Microsoft goes all-in on AI – what this means for the future of work and productivity

Big tech players like Alphabet and Baidu have been jumping on the AI bandwagon.

Microsoft goes all-in on AI – what this means for the future of work and productivity
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the company's headquarters to introduce a presentation on the software maker's new AI-powered search engine, in Redmond, Washington, U.S., February 7, 2023. REUTERS/Jeffrey Dastin/File Photo

The backstory: Big tech players like Alphabet and Baidu have been jumping on the AI bandwagon, especially thanks to the success of OpenAI's ChatGPT. And Microsoft is not lagging either – it's been making some serious moves in this space lately. In 2021, the company announced the launch of the Azure OpenAI Service, which made OpenAI's machine learning models available on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

More recently: In January, Microsoft announced an extension of its partnership with OpenAI. The company hasn't specified a number, but rumor has it that it's planning to invest a massive US$10 billion into the ChatGPT maker. And it's already merged some of OpenAI's technology into its Power Platform – a suite of business intelligence and app development tools.

The development: Microsoft has just rolled out some exciting updates to its Power Platform. One of these tools, Power Virtual Agent, can now connect to internal company resources and generate helpful summaries of weekly reports and client inquiries. Plus, its AI Builder feature now boasts generative AI capabilities like OpenAI's ChatGPT application programming interface (API).

So what does this mean for businesses? Using the suite of tools, you can harness AI tech to automate workflows, create content ideas and even route customer emails to the appropriate department. But that's not all. Microsoft's business management platform, Dynamics 365 Copilot, has also integrated AI to simplify tasks like data gathering and analysis or creating email campaigns. It's clear that generative AI has the potential to drastically change the future of work when it comes to productivity and efficiency – and the AI competitive landscape is heating up.

Key comments:

"With the conversation booster feature, you can use the data source that holds your single source of truth across many channels through the chat experience, and the bot responses are filtered and moderated to adhere to Microsoft's responsible AI principles," said Microsoft in a blog post.

"As we start to develop future versions of Windows we'll think about other places where AI should play a natural role in terms of the experience," said Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's head of consumer marketing, in an interview with The Verge.

"If you think of a customer service agent, he's dealing with a customer inquiry and 18 different databases internally to come up with the responses," said Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO. "Now you have this copilot that allows you to interrogate the 18 databases and craft a response" without distracting the agent from the customer.