Microsoft introduces Copilot assistant to help teams collaborate

The company has staked out an early lead in generative artificial intelligence, which can generate or summarise text and images. — Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp. is creating a version of its Copilot assistant that will help groups of workers collaborate, extending a company-wide push to infuse products with artificial intelligence.

Team Copilot, announced on Tuesday, will serve as a designated meeting minder, taking notes, summarising the most important information and tracking deadlines. The AI assistant will roll out to corporate customers later this year, Microsoft said on the first day of Build, its conference for developers.

The company has staked out an early lead in generative artificial intelligence, which can generate or summarise text and images. After investing some US$13bil (RM60.9bil) in ChatGPT maker OpenAI, Microsoft has rushed to infuse similar capabilities into its productivity software, launching a set of products under the Copilot brand, which encompasses everything from a coding assistant to the search engine embedded in Windows.

Microsoft also offered an update on its efforts to build its own chips. The company said the Azure Cobalt 100 central processing unit, the software giant’s first in-house processor, is available in preview starting Tuesday for customers of the Azure cloud-computing service.

The processors aren’t the cutting-edge chips powering AI, but Cobalt marks a milestone for Microsoft in its nascent effort to keep up with its biggest rivals in the business of renting out computing power. Inc., the leading cloud-computing provider, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google both also build their own chips, in part to make purpose-built devices they can offer at lower costs than chips from the likes of Intel Corp. or Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

The cloud providers are also eager for their in-house chips to start handling such cutting-edge tasks as training artificial intelligence systems. Microsoft’s Maia 100 AI accelerator, which is not yet available for Azure customers, "is starting to take traffic in one of our data centers,” Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday. – Bloomberg

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