Microsoft continues to add layers of generative intelligence to its flagship products. After the Bing search engine and the Edge browser, it’s Microsoft 365, its online office suite that includes Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, which has been enriched with new features.
“This is an important step that will fundamentally change the way we work and pave the way for a new wave of productivity growth,” Satya Nadella, boss of the Redmond giant, assured on Thursday, March 16, during a meeting. dedicated to “the future of working with AI”.
These new features are grouped together in a “co-pilot” option, just like on GitHub. They are based on the excellent GPT-4 language model introduced by OpenAI on Tuesday evening and already used by Bing and Edge. The American startup is a preferred partner of Microsoft, which has invested more than $10 billion in capital and built a supercomputer on which it trains its models.
“Doing what was impossible until now”
In Word, this agent will be able to draft or shorten a paragraph, as well as write a sentence based on data from a spreadsheet. In Excel, he will be able to analyze data or make predictions. In Powerpoint, he will be able to create presentations from a plain text document. In Outlook, he will be able to write emails and summarize conversations. And in Teams, he will be able to mark important moments of the meeting.
Microsoft will also launch a new product called Business Chat. This will be related to various Microsoft 365 Apps as well as companies’ internal data. Thus, he will be able to analyze all these sources in order to “do what has not been possible until now,” says Microsoft. The maker of Office and Windows is already testing this co-pilot with 20 client companies. Access will be given to other customers “in the coming months”, along with pricing, deployment options and other details.
Two days ago, Google also announced the addition of generative AI technologies to its Workspace office suite (Gmail, Docs, etc.). Like its competitor, Google does not specify whether these tools will be available to all users or just businesses.
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