Microsoft Copilot Is Coming: It’s Both Exciting and a Bit Sad

Copilot, Microsoft’s take on generative AI, was just revealed to be coming to Windows and Office 365 in the near future. Although Microsoft already uses generative AI in its Bing search engine, the addition of this technology to Microsoft’s core productivity tools has the potential to completely change how we use technology at home and at work.

Microsoft Copilot Is Coming
Microsoft Copilot Is Coming

This is undoubtedly a game-changing move, but it also leaves the impression of a missed opportunity.

What Microsoft is doing could have been much more with generative AI’s abilities, especially in conversation. To be truly amazing, it could have surpassed voice assistants already on the market, including Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Just a little sad, that.

Let’s look at generative AI for desktops this week.. To close, I’ll highlight my Product of the Week, a brand-new Surface laptop from Microsoft that is arguably one of the best ever designed for creators.

Global Generative AI

When Microsoft added ChatGPT generative AI to Bing, it warned rivals like Google and Amazon. Despite some growing pains, Bing now makes it easier to find the information you need more quickly if you know what you’re doing (more on that later). Copilot, however, offers much more when used with Microsoft’s operating system, collaboration, and productivity products.

Consider being able to describe a presentation to your computer, which would then produce it as if it were your personal assistant. Imagine being able to draft the outline of a book, article, or paper, and having your computer handle the rest—including correcting the spelling and grammar—for you. Imagine being able to ask Excel a question about the financial report you are viewing, and having the program respond with a nearly instantaneous and comprehensive response.

Copilot, a generative AI function from Microsoft, envisions a world like that. You give the instructions. The finished product will result from it. At the end of this month, everything will start to roll out; beta testers have had access to it since August, and on November 1, the enterprise version will be released. 1 with a monthly price of about $30 per user.

Resources for Training in the Effective Use of AI and Microsoft Copilot

You will need some initial training because using these features effectively necessitates a foundation in Boolean logic, much like effectively using the web. Thankfully, there are tools available for getting caught up with:.

If you want to use this new toolkit effectively, you should take the first 30-minute class that Microsoft offers for free.

Koenig also offers a certification program, but it’s more geared toward those who want to write AI code than it is for regular users.

Another place to learn more about this technology is Microsoft WorkLab, which has in-depth articles on how to use it to boost productivity and do away with many of the tedious tasks that are a part of many of our jobs.

Learning how to interact with AI in ways that will guarantee the best outcome is a key component of this, as you don’t want to break the tool while it’s getting to know you. This last point is crucial because, in the future, AI is likely to play a bigger role in your work. If you damage it, you risk lowering the quality of your output and having your work reflect poorly on you.

Cortana

Soon, we will be able to communicate with this tool as though it were a different person as generative acquires its voice.

I’ve played around with earlier iterations, and I found it intriguing and compelling. But the truly tragic part is that Microsoft anticipated this capability decades in advance and provided the ideal entry point for this tool with Cortana, which was derived from the Halo video game.

Even the attempt to build a fully holographic Cortana was abandoned in favor of one that worked with augmented reality to offer users an even more engaging experience. They were getting ready to use the Cortana game-based experience.

Nvidia previously demonstrated technology that would bridge the final gap and make Cortana a reality in the upcoming model of automobiles.

You could change Cortana’s name, appearance, and gender as needed because a digital entity can take on any identity.

The third time’s the charm on Microsoft’s Copilot journey?

The third attempt by Microsoft to perfect digital assistants is Copilot.

Microsoft Bob, which was released in 1995 and was misrepresented as a replacement for the graphical user interface (GUI), was the first foray. To be clear, while a voice interface might eventually replace the GUI, the necessary technology wasn’t around in the 1990s.

Cortana followed. At first, it was just as good as or better than Siri or Google Assistant, but we wanted the feature in a standalone device or smartphone, not a PC, and Microsoft just didn’t seem driven to make that happen.

Since Cortana would have been a much more enjoyable and futuristic digital assistant, I’m disappointed that we will instead get Copilot.

Finishing up

The desktop version of generative AI will completely change the game. Yes, there will be a learning curve as we get used to correctly giving our PCs commands, and I anticipate that many of us will initially have trouble speaking to our computers.

The two elements will develop together as we learn more about these new AI tools and they learn more about us. Kids will learn this faster and be able to use these tools sooner than adults, as is almost always the case.

In the end, this is an enormous step toward our AI future, when we interact with computing technology more and it starts to learn about us more quickly than we can learn about it.

Whoever perfects AI first in the current situation will win. Although Microsoft has taken the lead, it is still anyone’s game, and we’ll see who succeeds in giving an AI a personality and more human-like effectiveness interaction first. Regardless of what they do, they are likely to either become the next great technological force or be acquired by them (Amazon is also making some impressive strides in this area).

Our computers are becoming significantly smarter. We’ll soon realize they are more intelligent than we are.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2 for Business is this week’s Product of the Week

Even though Microsoft Surface is beginning to resemble an afterthought, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still producing some genuinely compelling and ground-breaking hardware.

The Microsoft Surface Studio 2, which was unveiled at the event that was supposed to be the Surface launch, after Copilot, is a prime example. (It is bad when you are overlooked at your own launch event. ).

Despite having a starting price of $2,099.99, the Surface Studio 2 can be upgraded to include professional Nvidia graphics and become a full portable workstation. Microsoft has long had one of the best pen interfaces on the market and cantilevered screens (my favorite kind) allow the device to be used as a canvas.

On paper, this laptop might be a better choice for creators than the MacBook due to its flexible screen and reliable pen support.

It should significantly increase the productivity of this laptop compared to using a non-AI laptop or one without a pen option, like Apple’s, especially when combined with the AI tools I previously mentioned.

Key Details

A laptop with the Intel Evo brand has been co-tuned by Intel to ensure the best possible performance with Intel’s components, and the Studio 2 is one such laptop.

Although it comes standard with Intel Iris graphics, it can be upgraded with a number of Nvidia GPUs, including one of their professional models. Additionally, it is the first laptop I’ve seen with a neural processing unit (NPU) built in, which promises strong AI support. It serves as a preview for the new laptops with integrated Intel’s accelerated processing unit (APU) that will be released in mid-December.

A 650-nit screen on the Surface Studio 2 should be able to be seen outside and weighs less than 4 lbs. which is not bad for a mobile workstation. There are 16–19 hours of battery life available, depending on the GPU solution. A Pixel Sense LCD screen that is individually color calibrated, a 120Hz refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass 5 are additional features. Dolby Atmos audio and these components are also included.

For those large animation projects or to work on movies, you can configure it with up to 2TB of storage and 64GB of memory. There are also two USB-C ports that adhere to the USB 4 Thunderbolt 4 specification, along with a USB-A port, a MicroSDXC card reader, a headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port. Last but not least, this Wi-Fi 6E product supports 5.3 Bluetooth and is still too early for Wi-Fi 7.

For creators like architects, engineers, graphic artists, etc., this laptop might be the ideal tool. which makes the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 for Business my Product of the Week.

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