Microsoft, which is the biggest investor in ChatGPT creator OpenAI, has obviously been reaping the benefits of being at the forefront of conversational computing innovations.
The latest order of business is adding a chatbot assistant into the Microsoft 365 line of programs.
No, it is not ChatGPT that is coming into the 365 apps, which include Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, but Microsoft’s own tool that goes by the name of Microsoft 365 Copilot.
What Will Copilot Do?
We have come a long way from the anthropomorphized paper clip by the name of Office Assistant that once surveyed Word documents.
While Office Assistant’s perpetually raised eyebrows and comically wide-open eyes would look over our writings like a grammatical guardian angel, Microsoft’s 365 Copilot is expected to be more like a full writing assistant.
Microsoft 365 Copilot will be doing more than just putting red and blue squiggly lines under your written words. According to Microsoft, “Copilot in Word writes, edits, summarizes, and creates right alongside you.”
This goes beyond just making quick grammatical fixes automatically: Copilot will go ahead and write an entire draft of a report, memo, paper, whatever it is, for you.
It can also supplement a draft you have already written with additional content. If you do not want to summarize for yourself key findings from reliable sources, you can have Copilot write a summary for you, and stick it in the right spot in your paper.
Rewriting is also made easier as well, and you can give remarkably subtle prompts to Microsoft Copilot. For instance, you may struggle to sound professional in your memos. Telling Microsoft Copilot to make your memo sound professional will lead to an entire tone change for the memo you wrote.
It is as simple as writing a prompt to Copilot to gain the tone you want.
Copilot Beyond Word: Excel and Powerpoint
As mentioned, Copilot also works for programs like Excel, the data-detailed spreadsheet app, as well.
Copilot will be especially useful for Excel, because Copilot has the ability to readily and quickly summarize entire spreadsheets into readable summaries.
When you have an Excel spreadsheet sent to you, this can be an especially helpful feature for finding out questions you may have about the data. Instead of taking the time to understand the data table in itself, you can get a summary right off the bat that lets you know where to look, and what patterns exist in the data set.
Perhaps the most incredible application of Copilot is what it can do in PowerPoint. You can feed Copilot a number of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, or just a simple prompt with no other input data, and have returned to you an entire Powerpoint Presentation.
That way, you can have the slides made for you, while you focus on your presentation’s performance and communication.
You can also run a PowerPoint “rewrite” that shortens an existing PowerPoint to a length that fits your presentation’s restrictions.
Should Your Business Use 365 Copilot?
Well, it depends on your operations.
If thorough data analysis is something that your business depends on to survive, then it may pay off to simply do things the old-fashioned way and comb through an Excel document, rather than let Microsoft 365 Copilot summarize what it thinks is the most important data.
Otherwise, you may benefit from using a program that will help condense your writing to make your communications more efficient.
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