Microsoft’s latest AI assistant will go with you to meetings. Following trials, a ChatGPT-style AI assistant built by Microsoft and embedded in its office programmes will be available to anyone on November 1st. Microsoft 365 Copilot can summarise Team meetings for those who are unable to attend.
Microsoft’s latest AI assistant will go with you to meetings
It can also quickly draught emails, word documents, spreadsheet graphs, and PowerPoint presentations. Microsoft thinks the tool would eliminate “drudgery,” but critics are concerned that technology like this will replace workers. There are also concerns that it will put firms at risk of being overly reliant on AI-powered support.
In its current form, it may also violate new AI regulations by neglecting to indicate when the material was created by humans. Both Europe’s AI legislation and China’s AI regulations specify that individuals must be aware when they are communicating with artificial intelligence rather than humans.
Colette Stallbaumer, the head of Microsoft 365, stated that it was up to the user using Copilot to clarify this. “It is a tool, and people have a responsibility to use it responsibly,” she added.
“I might not be telling you when I send you that response that I used an AI assistant to help me generate it.” But the human is always present and in charge.”
However, the EU emphasises that it is the responsibility of the companies who develop AI technologies to guarantee that they are utilised appropriately. I was granted an exclusive opportunity to test Copilot ahead of its general release.
It makes use of the same technology that powers ChatGPT, which was developed by OpenAI, a firm in which Microsoft has invested billions of dollars.
Because Copilot is embedded inside an individual’s account, with access to their own – or a company’s – data, I demonstrated it on the laptop of Derek Snyder, a Microsoft employee. According to Microsoft, the data is protected and will not be used to train the tech.
“You only have access to data that you would not otherwise be allowed to see,” Ms Stallbaumer explained. “It respects data policies.”
My first impression of Copilot is that it will be both a beneficial tool and a fiercely competitive companion for individuals who do office work, particularly in corporations trying to save money.
I watched it confidently describe a long chain of emails about a fictitious product launch in a matter of seconds.
It then recommended a concise answer. We utilised a simple drop-down option to make that response lengthier and more casual, and the Chatbot generated a warm reaction, expressing respect for the ideas given and announcing joy at being a part of the project – despite the fact that none of us had read any of it.
We could then alter the email before sending it, or we could send the AI-generated copy in its entirety. There was no indication in the email that it contained Copilot content.
The application then generated a multiple-slide Powerpoint presentation based on the contents of a Word document in around 43 seconds. If there are any photos included in the paper, it can utilise them, or it can search its own royalty-free collection. It generated a basic yet powerful display, as well as a recommended narrative to go along with it.
Safety and Compliance
It misunderstood my request to make the presentation more “colourful,” and redirected me to manual Powerpoint options. Finally, we considered holding a Microsoft Teams meeting.
Copilot recognised themes and summarised several threads that ran across the talk. It could also recap what one person had said if necessary, and in the event of a disagreement, it could present the pros and drawbacks that had been debated in a chart format. All of this happened in a matter of seconds.
It has been programmed not to respond to inquiries about individual meeting performance, such as who was the best (or worse) speaker.
I asked Mr Snyder if he believed anyone would bother going to meetings once they knew Copilot could save them time and effort. “A lot of meetings might become webinars,” he said with a laugh.
Unless they verbally cue each other, the technology cannot distinguish between people who are on Teams yet sitting together sharing one tablet. Copilot will cost $30 per month (about £25 in the UK). It is internet-connected and cannot be used offline.
According to critics, this type of technology will cause significant upheaval in administrative positions. Carissa Veliz, an associate professor at Oxford University’s Institute for Ethics in AI, expressed fear that humans will become unduly reliant on such programmes.
“What happens if the technology fails or is hacked?” There could be a problem, or they could implement new regulations with which you disagree. And what happens if you’re so addicted to the system that you believe you can’t live without it?” She stated.