Microsoft’s new AI-powered Copilot quickly summed up my meeting yesterday, which was with Microsoft to talk about Copilot, and then it told me what questions I had just asked. I’ve seen Microsoft show off the future of work with ideas about virtual assistants for years, but Copilot is the closest thing I’ve seen to those ideas coming true.
In an interview with The Verge, Jon Friedman, corporate vice president of design and research at Microsoft, said, “This is the new way of computing, the new way of working with technology, and the most adaptable technology we’ve seen.”
I was on a Teams call with Friedman when he turned on Copilot in the middle of our conversation so it could do its AI-powered magic. Microsoft has a flashy marketing video showing what Copilot can do, but when Friedman showed me how it worked in real-time across Office apps and Teams, I was sure it would change how we use software, make documents, and, ultimately, how we work.
Copilot is a helpful AI chatbot found on the sidebar of Office apps. However, it is much more than that. You could be in the middle of a Word document, which will slowly pop up when you highlight a whole paragraph, similar to how Word’s user interface (UI) prompts show you when you’ve misspelled something. You can use it to rewrite paragraphs by giving you ten ideas for a new text that you can flip through and freely change, or you can have Copilot make whole documents.
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