If you are looking for a way to boost your productivity, creativity, and skills at work, you might want to check out Microsoft 365 Copilot. This is a new feature that Microsoft introduced in March 2023, which combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps. In this article, we will explain what Microsoft 365 Copilot is, how it works, and how it can help you work smarter and faster.
What is Microsoft 365 Copilot?
Microsoft 365 Copilot is your copilot for work. It is a feature that works alongside you, embedded in the Microsoft 365 apps you use every day, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more. It uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand your intent and context, and then generates suggestions, content, summaries, and more based on your data and preferences. You can give it natural language prompts like “create a presentation based on this document” or “summarise this email thread” and it will do the work for you.
Microsoft 365 Copilot also works across all your data and apps in a new experience called Business Chat. Business Chat is a chat-based interface that lets you interact with Copilot using natural language. You can ask it questions like “what are the key takeaways from the last meeting?” or “how is the project progress?” and it will generate answers based on your calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and contacts. You can also ask it to do tasks like “send a follow-up email to the client” or “schedule a meeting with the team” and it will do it for you.
How does Microsoft 365 Copilot work?
Microsoft 365 Copilot works by leveraging the power of large language models (LLMs), which are AI systems that can generate natural language based on massive amounts of data. Microsoft has developed its own LLM called Turing-NLG, which is one of the largest and most advanced LLMs in the world. Turing-NLG can generate coherent and fluent text on any topic, given a few words or sentences as input.
Microsoft 365 Copilot also uses your data in the Microsoft Graph, which is a network of information that connects your Microsoft 365 apps and services. The Microsoft Graph contains your personal and organisational data, such as your calendar events, emails, chats, documents, meetings, contacts, and more. It also contains insights derived from your data, such as your relationships with people, your interests, your preferences, and your habits.
By combining Turing-NLG with the Microsoft Graph, Microsoft 365 Copilot can generate personalised and relevant content and suggestions for you. It can also learn from your feedback and behaviour to improve over time. For example, if you reject a suggestion from Copilot or edit its output, it will learn from that and adjust its future suggestions accordingly.
How can Microsoft 365 Copilot help you work smarter and faster?
Microsoft 365 Copilot can help you work smarter and faster in many ways. Here are some examples of how it can help you:
- Unleash creativity: Copilot can help you generate new ideas, content, and designs for your projects. For example, if you need to write a blog post or an article, you can give Copilot a brief prompt or an outline and it will create a first draft for you. You can also ask it to add content to existing documents, summarize text, rewrite sections or the entire document to make it more concise or engaging, or change the tone of the document to suit your audience. You can also use Copilot to create presentations based on documents or data sources.
- Unlock productivity: Copilot can help you save time and effort by automating tasks that are repetitive or tedious. For example, if you need to send an email or a chat message to someone, you can ask Copilot to write it for you based on the context and purpose. You can also ask it to schedule meetings or appointments for you based on your availability and preferences. You can also use Copilot to generate action items lists and meeting summaries based on your conversations.
- Uplevel skills: Copilot can help you learn new skills or improve existing ones by providing guidance and feedback. For example, if you need to write a report or a proposal for work, you can ask Copilot to help you structure it properly and use clear and persuasive language. You can also ask it to check your grammar and spelling errors or suggest synonyms or alternative words. You can also use Copilot to learn new concepts or topics by asking it questions or requesting explanations.
How can you get started with Microsoft 365 Copilot?
Microsoft 365 Copilot is currently available as an invitation-only paid preview for selected customers worldwide.
If you are already part of the Early Access Program, you can start using Microsoft 365 Copilot by opening any of the supported apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams , etc.) and clicking on the Copilot icon in the ribbon. You will see a sidebar where you can type in your prompts or commands for Copilot. You can also access Business Chat by clicking on the chat icon in the sidebar.
Microsoft 365 Copilot is a new way to work smarter and faster with AI. It is designed to be your copilot for work, helping you unleash creativity, unlock productivity, and uplevel skills.