Microsoft is set to launch Copilot next week, an artificial intelligence tool designed to streamline your work life, and it’s already teasing one potential killer app: The AI’s ability to attend meetings in your place.
Because Copilot is embedded into Microsoft Office Suite apps like Teams, it can summarize meeting notes, chat notes, and emails and then draft customizable responses. The tool can also design spreadsheets, create graphs, make multi-slide PowerPoint presentations, and write Word documents in a matter of seconds.
The ability to attend meetings on your behalf is a potentially massive benefit and answer to what an AI can actually do to improve your life. AI has been a hot topic all year thanks to the explosion of ChatGPT and the idea of generative systems able to create their own content. It has prompted Big Tech companies to invest heavily in this area, despite experts warning of the potential danger and ethical ramifications of using people’s content to train these models.
Copilot, meanwhile, could reduce time spent on tedious tasks as employees can automate them and divert their attention to other, more important, matters. Still, some are concerned that Copilot has the potential to influence businesses already cutting back on operational expenses. Another cause for concern is the assistant doesn’t identify itself as AI. This goes against Europe and China’s AI regulations, which mandate bots must identify themselves as such.
Microsoft says the technology is as safe as the people using it.
“It is a tool, and people have a responsibility to use it responsibly,” said Colette Stallbaumer, head of Microsoft 365, in an interview with the BBC. “I might not be telling you when I send you that response that I used an AI assistant to help me generate it. But the human is always in the mix and always in control.”
Copilot is a closed, secure system that adheres to data policies, Microsoft said. Only the employees in a company have access to collected data. Microsoft said the information Copilot collects is to complete work tasks and will not be used to train the tool.