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Smarter and faster with AI: Microsoft Copilot on the shop floor today


Microsoft AI Tour in Paris

Last week, we sent two Flowers to the Microsoft AI Tour in Paris, an event to highlight the power of artificial intelligence in Microsoft applications and its impact on businesses. Microsoft is one of the traditional IT giants but it is going all-in with AI. Our question as documentation specialists: Is an AI assistant—more specifically: Copilot—useful already today across the entire organisation?


What is the Microsoft AI Tour?

The Microsoft AI Tour  is an international event during which Microsoft presents the latest developments in AI within their applications and ecosystem. Besides promoting their products, the conferences serve another purpose: to help participants use those AI tools in the right and most efficient way.


These were the highlights:


"Copilot for everyone"

Quite a number of Microsoft product and engineering experts demonstrated how AI improves both the productivity and efficiency. They emphasised the importance of Microsoft Copilot in their AI story. Copilot is not just a modern, AI-driven version of Clippy. Copilot is integrated into every Microsoft Cloud solution. It generates, summarises, processes, combines, searches your content... Developers can also build their own transformational AI apps with tools and services available in Azure.


Copilot is not just a modern, AI-driven version of Clippy📎

There are two versions of Copilot.

  • If you want to get started today, at no cost, you can do so right now. Copilot for the web (copilot.microsoft.com) is completely free and Microsoft wants to make it your everyday AI assistant.

  • There is also the paid version of Copilot (Copilot for Microsoft 365). You can use that AI component in any Microsoft app, based on and fed with information from your own documents and files.


Moreover, you can extend the paid Copilot with Generative Actions and Generative Answers applied to your organisation's information. A specific Copilot for your employees, in other words!


"Generative AI Breakout Sessions"

We delved deeper into Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), a process by which generative AI apps use additional, specific data to check answers (grounding). We compared vector search, hybrid search and ranking models to improve the relevance of results. Microsoft also showed the latest innovations in Azure OpenAI Service, Azure Machine Learning, and Azure Cognitive Search. By the way, Microsoft wants to set the standard in metaprompt design, data grounding and content safety for all these applications. And they really couldn't stop emphasizing how secure the above solutions are.


Microsoft wants to set the standard in metaprompt design, data grounding and content safety.

Meaning: all interactions that you have with Copilot are anonymous and secure. Data, prompts, or other input are not used to train the LLM.

 

Microsoft Copilot on the shop floor today?

It all sounds promising, but can we see the wood for all the marketing trees? Can we use Microsoft Copilot on the shop floor today? Is it already driving efficiency and time savings?


Here are some of the out-of-the-box tasks it can help you with today:

  • Automate repetitive tasks

  • Generate content

  • Search for information in emails, documents, contacts...

  • Reuse, process, combine existing content

  • Summarise


So AI is no longer hype, or at least not just a hype. And Microsoft Copilot is a powerful tool that helps companies work smarter, faster and more efficiently... with the proper content, of course 😉 .


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