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Microsoft Unveils New Generative AI Features for Copilot 365 With Report Showing Everyone is Using AI at Work

Microsoft is streamlining the process of writing good prompts for generative AI tools in an update to Copilot for Microsoft 365. The upgraded suite of AI features comes with the release of the newest Work Trend Index report from Microsoft and LinkedIn showing the growing integration of AI into daily work activities, with 75% of surveyed individuals are already using AI tools at work

365 Prompts

Copilot for Microsoft 365 augments the platform with a generative AI assistant throughout the connected Office apps. The new features are designed to streamline the process of crafting effective prompts, a crucial element in leveraging AI tools for content generation and query resolution. With the auto-complete feature, users who ask the AI to “summarize” without additional information will be presented with refined options, such as summarizing the last ten unread emails in their inbox. This addition aims to optimize the user’s interaction with AI by suggesting contextually relevant tasks based on their Office data.

Meanwhile, the new “elaborate your prompt” feature can enhance initial prompts with additional details to improve the AI’s output. This feature is intended to assist users in specifying their requests when interacting with files, ensuring they obtain the most relevant information or action from the AI. Microsoft also plans to introduce a new “Catch Up” chat interface within Copilot for Microsoft 365. This interface will highlight key information such as upcoming meetings and surface relevant documents to aid in meeting preparation, enhancing workplace productivity and efficiency. In addition to these user-facing enhancements, Microsoft will enable Copilot for Microsoft 365 subscribers to create, publish, and manage custom prompts via Copilot Lab. This feature is tailored for use within business teams, facilitating the sharing and standardization of effective AI prompts across colleagues.

“AI is democratizing expertise across the workforce,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. “Our latest research highlights the opportunity for every organization to apply this technology to drive better decision-making, collaboration — and ultimately business outcomes.”

AI At Work

As the Microsoft and LinkedIn Work Trend Index showed, there’s plenty of demand for AI tools in offices. In the survey of 31,000 individuals across 31 countries, LinkedIn hiring trends, and Microsoft 365 data usage, 75% of surveyed individuals are already using AI tools at work, and 78% of these users are bringing personal AI tools into their workplaces, indicating a proactive approach to leveraging AI technologies despite organizational offerings. The survey also identifies a new category of “AI power users,” employees who have fully integrated AI into their workflows to optimize their productivity, reportedly saving an average of 30 minutes per day.

This initiative comes at a crucial time for Microsoft as it seeks to demonstrate the value of its AI investments to shareholders. With a significant 31% revenue increase in its Azure and other cloud services in the recent fiscal quarter, AI services contributed seven percentage points to this growth, underscoring the expanding role of AI in Microsoft’s business strategy.

“AI is redefining work and it’s clear we need new playbooks,” said LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky.“It’s the leaders who build for agility instead of stability and invest in skill building internally that will give their organizations a competitive advantage and create more efficient, engaged and equitable teams.”

Microsoft has been keen to make its Copilot generative AI assistant as widely used as possible, both by users and third-party partners. Ongoing upgrades like implementing the more powerful Deucalion model to power Copilot, along with enhanced features from Copilot Pro, make it clear that Microsoft wants to make its generative AI service the default regardless of the environment where it’s employed.

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