Microsoft is gearing up to roll out its generative AI tool Copilot more widely – boldly claiming that the technology could “change the way we do computing”.
The tech giant revealed earlier this year that it had been working with OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, to create a new intelligence tool for use across the Microsoft 365 suite. Now the time has come for its widespread deployment, with a whole host of new AI-generated assistance tools headed to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams and more.
If you’re getting ready for all the potential benefits on offer, here’s what you need to do to prepare for this new world of computing.
Learn what it can do
Firstly, businesses should familiarise themselves with the capabilities of Copilot. It can, for example, provide an overview of topics covered in a Teams call in real time, or turn the contents of a Word document into PowerPoint slides, ready for refinement and design.
However, companies do not need to learn by rote every single feature on offer, as there’s another way: Business Chat. This allows users to input questions into a chat box on Teams (using all the regular syntax) to get any number of reports, documents or communications automatically generated. With this function it’s not essential for users to know what the system can or cannot do, they simply ask for what they want.
Expect evolution, not revolution
Microsoft has spoken about the benefits of Copilot with no small amount of fanfare. However, businesses may wish to exercise a little more restraint. Raúl Castañón, senior research analyst at 451 Research, told Computer World that whilst there was “significant potential” in the technology, any tangible benefits would more likely come in waves. The near term, he added, would bring minor productivity improvements, before some of the more seismic changes arrive later on.
Use Microsoft’s own expertise
Anyone who needs extra help getting to grips with Copilot can get it directly from Microsoft. In announcing the wider roll out, the company said it would “create a dedicated team of AI legal and regulatory experts in regions around the world” as a resource for businesses to support their implementations, to ensure they remain both effective and responsible.