Microsoft announced its intention on Thursday to incorporate artificial intelligence into its most well-known productivity applications, including Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word, with the goal of transforming how millions of people work every day.
According to CNN at an event on Thursday, Microsoft said that Microsoft 365 users will soon be able to use an AI “Co-pilot” to assist edit, summarizing, creating, and comparing documents. Nevertheless, don’t name it Clippy.
The new features, which are based on the same technology as ChatGPT, are significantly more powerful (and less anthropomorphized) than their wide-eyed, paperclip-shaped forerunner.
Users will have the capacity to transcribe meeting notes during a Skype session, summarize extensive email threads to rapidly generate suggested responses, demand an Excel figure, and convert a Word document into a PowerPoint presentation in seconds with the new features.
Microsoft is also introducing a concept called Business Chat, which is an agent that follows the user around while they work and tries to comprehend and make sense of their Microsoft 365 data.
According to the company, the agent will be aware of what is in a user’s inbox and on their schedule for the day, as well as the documents they’ve been working on, the presentations they’ve been creating, the people they’re meeting with, and the discussions that are taking place on their Teams platform.
Users can then instruct Business Chat to perform tasks such as writing a status report by summarizing all of the documents across platforms on a specific project and then drafting an email to send to their team with an update.
Microsoft’s statement came just a month after it added comparable AI-powered features to Bing, and it comes amid a resurgent rivalry in the tech industry to develop and deploy AI technologies that can revolutionize the way people work, shop, and create.
Google said earlier this week that AI will be included in its productivity tools, including Gmail, Sheets, and Documents.
The announcement comes only two days after OpenAI, the company behind Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology and the creator of ChatGPT, presented GPT-4, its next-generation model.
The ability of the update to file lawsuits, pass standardized exams, and develop a working website from a hand-drawn sketch astounded several users in early tests and a company showcase.
OpenAI stated that it has introduced more “guardrails” to keep dialogues on course and that it has strived to make the tool less prejudiced.
Though, the update, as well as initiatives by larger tech companies to integrate this technology, may raise new concerns about how AI tools can disrupt professions, allow students to cheat, and change our connection with technology. GPT-4 has already been used by Microsoft’s new Bing browser, for better or worse.
According to a Microsoft spokeswoman, 365 users who utilize the new AI tools should be aware that the technology is still in development and that information should be double-reviewed.
Despite significant advancements in OpenAI’s current model, GPT-4 maintains restrictions similar to prior versions.
The business stated that it is still capable of making “basic reasoning errors” or being “overly trusting in accepting evident fraudulent statements from a user,” and that it does not fact-check.
Yet, Microsoft believes that the modifications will significantly enhance people’s work experiences by making activities easier and less tiresome, freeing them up to be more analytical and creative.
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