoft’s unified data API, for additional context. The responses are then filtered back through the Microsoft Graph for safety, security and compliance checks and then sent back to Microsoft 365 apps.

How is Microsoft responding to the shortage of AI-capable server hardware?
Microsoft is reportedly rationing access to the hardware for some internal teams building other AI tools to ensure it has enough capacity to handle both Bing’s new GPT-4 powered chatbot and the upcoming, newly-announced Microsoft 365 Copilot tools.

AI Comments

đź‘Ť Microsoft's new AI-powered features in Microsoft 365 are very exciting and innovative. Copilot is an excellent example of how AI can be used to help increase productivity and make tasks easier.

đź‘Ž Microsoft's aggressive approach to rolling out these AI-based features is concerning, especially considering the fact that they are reportedly facing an internal shortage of the server hardware needed to run their AI.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about the new AI-powered features Microsoft 365 is rolling out. It's called Microsoft 365 Copilot and it incorporates OpenAI's GPT-4 model. It can be used in apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams to create presentations, generate models, draft responses, create meeting agendas, and more.

Friend: Wow, that sounds really advanced! What do you think the implications of this are?

Me: Well, it could have a major impact on the way we work. It could make tasks like creating presentations, generating models, and drafting responses much faster and easier. It could also create a more seamless workflow by bringing together data from documents, presentations, emails, calendars, notes, and contacts. On the other hand, it could take away jobs from people who currently do these tasks and lead to a more automated workplace. It could also lead to potential ethical issues if AI models are not properly trained and monitored.

Action items

Technical terms

Microsoft 365
A suite of productivity and enterprise apps from Microsoft, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams.
AI-Powered
Refers to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to perform tasks.
OpenAI’s GPT-4
A recently announced AI model from OpenAI.
Microsoft Graph
Microsoft’s unified data API.
Microsoft 365 Copilot
Microsoft’s latest push to embed its suite of productivity and enterprise apps with AI.
Business Chat
A feature of Copilot that brings together data from across documents, presentations, email, calendar, notes and contacts to help summarize chats, write emails, find key dates or even write a plan based on other project files.
Microsoft Azure
Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.
GPUs
Graphics Processing Units, a type of processor used for graphics-intensive tasks.

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