Published on November 17, 2023, 3:51 am

Microsoft’s Ignite 2023 event showcased numerous updates and reveals in the field of AI, demonstrating the company’s commitment to advancing this technology. With Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s strong focus on AI, Ignite served as proof of their dedication. One noteworthy development is the rebranding of Bing Chat, Microsoft’s AI-powered chatbot, to Copilot. Additionally, Bing Chat Enterprise has also been renamed Copilot. This change is likely a strategic move to compete with popular chatbots like ChatGPT and further separate it from the Bing search engine.

Copilot is now accessible in Windows, Microsoft.com, and Bing, providing users with increased accessibility. It will be available across various enterprise subscription plans at no additional cost. The inclusion of Copilot in Microsoft 365 F3 starting December 1st and its availability for other customers at $5 per month further strengthens its appeal.

In an effort to reduce dependency on GPUs, Microsoft is developing two custom-designed AI chips: Azure Maia 100 AI Accelerator and Azure Cobalt 100 CPU. These chips aim to provide more efficiency in training and running AI models as well as general-purpose workloads. They are set to roll out early next year to Azure data centers.

Microsoft also introduced new AI tools under the Copilot brand. Copilot for Azure serves as a chat-driven assistant for cloud customers, while Copilot for Service assists customer service agents by answering commonly-asked questions using various sources like knowledge articles and offline databases. Copilot in Dynamics 365 Guides utilizes generative AI to summarize relevant information for frontline workers maintaining equipment. Lastly, Copilot Studio enables the creation of custom copilots through natural language description.

Furthermore, Microsoft Teams unveiled two interesting features: “decorate your background” and an AI-driven noise reduction feature. The former allows users to clean up clutter or add virtual decorations to their video call backgrounds, while the latter minimizes background noise and other people’s voices for improved call quality.

To streamline their planning tools, Microsoft plans to consolidate Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Planner, and Microsoft Project into a unified product. This will provide users with a more organized and interconnected experience. A copilot in Planner will enhance the planning process by suggesting new tasks and helping users plan more efficiently.

In terms of legal protection, Microsoft aims to defend and compensate customers facing copyright infringement lawsuits resulting from their usage of Axure’s OpenAI Service. This policy requires subscribers to implement technical measures and comply with risk mitigation documentation to be eligible.

Microsoft’s commitment to expanding generative AI experiences has led to the development of Windows AI Studio. This toolkit brings together AI tools and a catalog of generative AI models for developers to fine-tune, customize, and deploy locally on Windows devices. Notable models include Meta’s text-generating Llama 2 and Stability AI’s text-to-image model Stable Diffusion XL.

Lastly, Microsoft announced an intriguing tool called Azure AI Speech text-to-speech avatar, which generates photorealistic avatars that can simulate speech. Although its potential for misuse is recognized, access to custom avatars is limited and restricted to specific use cases.

To relive or catch up on the Ignite event, highlights from the keynote are available for viewing on Microsoft’s website.

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