Microsoft to roll out ‘Copilot’ AI assistance in Microsoft 365

Microsoft to roll out ‘Copilot’ AI assistance in Microsoft 365

Unsplash/Microsoft Surface

New service will automate simple tasks in applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Microsoft will roll out a new ‘Copilot’ artificial intelligence assistant in Microsoft 365.  

The service – which is currently in testing with selected customers – is designed to help users improve productivity and efficiency when using Microsoft 365 applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams. According to Microsoft, these new tools can help people be “more creative in Word, more analytical in Excel, more expressive in PowerPoint, more productive in Outlook and more collaborative in Teams”. 

A screenshot of Microsoft 365 Copilot

Microsoft 365 Copilot can help users quickly create meeting notes (Image: Microsoft)

“With Microsoft 365 Copilot, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible with advanced AI and the most universal user interface: natural language,” wrote Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, on Twitter.  

For example, Copilot in Word writes, edits, summarises and creates alongside users as they work, while Copilot in Excel helps unlock insights, identify trends and create professional data visualisations.  

Also new is Business Chat, which brings together data from documents, presentations, email, calendar, notes and contacts to summarise chats, write emails, find key dates and more.  

A screenshot of Microsoft 365 Copilot

New functionalities in Microsoft 365 Copilot use AI to summarise information from meetings, emails, calendars and documents (Image: Microsoft)

“Copilot combines the power of large language models with your data and apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of modern work and business applications at Microsoft. “By grounding in your business content and context, Copilot delivers results that are relevant and actionable. It’s enterprise-ready, built on Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to security, compliance, privacy and responsible AI. Copilot marks a new era of computing that will fundamentally transform the way we work.” 

The launch of Microsoft 365 Copilot builds on the firm’s previous announcements of the ‘AI co-pilot for the web’, with new functionality in Edge and Bing, as well as the Dynamics 365 Copilot, which brings AI to customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning.  

Microsoft 365 Copilot uses generative AI in popular applications to help employees be more productive

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