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What is Microsoft 365 Copilot and how does it work?

Microsoft has introduced a novel technology called Microsoft 365 Copilot that utilizes large language models (LLM) to boost workplace efficiency. The aim of this new tool is to offer customers a fresh approach to their work. So, what is this “entirely new way of working”? How does it work? And how can you take advantage of it? The answer will be revealed in this article.

Source: Microsoft

What is Microsoft 365 Copilot and how to use it?

Copilot is a new AI digital assistant built with ChatGPT version 4 and Microsoft Graphs for Microsoft 365 (Office) applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and other products and services. So yes, you will need a Microsoft 365 subscription to access the feature.

The chatbot will appear as a sidebar on the application (similar to the Bing Chat integration available on Microsoft Edge) that you can use to ask complex questions and command the app using natural language to perform different tasks. The chatbot can also appear in the middle of a document as you highlight a paragraph with suggestions to write the content with a single click or correct grammar mistakes.

So, What exactly does Copilot do?

The system aims to unlock productivity by reducing the amount of busywork users have to complete.

In Word, Microsoft 365 Copilot helps you write more effectively. It offers suggestions for word choices, phrasing, and even sentence structure. It also provides you with relevant information about the topic you're writing on, such as definitions, synonyms, and related topics. Additionally, Microsoft 365 Copilot can help you with formatting your documents. It can suggest formatting styles and designs that match your content and preferences, and even provide you with templates for various types of documents.

Copilot in PowerPoint helps create beautiful presentations using content from documents created weeks or even years ago. Just type in whatever you’d like — the number of slides, the styling, the content — and it will automatically generate it for you. It can also help you with your presentation delivery by providing you with speaking tips and reminders.

In Excel, Microsoft 365 Copilot helps you manage your data more efficiently. It can help you with tasks such as creating charts and graphs, analyzing data, and generating insights. It can also provide you with suggestions on formulas and functions to use based on the type of data you're working with. Microsoft 365 Copilot can also help you collaborate with others on your Excel sheets. It can suggest ways to share your data securely and provide you with real-time feedback on changes made by others.

In Outlook, Microsoft 365 Copilot helps you manage your email more effectively. It can suggest ways to organize your inbox, such as creating folders and rules. It can also provide you with templates for common email responses and even suggest responses based on the content of the email you've received. Microsoft 365 Copilot can also help you schedule meetings and appointments more efficiently. It can suggest times that work for all attendees and even book the meeting room for you.

Copilot in Teams helps you run more effective meetings, get up to speed on the conversation, organize key discussion points, and summarize key actions so that the entire group knows what to do next. In your chat, Copilot gets you answers to specific questions or catches you up on anything you’ve missed, all without interrupting the flow of discussion.

Copilot in Power Platform will help developers of all skill levels accelerate and streamline development with low-code tools with the introduction of two new capabilities within Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents.

The company also announced an entirely new experience: Business Chat. Business Chat, It will allow us to have real-time conversations with our Copilot. It uses the Power of Microsoft Graph to bring together information from across documents, presentations, emails, calendars, notes, and contacts keeping everything on the team on the same page. With natural language prompts like “tell my team how we updated the product strategy,” Business Chat will generate a status update based on the morning’s meetings, emails and chat threads.

How does Microsoft 365 Copilot work?

The technology known as Copilot does more than simply connect ChatGPT to Microsoft 365. It uses a system that merges the Microsoft 365 applications with the data from Microsoft Graph and the technology of ChatGPT version 4.

To explain how Copilot functions, if you ask a question in Word, the chatbot will send the data to Microsoft Graph to analyze and interpret the query. The data is then transmitted to ChatGPT language model. After ChatGPT has found the answer, it sends the data back to Microsoft Graph for further checks for grounding, security, and compliance, before presenting the answer to the user within the app. Microsoft acknowledges that the new Copilot may make errors but considers them to be "usefully wrong" mistakes that can still provide the user with a good starting point on the subject.

Copilot system (Source: Microsoft)

With its outstanding features, Copilot can bring you many benefits to maximize your productivity and work efficiency. According to GitHub data, developers who use Copilot are 88 per cent more productive, 74 per cent able to focus on more satisfying work, and 77 per cent able to spend less time searching for information or examples.

How about the user's privacy and sensitive information?

The power of Microsoft 365 Copilot also raises a question about whether Microsoft keeps good security of our sensitive information when using it. In their statements, Microsoft has ensured that data will not unintentionally leak between users and groups. Copilot presents only data that each individual can access using the same underlying controls for data access used in other Microsoft 365 services.  Additionally, they say not to use customer data to train or improve the large language models used to generate content. You can review Microsoft’s privacy policy and service documentation for more information.

Is Microsoft 365 Copilot responsible AI?

Microsoft has been on a Responsible AI journey since 2017, when they defined their principles and approach to ensuring this technology is used in a way that is driven by ethical principles that put people first. Microsoft has built Microsoft 365 Copilot with its existing commitments to data security and privacy in the enterprise, grounded in AI principles and Responsible AI Standard and decades of research.

Responsible AI in Pixta AI’s mind

With the belief that a better future would be created by a better & more responsible AI development. PIXTA AI is proud to empower AI developments at many industry leaders in automotive, manufacturing, retail, banking, research institutes, etc. We bring added values & strong partnership to our clients, by the full commitment of highest quality assurance. Keep updating the latest about Microsoft 365 Copilot and other cutting edge AI tools and trends with us here right today!

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