According to reports, Microsoft has been experimenting with incorporating OpenAI’s language AI technology into its Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook programmes. According to The Information, Microsoft has already included an undisclosed version of OpenAI’s text-generating GPT model into Word’s autocomplete function, and has been working on further integrating it into Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Microsoft is said to be leveraging OpenAI’s GPT technology to enhance Outlook search results, allowing users to locate what they’re searching for without needing to use keywords in emails. Microsoft is also believed to have investigated how these AI models may propose email responses or document revisions to enhance Word users’ writing. It’s unclear if Microsoft intends to deploy these capabilities or whether they’re only for testing purposes for the time being.
If Microsoft builds in the capability seen in ChatGPT, the conversational AI that made news last year, Outlook might create complete emails based on basic requests. Consider Outlook sending an email to your coworkers explaining why you’re ill based just on a “send an email to my team explaining why I’m out sick” inquiry. Microsoft is also said to be working on a version of Bing that will employ ChatGPT to answer search requests. This new function, designed to make Bing more competitive with Google, might be ready as early as March.
When it comes to delivering more powerful AI text-generation tools to its productivity applications, Microsoft will confront several obstacles. The most important of them is accuracy. ChatGPT continues to show false information as truth, making any sort of document generation or sophisticated integration problematic.
Another significant barrier is privacy. Microsoft will have to tailor its models to specific users without jeopardising their data. According to The Information, Microsoft has been working on privacy-preserving models based on GPT-3 and the yet-to-be-released GPT-4. According to reports, Microsoft researchers have had early success in training huge language models using private data.
These models might be used by Microsoft to collect and summarise information from Teams Meeting transcripts, and then add pictures created by OpenAI’s Dall-E 2 image-generating model to PowerPoint presentations. Researchers are said to have shown their Office integration work to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, although it’s unclear whether or not these GPT- or Dall-E 2-powered models will be accessible in Office products.
Microsoft’s productivity programmes already make use of a range of AI. Word and PowerPoint utilise AI algorithms to offer picture and slide deck descriptions, Microsoft Teams uses AI to enhance echo, interruptions, and acoustics, and Microsoft launched an AI-powered code completion using GPT-3 two years ago. Microsoft Editor also improves your work by employing artificial intelligence to do spellchecking, grammar-checking, and text predictions.
After spending $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019, Microsoft obtained an exclusive licence to the underlying technology of GPT-3 in 2020. It has maintained a close partnership with OpenAI since then, with plans to integrate an AI text-to-image model powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 to Bing.
If Microsoft moves through with GPT-powered versions of Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint, it will signify a significant commercialization of OpenAI’s GPT models. Bing seems to be on the verge of joining PowerApps (Microsoft’s first commercial use case of GPT) with its own AI-powered search results. Integration of OpenAI’s language models by Office and Bing would put a lot of pressure on Google, which controls search and has been making inroads with its Workspace products to companies.