Microsoft on Thursday unveiled its latest plans to put artificial intelligence in the hands of more users, responding to a series of releases this week from rival Google for its office tools, Google Docs and Gmail.
The tech company unveiled a new artificial intelligence “co-pilot” for Microsoft 365, its product suite that includes Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and Outlook emails.
Released for the first time to selected enterprise customers for testing, the artificial intelligence will provide a draft in these applications, speeding up content creation and freeing up employees’ time, Microsoft said.
The company, which is outperforming its competitors through investments in ChatGPT’s creator, startup OpenAI, also unveiled a new “business chat” experience that can extract data and perform tasks in applications at a user’s written command.
In one of the company’s biggest updates on Thursday, Microsoft said artificial intelligence could open up the computational wizardry of its Excel spreadsheet software — long the domain of trained analysts — to anyone able to describe a calculation they’d like to perform. plain text.
Microsoft also said the artificial intelligence can summarize email threads and virtual meetings as they occur in its Teams collaboration software, similar to the artificial intelligence live notes that Google demonstrated to reporters this week.
Microsoft’s new business chat experience can also answer a question like “tell my team how we update product strategy” by following up on an entire morning’s worth of emails, meetings and chat threads, said Microsoft. company.