Microsoft Corp announced on Thursday its latest plans to get artificial intelligence into the hands of more users, responding to a series of presentations this week by Google with updates to its own office work software.
The company introduced a new AI “co-pilot” for Microsoft 365, its suite of products that includes Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and Outlook emails.
In the future, AI may offer an initial version of documents in Microsoft applications, speeding up content creation and freeing up workers’ time, the company said.
“We believe this new generation of AI will open a new wave of productivity growth,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in a livestreamed presentation.
This week’s barrage of news, including new funding from AI company Adept, reflects how companies large and small are locked in fierce competition to deploy software that could reshape the way people work.
At the center are Microsoft and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGLInc, which owns Google, which on Tuesday introduced AI features for Gmail and a “magic wand” for writing prose in its own word processor.
The frenzy to invest and create new products began with the launch last year of Microsoft-backed startup OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Chatbot showed the potential of so-called great linguistic models, technology that learns from past data how to create content again and is evolving rapidly. Just this week, OpenAI began releasing a more powerful version known as GPT-4.