The AI sphere was rather dull and quiet, but things are changing fast.
After OpenAI introduced ChatGPT, and following the fact that Microsoft is one of the largest backers of OpenAI, Microsoft began a full-throttle push towards bringing its AI initiatives throughout its products and services.
At a special event in New York City, Microsoft said that it is rolling out updates to its array of software and Surface hardware.
And importantly, during the keynote, Microsoft announced that it has released its AI-powered assistant, known as Copilot, to general availability.
So basically here, Copilot is like having ChatGPT built into all Microsoft apps, like Windows, Edge, Excel, and PowerPoint.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) September 21, 2023
According to CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, Copilot is "essentially a new category of computing." He said that:
"Just like you boot up an operating system to access applications or use a browser to navigate websites, you will involve a Copilot to do all these activities and more."
By having a generative AI baked into those products, Microsoft is making it possible for users to utilize the AI in context-aware situations, to aid them on a daily basis for everyday tasks.
For example, users can use the Copilot on Windows 11 to summarize an email in Outlook, to then make draft reply based on meeting notes in Word, and then analyze a spreadsheet in Excel, and later make a PowerPoint presentation based on a marketing proposal.
Users can even simply type "turn on dark mode" or "start a focus timer," and the the AI do that.
Besides being on Windows and Microsoft 365 software suite, Copilot shall also work across all of the company's web and productivity applications.
In other words, not only that it is new, because Nadella also thinks it's going to change the way people work and interact with computers.
In a blog post, Microsoft said that Microsoft Copilot shall be "your everyday AI companion."
Microsoft is making a big promise about Copilot.
As a company that began making its name in history during the rise of personal computers, Microsoft has been leading the market ever since, and has fundamentally changed the way people interacted with information using computers.
The company also played a significant role when information shifted from offline to online, and from PCs to smartphones, and also the cloud.
While Microsoft does compete with other giants, like Google and Apple, Microsoft thinks that Copilot can be significant.
With AI, Microsoft is trying so hard to get back on top by winning the battle in the four realms.
"We believe Copilot will fundamentally transform our relationship with technology and usher in the new era of personal computing," said Nadella.
This is a big promise from Microsoft. While the company is known for fulfilling its promises, the answer for whether the move is a pivotal point clearly depends on whether people find enough utility to make using AI a regular part of their workflow, instead of just something they play with when they want to see if they can make Bing have strange conversations.
Regardless, Microsoft is ready. It even planned to use small modular nuclear reactors to help it achieve that goal.