Microsoft adds AI tools to Office apps like Outlook, Word

In this July 3, 2014, file photo, the Microsoft Corp. logo is displayed outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft is injecting generative AI tools into its Office software, including Word, Excel and Outlook email. The new feature, called Copilot, is a processing engine that allows users to do things like summarize long emails, draft stories in Word and animate slideshows in PowerPoint, the company said on Thursday, March 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is incorporating artificial intelligence tools into its suite of office software, including Word, Excel and Outlook email.

The new feature, called Copilot, is a processing engine that allows users to do things like summarize long emails, draft stories in Word and animate slides in PowerPoint, the company said Thursday.

Colette Stallbaumer, general manager of Microsoft 365, said the new features are currently only available to 20 enterprise customers. It will roll out to more enterprise customers in the coming months.

Microsoft is marketing the feature as a tool that could allow employees to be more productive by freeing up time they would normally spend in their inboxes, or to more easily analyze trends in Excel.

The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant will also add a chat feature called Business Chat, similar to the popular ChatGPT. It uses user data to receive commands and perform actions — such as summarizing emails to colleagues about a particular project.

“Today marks the next major step in the evolution of how we interact with computing that will fundamentally change the way we work and unlock a new wave of productivity growth,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. wave.”

Mattel, Instacart and others have also been integrating generative AI tools like ChatGPT and image generator Dall-E to come up with ideas for new toy cars and answer customers’ food questions.

Microsoft rival Google said this week that it is integrating generative artificial intelligence tools into its own workspace apps such as Google Docs, Gmail and Slides. Google says it will roll out the features to its “trusted testers” throughout the year.

Microsoft’s announcement comes two days after OpenAI, which powers the generative artificial intelligence technology Microsoft relies on, launched its latest artificial intelligence model, GPT-4.

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