(CNN) Microsoft on Thursday unveiled plans to bring artificial intelligence to its popular productivity tools, including Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel and Word, promising to change how millions do their work every day.
At an event on Thursday, Microsoft 365 users announced that they will soon be able to use what the company calls an AI “Co-pilot” to help organize, summarize, create and compare documents. But don’t call him Clippy. Built on the same technology that powers ChatGPT, the new features are more powerful (and less anthropomorphized) than their wide-eyed paperclip-shaped predecessor.
With the new features, users can transcribe meeting notes during a Skype call, summarize long email threads to quickly draft suggested responses, ask them to create a specific chart in Excel, and convert a Word document into a PowerPoint presentation in seconds.
Microsoft is introducing a concept called Business Chat, an agent that interacts with users and tries to understand and understand their Microsoft 365 data. The agent knows what’s in a user’s email and calendar that day, as well as the documents they’ve been working on, the presentations they’ve been working on, the people they’ve met, and the conversations they’ve had. Group platform according to the company. Users can aggregate all documents on a particular project across platforms, ask Business Chat to perform tasks such as writing a status report, and then compose an email that can be sent to their team with an update.
Microsoft’s announcement comes a month after bringing AI-powered features to Bing and a renewed arms race across the tech industry to deploy and deploy tools that could change how people work, buy and create. Earlier this week, the competitor Google announced that it is the same Bringing AI to productivity tools; Including Gmail, Sheets and Docs.
The news comes two days after OpenAI, the company behind Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology and the creator of ChatGPT. It was announced Its next generation model GPT-4. The update moved many users away from hand-drawn designs with the ability to set up lawsuits, pass standardized tests, and build a functional website on the first tests and company demos.
OpenAI says it has added more “safeguards” to keep conversations going and has worked to make the tool less biased. But the reform and the move by big tech companies to integrate this technology raises challenging questions about how AI tools can advance careers, inspire students, and change our relationship with technology. Microsoft’s new Bing browser already uses GPT-4. For better or for worse.
A Microsoft spokesperson said that 365 users who get the new AI tools should remember that the technology is a work in progress and data needs to be double-checked. Although OpenAI has made extensive improvements to its latest model, GPT-4 has the same limitations as previous versions. It said the company could still make “simple errors of judgment” or be “too gullible to accept blatantly false statements from users” and not verify the facts.
Still, Microsoft believes the changes will significantly improve the experience of people at work by allowing them to perform tasks in a simpler and less boring way, freeing analysis and creativity.
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