Microsoft’s annual IT event was all about artificial intelligence (AI) product releases and expansions.
At its Ignite 2023 event, Microsoft unveiled its new vision for IT professionals and highlighted the unveiling and expansion of AI products, among many other upgrades.
At Ignite, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reiterated the company’s commitment to artificial intelligence. At the presentation on Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a plethora of AI-related features and updates, including a renaming of its ChatGPT competition Bing Chat to fall under the Copilot umbrella, the much-anticipated bespoke AI processors that will rival Nvidia, and methods to create text-to-speech avatars.
ChatGPT competitor Bing Chat is now Copilot
Image credit: Microsoft
The AI-powered chatbot that Microsoft introduced earlier this year to Bing, Bing Chat, is now called Copilot in Bing. Additionally, Bing Chat Enterprise is now known as Copilot.
The fact that Bing Chat didn’t significantly impact Bing’s performance is probably to blame for the shift, as pointed out by Kyle. To keep up with ChatGPT and other prominent chatbots, it appears the business is now trying to separate the technology from the search engine.
Now included in Microsoft’s enterprise subscription options at no extra cost, Copilot is available on Windows, in addition to Copilot.Microsoft.com and Bing. Starting December 1, Copilot will be included with Microsoft 365 F3, and all other users can purchase it for $5 per month.
Custom chips with an emphasis on AI
Image credit: Microsoft
The Azure Maia 100 AI Accelerator and the Azure Cobalt 100 CPU are two artificial intelligence chips that were built in-house and are tied to data centers. Microsoft is attempting to break free from its dependence on GPUs by developing these chips.
It is possible to train and operate artificial intelligence models with Maia 100, but Cobalt 100 is designed to run workloads that are more broad in nature.
Microsoft has stated that the Maia 100 and Cobalt 100 will begin to be implemented in Azure data centers at the beginning of the following year. AI services offered by Microsoft, such as Copilot and Azure OpenAI Service, will initially be powered by it.
New AI tools Copilot Azure, Copilot for Service, and Copilot Studio
The latest additions to Microsoft’s generative AI platform, Copilot, include Copilot for Azure, Copilot for Service, Copilot Studio, and Copilot in Dynamics 365 Guides.
Copilot for Azure is Microsoft’s chat-driven assistant for Azure customers; it’s an answer to Google Cloud’s newly revealed Duet AI. You may try out Azure’s Copilot in the preview right now.
By pulling on a variety of resources, including a company’s websites, knowledge articles, offline databases, and more, the customer service needs tools known as Copilot for Service are able to provide answers to frequently asked questions from customer care representatives.
In Dynamics 365 Guides, the Copilot feature makes use of generative artificial intelligence to summarize information that may be of assistance to frontline workers and then superimposes this information on the equipment that they are maintaining. The initial introduction of Copilot in Dynamics 365 Guides will take place in a private preview with “a limited set of customers and capabilities.”
You can use Copilot Studio to construct a bespoke copilot by describing it in natural language. For instance, you might use it to develop a chatbot for managing expenses. The public preview version of Copilot Studio is now accessible for users who have already subscribed to the Copilot for Microsoft 365 service.
Microsoft Teams gets an AI-powered home decorator and voice isolation
With the new “decorate your background” function in Microsoft Teams, you may never again have to clean up your disorganised home office. During a video conference, the assistant can assess your space, remove unwanted items, and even decorate the backdrop with plants or other objects.
Another new feature for Teams, enabled by AI, will help cut down on background noise and other people’s voices, as well as repeated sounds.
“Decorate your background” will be available in Teams Premium early next year, and the voice isolation functionality is now rolling out. It will be broadly available in early 2024.
Microsoft To Do, Planner, and Project become a singular product
Project management solutions from Microsoft are getting a little more user-friendly. Microsoft has announced that it will be combining its several planning tools, including Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Planner, and Microsoft Project, into a single product in order to provide users with a more “unified experience.”
Additionally, Planner will have a copilot that can expedite planning and propose new activities to users.
In the spring of 2024, the new Microsoft Planner will make its debut on Microsoft Teams. The web version will follow later that year.
Generative AI copyright protections for more customers
In the event that Microsoft’s customers are sued for copyright infringement as a result of outputs from the utilisation of Axure’s OpenAI Service, the company has indicated that more clients will be able to be defended and compensated for any “adverse judgments.”
The default setting for this policy is that it will not apply to each and every Azure OpenAI Service customer. In order to be eligible for consideration, subscribers are required to first execute “technical measures” and conform to risk mitigation paperwork.
Windows AI Studio makes it easier to run AI locally on Windows
Microsoft introduced Windows AI Studio to bring cloud-based generative AI experiences to Windows devices. With the help of this toolkit, developers may access a library of generative AI models and other AI technologies, which they can then utilise to improve their Windows apps and make them work offline.
Improved local models will be available in Windows AI Studio. These models include Stability Diffusion XL, which converts text to images, and Llama 2, which generates text, both developed by Stability AI.
Azure AI Speech to create text-to-speech avatars
Microsoft has unveiled a tool that can generate deep fakes. The Azure AI Speech text-to-speech avatar creates a lifelike representation of a person and gives them the ability to speak in ways that they might not have actually said.
Microsoft has taken note of the several apparent ways this capability could be misused and has implemented restrictions to prevent it. In the beginning, the majority of Azure subscribers will only have access to premade avatars. According to Microsoft, creating a personalised avatar is a “limited access” feature that is available to registered users “only for certain use cases.”