Over the last few months, Microsoft has been embracing AI in an unprecedented way. Whether it is Bing Chat or furthering its partnership with OpenAI to drive natural language processing across its services. During its work AI event yesterday, Microsoft once again called on OpenAI and ChatGPT with the introduction of Microsoft 365 Copilot.
You can check out my full breakdown of all the announcements at the Future of The Future of Work with AI event to see the full Copilot service. However, here I want to focus on how Microsoft 365 Copilot will transform the core Office apps, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
These are the apps most people will use, even casual business users and personal account holders with Microsoft 365. Copilot is now integrated into these apps, bringing OpenAI GPT AI natural language processing models to productivity.
Microsoft 365 Copilot in Word
With Copilot in Word, users can task the AI will writing, editing, generating, and summarizing their documents. All is needed is small prompt for the AI to generate a first draft written by the AI. The model will tap into data from across an organization to compile a document that has value. For example, it can rewrite sections, write articles, add to existing documents, or simple offer a summary of a document.
“You can even get suggested tones—from professional to passionate and casual to thankful—to help you strike the right note,” Microsoft explains. “Copilot can also help you improve your writing with suggestions that strengthen your arguments or smooth inconsistencies. Here are some example commands and prompts you can try:
- Draft a two-page project proposal based on the data from [a document] and [a spreadsheet].
- Make the third paragraph more concise. Change the tone of the document to be more casual.
- Create a one-page draft based on this rough outline.”
Microsoft 365 Copilot in Excel
Microsoft is already working on using AI in Excel to boost productivity, including its own FLAME.ai. With Copilot, users can ask the chatbot queries about their spreadsheet and data, whether natural language or formulas. The AI can surface relationships between data, offer what-if scenarios, and even offer new formulas.
“Identify trends, create powerful visualizations, or ask for recommendations to drive different outcomes. Here are some example commands and prompts you can try:
- Give a breakdown of the sales by type and channel. Insert a table.
- Project the impact of [a variable change] and generate a chart to help visualize.
- Model how a change to the growth rate for [variable] would impact my gross margin.”
Microsoft 365 Copilot in PowerPoint
Copilot in PowerPoint – which leaked ahead of Microsoft's event – can perform tasks such as create presentations for you. It can also take a Word document and convert it into a decks for a presentation, with speaker notes and sources included. Furthermore, users can convert large presentations into smaller demonstrations.
“use natural language commands to adjust layouts, reformat text, and perfectly time animations. Here are some example commands and prompts you can try:
- Create a five-slide presentation based on a Word document and include relevant stock photos.
- Consolidate this presentation into a three-slide summary.
- Reformat these three bullets into three columns, each with a picture.”
Microsoft 365 Copilot in Outlook
Lastly, Copilot in Outlook brings automation to emails. Specifically, it help to manage inboxes and messages by summarizing emails, combining email threads with multiple contacts into useable summarized documents, and respond to emails for users. It will scrape other emails and content you have written to provide the notes you write into professional messages.
“Use toggles to adjust the tone or length of your note. Here are some example commands and prompts you can try:
- Summarize the emails I missed while I was out last week. Flag any important items.
- Draft a response thanking them, and asking for more details about their second and third points; shorten this draft and make the tone professional.
- Invite everyone to a “lunch and learn” about new product launches next Thursday at noon. Mention that lunch is provided.”
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