Today at Microsoft's “special event”, Yusef Mehdi, the tech company’s head of consumer marketing presented a huge next step in its AI evolution – Copilot.
It has previously announced Microsoft 365 Copilot, an intelligent assistant that worked across a range of its suite of productivity apps like Word and Excel.
At the event, Microsoft explained how Copilot is going to help you with almost everything that you use Windows or Microsoft products for. This new versatile Copilot will be put into action September 26 to all devices that receive the next Windows 11 update. For desktop, you can get this today and start trying it out for yourself. This means Copilot will be on all kinds of devices – PCs, laptops, and tablets.
Microsoft is aiming to integrate Copilot into Windows in such a way that feels natural and intuitive to use. It will be a standalone app, as well as function as an assistant in a wide assortment of other Windows apps to assist you with all kinds of tasks. This includes popular programs like Paint, Snipping Tool, Photos, and more where you can copy and paste right into the program and get to work on it right away.
It will also help you figure out what to do with text, whether it can help revise or summarise it.
One particularly interesting addition to Microsoft’s available apps which Mehdi talked about is Windows Ink Anywhere which will allow you to handwrite a math problem into a text field or take a photo of it, and help you solve it.
Also, if you connect your phone to your Windows device and give it permission to access your phone, Copilot will use that connection to inform its output.
Copilot and Bing, both with built-in AI
Microsoft’s flagship search engine, Bing, which has seen the integration of ChatGPT tech is also going to work in cooperation with Copilot, for example to help you shop online. You can take a picture and the two tools will help you quickly identify where you can buy it. Bing Image Creator, the AI image generator that anyone can access with a Microsoft account for free, is being upgraded to the DALL-E 3 model. When you ask Bing (and I assume Bing Chat, eventually) a question, the answers you get will be more personalized using your chat history.
I think Copilot is going to have to prove itself – Microsoft spent a long time focusing on it during its presentation and it's not a physically flashy product, but it promises a lot. If it's as powerful and as useful as Microsoft says, that could be what makes it the next standard that we measure all AI assistants against (like Word was for text editors or Google is for search now). Time will tell.