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Microsoft is adding AI tools to Office applications like Outlook and Word

Microsoft implements artificial intelligence tools in its office software suite, including email in Word, Excel, and Outlook.

NEW YORK – Microsoft is implementing artificial intelligence tools in its office software suite, including Word, Excel, and Outlook email.

The company said Thursday that the new feature, Copilot, is a processing engine that lets users summarize long emails, design stories in Word, and animate PowerPoint slides.

Colette Stollbaumer, general manager of Microsoft 365, said the new feature is currently only available to 20 enterprise customers. Roll out to more enterprise customers in the coming months.

Microsoft markets the feature as a tool employees can use to be more productive by saving time they would normally spend in their inbox or allowing them to analyze trends in Excel.

The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant will also add a chat feature called Business Chat, similar to the popular ChatGPT. It accepts commands and performs actions using user data, such as emailing colleagues about a particular project.

“Today marks the next major step in the evolution of how we interact with computers, which will fundamentally change the way we work and spark a new wave of productivity growth,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement.

Mattel, Instacart, and other companies are also integrating generative AI tools like ChatGPT and image generator Dall-E to generate new toy car ideas and answer customer questions about food.

Microsoft rival Google announced this week that it is integrating generative AI tools into its own workspace apps, such as Google Docs, Gmail, and Slides. Google says it will release features to “trusted testers” throughout the year.

Microsoft’s announcement comes two days after OpenAI, which supports the generative AI technologies that Microsoft relies on, released its newest AI model, GPT-4.

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