Microsoft wants to reduce “tedious” business tasks with new AI tools – Ars Technica

Enlarge / An AI-generated illustration of a GPT-powered robot worker.

Ars Technica

On Monday, Microsoft bundled ChatGPT-style AI technology into its Power Platform developer tool and Dynamics 365, Reuters reports. Affected tools include Power Virtual Agent and AI Builder, both of which have been updated with GPT Large Language Model (LLM) technology developed by OpenAI.

The move follows the trend among tech giants like Alphabet and Baidu to include generative AI technology in their offerings — and, of course, the multi-billion dollar partnership between OpenAI and Microsoft announced in January.

Microsoft’s Power Platform is a development tool that helps create apps with minimal coding. The updated Power Virtual Agent allows companies to point an AI bot to a company website or knowledge base and then ask it questions, which it calls Conversation Booster. The conversation booster feature allows you to use the data source that contains your single source of truth across many channels through the chat experience, and the bot responses are filtered and moderated to comply with Microsoft’s responsible AI principles.

Also, AI Builder now includes generative AI capabilities similar to the ChatGPT API (called Azure OpenAI Service), which allows developers to generate text using GPT models, including potentially report summarization, content idea generation, and email routing. emails from customers to the right department.

Dynamics 365 Copilot

Microsoft also released a new version of its Dynamics 365 business management platform with AI integration. Dynamics 365 Copilot automates certain “tedious tasks” such as manual data entry, content generation, and note-taking.

Specifically, Microsoft says the Dymanics 365 Copilot can draft contextual responses to questions in chat and email, create an email summary of a Teams meeting in Outlook (while pulling details from the seller’s system), and create an interactive chat experience through knowledge bases and case history.

In sales terms, Copilot integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to help companies streamline their sales and customer support processes.

That said, big language models have a big problem with hallucinations, or the tendency to make things up. Time will tell if Microsoft tunes OpenAI’s models well enough to avoid those tendencies. Given the recent Bing Chat debacle, business owners may be reluctant to hand over important business tasks to potentially unreliable AI systems.

Microsoft says its CEO, Satya Nadella, will host an event on March 16 to talk about “reinventing productivity with AI.” While Microsoft recently announced AI updates to its Windows operating system, it has yet to do so for its Office productivity suite, which includes Word and Excel. As software makers turn to generative AI assistants, will Clippy finally get the last laugh?






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