Microsoft has long been at the forefront of innovation in the world of work. Its recent efforts to harness the power of large language models (LLMs) to boost productivity, enhance creativity, and improve employees’ skills are in keeping with this longstanding emphasis. With the introduction of Microsoft 365 Copilot, Microsoft is taking this quest to the next level.
Microsoft 365 Copilot is an intelligent assistant that’s powered by the same technology behind OpenAI’s GPT-4, the most advanced version of the high-powered chatbot that’s taken the internet by storm. Like ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot was trained on massive public data stores, including books, articles, and websites, and this experience allows the engine to understand human language and interact with its users through text-based prompts. Unlike ChatGPT, however, Microsoft Copilot has access to your individual business’s data, which allows it to better understand the content and context of your communications with it.
Natively embedded into Microsoft 365, Copilot was designed to provide real-time intelligent assistance across apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Outlook, and more. It enables everyone in your organization to interact with business data in the Microsoft Graph, using easy-to-understand natural language prompts.
While Microsoft Copilot is capable of creating a new knowledge model for your organization by harnessing insights from cross-organizational data stores, it’s also designed to protect your data from misuse or leakage. Though Copilot can generate answers based on your business’s data, it does not use this data—or your prompts—for training the LLMs that it’s based on. Admins can set permissions within your tenant to ensure that users won’t have access to data that they shouldn’t be allowed to access. And Copilot automatically inherits all the security, compliance, and privacy policies that you’ve established for your Microsoft 365 ecosystem.
First of all, Microsoft Copilot was built to help knowledge workers unleash their creativity. It can help you compose first drafts of content in Microsoft Word, saving time you’d otherwise spend on writing, editing, and finding sources. It can also help you build or edit presentations in PowerPoint, automatically adding relevant content from Word documents or Excel sheets, and summarizing conversations or incorporating additional information from other sources as appropriate. With Copilot, you have instant access to more data than any individual can remember or comprehend, and you can incorporate suggestions from an intelligent assistant on how to improve your grammar or phrasing.
Copilot was also created to enhance productivity, empowering professionals to reduce the amount of time they spend on busywork by summarizing email conversation threads, instantly drafting replies, and helping Teams meeting participants understand who said what, where people agree and disagree, and which action items should follow from the meeting.
In addition, Copilot helps transform everyday users of Microsoft 365 apps into power users. Most people use only a tiny handful of the commands available in PowerPoint or Excel. With Copilot, you can take greater advantages of these powerful tools’ rich capabilities by using natural language commands to interact with them.
Although Microsoft Copilot is a powerful tool, it won’t do your job for you—and it can’t replace you. What it can do is uplevel your professional productivity, making it possible for you to work smarter instead of harder.
Copilot incorporates behavioral analytics that can help employees understand where and how they spend their time, so that they can improve their work habits.
It can also serve as a high-powered interconnect that makes it possible for all the applications in the Microsoft 365 suite to exchange information and work better together. You can ask it to summarize an email conversation within Microsoft Word, for instance. Or share an Excel sheet you’ve created with someone on your contact list in Outlook. It brings data together from across the entire Microsoft ecosystem, the public internet, and any additional sources you ask it to incorporate.
Microsoft Copilot can also help you learn to take better advantage of the tools within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. It can help you find trends in data with Excel—trends you might not have known how to uncover without its assistance. It can enhance your writing, research, and data visualization skills (to name just a few things). And it can make recommendations that will take your creative and analytic work to the next level.
Will AI take over the world? Probably not, and certainly not anytime soon. Can it help you work smarter? Absolutely. For many Microsoft 365 users, the enhanced productivity Copilot brings will be well worth the add-on licensing cost.
To learn more about how Netrix’s expert team can help you enhance your Microsoft 365 experience, get in touch with us today.