EcoReporter: Microsoft’s New AI Assistant
In our upcoming EcoReporter segment, we will be discussing Microsoft’s new AI assistant called Microsoft 365 Copilot. This AI assistant, developed by Microsoft and embedded into its office apps, will become available to all from 1 November, following trials.
Microsoft 365 Copilot has several functionalities that aim to make office work easier. It can summarize meetings held in Teams for anyone who chooses not to attend. It can also draft emails, create word documents, spreadsheet graphs, and Powerpoint presentations in moments. Microsoft hopes that this tool will eliminate “drudgery” in office work.
However, there are concerns about the potential impact of this technology. Some worry that tech like this will replace workers, leading to job losses. There are also concerns about businesses becoming dangerously reliant on AI-powered assistance. Additionally, the current form of Microsoft 365 Copilot could potentially violate new rules governing AI, as it does not make clear when content has not been created by humans. Both Europe’s AI act and China’s AI regulations state that people must know if they are interacting with artificial intelligence rather than humans.
Collette Stallbaumer, head of Microsoft 365, emphasizes that it is the responsibility of the individual using Copilot to clarify that they are using an AI assistant. She states that “the human is always in the mix and always in control.” However, the EU states that it is up to the firms developing AI tools to ensure responsible use.
During an exclusive opportunity to try out Copilot ahead of its wider launch, it was found to be a useful tool for office work. It was able to summarize long email chains, draft emails, and create presentations in a matter of seconds. However, it did have limitations and could not fulfill all requests.
Overall, Microsoft’s new AI assistant shows promise in streamlining office work, but there are concerns that need to be addressed regarding job displacement, overreliance on AI, and adherence to AI regulations.