Microsoft just announced Windows Copilot, an AI assistant embedded into the Windows 11 Operating System that will work across all Windows tools and even third-party plug-ins.
Copilot will be integrated as a chat interface, and will be able to make work easier and more efficient by automatizing processes, like summarizing documents or programming tasks upon request.
“AI is the defining technology of our time,” said Windows Chief Product Officer Panos Panay, who announced that Copilot “makes every user a power user, helping you take action, customize your settings and seamlessly connect across your favorite apps.”
With this move, Microsoft beats competitors to market with the first integrated AI assistant in an OS, reaching another milestone in a race between tech companies that is no longer only about developing the most advanced AI technology, but making it available to all people as well.
How Will It Work?
According to Microsoft, a copilot is “an application that uses modern AI and large language models to assist you with a complex cognitive task – from writing a sales pitch or catching up on a missed meeting to generating images for a presentation or planning a themed dinner party.”
Think of a Chat GPT but specifically designed to run in your own computer’s environment and make the most of its resources. Copilot will have a dedicated button in the center of the desktop bar, which will take you to a sidebar chat interface.
There, you can ask a question or provide instructions, and the AI will help you fulfill your task with the tools Windows has, and even third-party apps and plugins, like Spotify, Bing Chat, or Chat GPT itself.
For example, you can drag a document to the chat, and Copilot will give you the option to explain, rewrite, or summarize its contents.
Similarly, you can ask it to help you focus on your work, and it will activate tools to that end, like a temporizer and a dark mode. Or you can ask it to provide optimal music to work, and it will suggest different Spotify playlists that are suited to that end.
Copiloting Instead Of Autopiloting
Copiloting is a clever concept that emphasizes AI’s role as a helper of human work rather than its complete replacement. With copilot capabilities, a person gets rid of repetitive, dull tasks, and can focus on the most important parts of their work.
Many companies are now leaning on this concept to develop their tools, with Google heavily relying on AI to improve Mail, Google Search, and Google Docs; or Adobe releasing a Photoshop version with image-generating capabilities. Microsoft itself released Bing Chat and its 365 Suite with AI enhancements earlier this year.
Now that there is a fervent race between tech companies to be at the front of AI development, not only technological breakthroughs are part of it, but also incorporating tools that democratize the technologies for all people, even those who are not tech-savvy or feel intimidated by Artificial Intelligence.
The Windows OS is an ideal environment for that purpose, since it is favored by 1.6 billion active devices around the world. It is the preferred operating system of most computers, with 76% of the global OS market, followed by Apple’s MacOS (15% market share), according to Earthweb.
This democratization of AI might mean that your grandma will not have to call you next time she needs help navigating her computer configuration or buying a plane ticket online. She’ll just ask her Windows assistant to do it for her.
Interested in discovering more? Read: Microsoft Puts Bing Into ChatGPT