by Danish Ali Detho | O365 & Power Platform Solution Architect
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way we do just about everything in life whether it’s doing chores at home or performing daily tasks in the office like searching for information, checking code for errors, or even creating original art. Microsoft’s Office tools have been setting the gold standard in productivity software, making Microsoft 365 a must-have for every business and now, AI is about to change how we use our favorite Microsoft 365 products, as well. In March 2023, Microsoft announced that they’re developing their very own answer to high-functioning chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT called Microsoft 365 Copilot “your copilot for work”. In this blog, we will have a look at this new technology and how it is going to improve productivity in Microsoft 365 tools.
Microsoft 365 Copilot: Your Copilot for work
Microsoft 365 Copilot is an AI chatbot assistant powered by OpenAI’s GPT4 that works alongside your emails, documents, meetings, and the new Business Chat service. It brings together the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data accessed using Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps. It is inspired by the old-generation “Clippy” which was an animated paperclip appearing at the side of documents and guide as needed. As part of Microsoft 365 products, Copilot will make it possible to get things done using simple, natural language. Just prompt it as to what you want, and Copilot will take care of the rest. Microsoft 365 Co-Pilot combines 3 technologies
- The Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, etc.),
- Microsoft Graph and all your organization’s content and context in it.
- The GPT-4 Large Language Model (LLM) parses, understands, and creates human-readable text.
Source – Microsoft/TechCrunch
Microsoft 365 Copilot: Usage in Office Products
Microsoft 365 Copilot will enable you to interact with the chatbot in all the common Microsoft 365 apps. Once you provide a prompt, Copilot will automatically generate a response depending on your natural language instruction.
Create a draft Document in Microsoft Word
Copilot can help you to jump-start the creative process so you never start with a blank slate again. It can create a first draft of a document for you based on your prompt and then help in driving your unique ideas forward, prompting Copilot to shorten, rewrite or give feedback. Using MS Graph, Copilot can include content from collaborative documents across the organization and make it sound professional or casual.
Create Visualization and Projection in Microsoft Excel
Copilot can give answers that usually require complex formulas and can show you different visualizations, and projections, and give recommendations without changing the spreadsheet. It can analyze trends based on your prompts and create professional-looking data visualizations.
Create a beautiful Presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint
Copilot can use your natural language prompts or a Word document to create a beautiful presentation, adding relevant content from a document you made last week or last year. With simple commands, you can simplify longer presentations.
Reply to Emails in Microsoft Outlook
Copilot can quickly answer your routine emails and can also pull discussions from email threads and content across Microsoft 365 helping you clear your inbox in minutes, not hours. It will also allow you to adjust the tone and length of your responses.
Create Meetings and get insights in Microsoft Teams
Copilot can set meeting agendas and schedules and it will also help users in the decision-making process as the chatbot can list the pros and cons of any discussion and suggest the next steps. It can summarize key discussion points and suggest action items, all in real-time during a meeting.
Business Chat: One-stop shop for all your contact
Business Chat is designed to help you work smarter and faster and works across all Microsoft 365 apps and data. It acts like a conversational assistant that understands your context and intent. You can ask it to do things like create documents, schedule meetings, send emails, update presentations, and more. You can also ask for information or feedback on your work. This new service will allow you to access your calendar invites, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and contacts in one place. You can boost your collaboration by using it as a single-window solution for your queries on projects and plans.
Microsoft 365 Copilot General Availability
Copilot is currently in development with a very small group of test users and will be coming to a wider audience in the coming months. While we don’t really know exactly when it will become generally available but its launch is highly anticipated, and we can expect it to be a game-changer in the world of productivity apps.
Microsoft 365 Co-Pilot will fundamentally change how people work by combining the artificial intelligence technology powered by OpenAI’s GPT4 with key business data in order to streamline the functionality of Microsoft 365 products like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Teams, and Power platform. It promises to make Microsoft 365’s suite of tools even more useful by offering unparalleled access to the vast cache of information, insights, and data that are already out there. As Microsoft CEO says “With our new copilot for work, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface i.e. natural language.”