Microsoft Adds AI Tools to Its Office Software

Google is doing the same with its Workspace applications
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 16, 2023 5:58 PM CDT
Microsoft Adds AI Tools to Its Office Software
The Microsoft Corp. logo is displayed outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, in 2014.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Microsoft is infusing artificial intelligence tools in its Office software, including Word, Excel, and Outlook emails. The company said Thursday the new feature, named Copilot, is a processing engine that will allow users to do tasks like summarize long emails, draft stories in Word, and animate slides in PowerPoint. Microsoft spokesperson Jessica Dash said the new Office features are currently only available for 20 enterprise customers, the AP reports. The company will roll the additions out for more enterprise customers over the coming months.

Microsoft is marketing the feature as a tool that will allow workers to be more productive by freeing up time they usually spend in their inbox, or allowing them to more easily analyze trends in Excel. The tech giant based in Redmond, Washington, will also add a chat function called Business Chat, which resembles the popular ChatGPT. It takes commands and carries out actions—like summarizing an email about a particular project to co-workers—using user data. "Today marks the next major step in the evolution of how we interact with computing," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

Mattel, Instacart and other companies have also been integrating generative AI tools like ChatGPT and the image generator Dall-E to come up with ideas for new toy cars and answer customers' food questions. Microsoft rival Google said this week it is integrating generative AI tools into its own Workspace applications, such as Google Docs, Gmail, and Slides. Google says it will be rolling out the features to its "trusted testers on a rolling basis throughout the year."

(More artificial intelligence stories.)

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