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Microsoft brings AI integration to Office with OpenAI

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Just like its co-pilot for the Web, Microsoft has announced a GPT-4 powered copilot for its Microsoft 365 apps and services on Thursday. The co-pilot will act as an in-built assistant inside Microsoft 365 apps as a chatbot in the sidebar ready for users to summon for generating text in documents, creating presentations from Word documents and can even help users out with Excel features among other things. 

Outside of Office apps, the copilot is also available in Teams and Outlook. It can help transcribe meetings in Microsoft’s video conferencing program, remind users of things they might have missed in case they joined late and even summarise entire meetings. In Outlook, you can expect email thread summaries, and draft responses with toggles to adapt the tone or length. 

Overall, Microsoft 365 Copilot can do the following things in different Microsoft 365 services:

  • Copilot in Word: The bot can write, edit and summarises documents. 
  • Copilot in Powerpoint: Can generate entire presentations using natural language commands.
  • Copilot in Excel: Gives insights, identifies trends and creates data visualisations. 
  • Copilot in Outlook: Synthesises and manages inbox.
  • Copilot in Teams: Can provide real-time summaries and action items directly in the context of the conversation. 

However, Microsoft 365 head Jared Spataro did point out that copilot isn’t always going to be 100% accurate, saying that it’ll sometimes be “usefully wrong” but will still give you an idea that’s “not perfect but still gives you a head start” during Microsoft’s AI launch event. 

Copilot can do a lot more than just generate text in Microsoft 365 apps. | Source: Microsoft

Microsoft has also announced another feature called Business Chat, powered by the same tech driving copilot in Microsoft 365 apps. It pulls data from documents, presentations, emails, calendar, notes and contacts to help summarise chats, write emails, notify users of important dates and helps write plans based on related project files. 

The company is claiming that copilot automatically “inherits all your company’s valuable security, compliance, privacy policies and processes”. Additionally, the AI feature also gets two-factor authentication, compliance boundaries and privacy protections among other features to ensure that Bing Chat’s crazy responses aren’t replicated in business emails. However, the overall safety and professionalism of the bot remain to be seen. 

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: