Software giant, Microsoft, is extending the power of AI to every user of its products as it is set to integrate the latest version of OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT-4 in its Office apps.

This will bring the AI tool to popular Office software such as Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Word. 

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, disclosed this in an interview on Thursday. According to him, AI-powered assistants called Copilots will be able to generate whole documents, emails, and slide decks from knowledge the software has gained scanning corporate files and listening to conference calls.  

The technology will debut in the coming months, and Microsoft is already testing it with 20 companies, including eight in the Fortune 500 that it declined to name. 

Next big step: Speaking during the interview with Bloomberg, Nadella described the integration of ChatGPT-4 in Office apps as the next big step for Microsoft.  

  • “This is the big next step for us — to put it in the tools everybody uses every day for their work. The new technology will help people create great content, great documents, great PowerPoints, and art as well as do sophisticated analysis using natural language queries. 

Microsoft, which recently announced over $10 billion investment in OpenAI, has also released Copilot software for sales and customer applications, as well as a product from its GitHub unit for writing programming code.  

  • Nadella said the advantage of the new technology is its ability to handle natural language requests. The software includes an app called Business Chat that acts as a combination chatbot and personal assistant for office workers.  
  • Using plain English queries, it can be asked to summarize a recent meeting, find upcoming milestones for a project, list risks for a planned strategy, and suggest how to mitigate those hazards. 
  • Meanwhile, Microsoft’s biggest rival in office software, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, also announced its own plans this week to use AI tools for things like creating presentations, taking notes during meetings, and drafting emails. 

In case you missed it: OpenAI earlier this week announced the introduction of ChatGPT-4, which it described as the latest milestone in its efforts at scaling up deep learning. GPT-4 is a large multimodal model, accepting image and text inputs, and emitting text outputs. It noted that while AI is less capable than humans in many real-world scenarios, it exhibits human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks. 

Like previous GPT models, GPT-4 was trained using publicly available data, including from public webpages, as well as data that OpenAI licensed. OpenAI worked with Microsoft to develop a “supercomputer” from the ground up in the Azure cloud, which was used to train GPT-4.