The other day, The Verge had an interesting article about Microsoft’s Copilot, a product being added to Microsoft 365 and Teams. What caught my attention was the AI component of the Copilot product. In short, it’s an AI product integrated into your office products that will allow you to easily create first drafts in Word or perform complex operations using simple language, much like you would with the new Bing and ChatGPT. For example, in the blog post announcing this feature, Microsoft says that “You can give it natural language prompts like “Tell my team how we updated the product strategy,” and it will generate a status update based on the morning’s meetings, emails and chat threads.”

That’s impressive. I can’t tell you how often I do similar tasks, either for my own purposes or for the sake of explaining a situation to others.

Microsoft goes on and says the following about Word and Copilot:

“With Copilot in Word, you can jump-start the creative process so you never start with a blank slate again. Copilot gives you a first draft to edit and iterate on — saving hours in writing, sourcing, and editing time.”

And PowerPoint:

“Copilot in PowerPoint helps you create beautiful presentations with a simple prompt, adding relevant content from a document you made last week or last year.”

Then Excel:

“And with Copilot in Excel, you can analyze trends and create professional-looking data visualizations in seconds.And with Copilot in Excel, you can analyze trends and create professional-looking data visualizations in seconds.”

Copilot also works in Teams, Outlook and PowerApps. You can read more about it here, in the official announcement.

Or, view the video announcement below:

With the high pace of AI product deployments lately, I’m not surprised to see this from Microsoft. On it’s surface, it looks like a product that could be immensely helpful and cut time. The potential to summarize notes in a topic across multiple Office software products is amazing and I know that it’s something I could put to use right away in my own work. Whether I will or not remains to be seen.

For example, there is always a privacy concern. Will knowledge Copilot gains in one side of a company also be taken into account for tasks by others in the organization. Could loss of confidentiality become an issue, for example?

I can also see accuracy as a concern. ChatGPT as well as Microsoft’s Bing implementation is known for not always being accurate. This is a concern in a business setting and something to keep in mind as AI moves closer to use in our daily work lives.

Although an actual release date hasn’t been announced yet, XLI will be keeping an eye on Copilot and any future developments of this product.

What are your thoughts on this? Good or bad?