What is Copilot AI?
Copilot AI is an AI assistant developed by Microsoft that’s designed to enable individuals, employees, IT professionals, and developers to improve their productivity.
With Copilot, users can search for information in Bing with ChatGPT, summarize documents and web pages, create content, build apps, launch apps, generate presentations, write code, and more. Users can interact with Copilot via text, voice and image.
There is also a pro version of Copilot known as Copilot Pro, which gives users priority access to GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo, supports image creation with DALL-E 3, and integrates Copilot with Microsoft 365 apps such as Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
How Does Copilot AI Work?
Users can open up Copilot AI as a standalone tool or chat pane and begin entering prompts in natural language. Microsoft Copilot then uses ChatGPT and GPT-4 to respond to user queries.
With the pro version, Copilot connects to Microsoft 365 apps and data while GPT-4 uses technologies, such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and natural language generation (NLG), to analyze and respond to user inputs.
When the user enters a prompt into Copilot, the tool will use GPT-4’s NLP capabilities to process the request and NLG to produce a relevant output that matches their search intent.
Copilot’s access to data across Microsoft 365 apps means that users can query and summarize information in calendars, emails, documents, meetings, and contacts.
For example, a user could ask the assistant to “summarize a PowerPoint presentation,” or “give me a list of email actions,” or even to “analyze the top trends in this Excel spreadsheet.”
What Does Copilot AI Do?
Copilot AI can be used for a range of different use cases, depending on the data connected to it, and the app the user is using. At a high level, employees can use the tool to query data stored across Microsoft’s product ecosystem.
“Copilot doesn’t just supercharge individual productivity. It creates a new knowledge model for every organization – harnessing the massive reservoir of data and insights that lies largely inaccessible and untapped today,” said Jared Spataro, CVP of modern work & business applications in a blog post.
“Business Chat works across all your business data and apps to surface the information and insights you need from a sea of data – so knowledge flows freely across the organization, saving you valuable time searching for answers,” Spataro said.
The use cases for Copilot change if the user is accessing the tool form within a Microsoft 365 app.
Below is a brief summary of what Copilot can do within each 365 app:
- Copilot in Word: Generate first drafts of documents, or shorten, edit, and provide feedback on previously written drafts.
- Copilot in PowerPoint: Create or rewrite presentations, and add content from previous presentations and documents.
- Copilot in Excel: Request spreadsheet summaries, analyze trends, and create data visualizations.
- Copilot in Outlook: Drafts emails, provides feedback on suggestions on how to improve email tone and clarity, and summarizes long conversations.
- Copilot in Teams: Create a summary of key discussion points, suggest action items, list different perspectives, generate a pros and cons tables, and take meeting notes.
- Copilot in Power Platform:Design, publish, and share apps, suggest app ideas, and create and import data tables.
How to Use Copilot AI
You can access Microsoft Copilot locally on Windows 11, as a web app, or through an integrated chat pane in an Office 365 app.
If you want to use Copilot AI on Windows 11 – install the September 2023 update and click on the Copilot button in the taskbar. You can also use the Win + C keyboard shortcut.
If you want to access copilot directly from an app like Excel or PowerPoint, you can do so by selecting Copilot in the ribbon or toolbar at the top, which will open the assistant as a chat pane.
Once you’ve opened Copilot AI you can enter your prompt in natural language. The best prompts not only tell Copilot what you want to create or what data you want to access, but also provide context on what you want to use it for.
If you’re not sure what prompt to use – try to ask the solution to create content based on [INSERT TOPIC/DATA] for [INSERT USE CASE] or to summarize the data/information included in [INSERT DATA/SOURCE] for [INSERT USE CASE].
Is Microsoft Copilot Free?
Yes. Microsoft Copilot is free for personal users via Windows 11 and Bing. However, enterprise users that want to integrate Copilot with Microsoft 365 apps need to upgrade to Copilot Pro.
Microsoft Copilot Pro is a paid plan that costs $20 per user per month, which provides priority access to GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo during peak times, and offers the ability to create images with DALL-E 3. Copilot Pro will also give you the ability to build your own custom Copilot GPT via the Copilot GPT Builder.
The paid version can be used with apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and Teams.
You can also purchase Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365, which costs $30 per user per month as annual commitment. Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 integrates with Teams, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel and other 365 apps, and comes with “enterprise-grade security, privacy and compliance.”