Microsoft announces Copilot, the AI assistant that could revolutionize the way you edit Word documents

What if instead of writing Microsoft Word documents word-for-word, you just summarized your ideas to Copilot, your AI assistant generating the full document, which you just proof and eventually sign?

Demonstrated so far at the experimental stage, the new Copilot for Microsoft Word shows a lot of potential. Basically, the author is put in the role of Director, and the Copilot AI takes on the role of personal assistant.

As long as you don’t stray too far from the usual tasks for a day at the office, you’ll be able to ask the Copilot assistant to compose messages for you, respond to emails, and even automate certain tasks, such as confirming attendance at events.

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At least in the demo provided, the system is not completely self-contained; there is a Text window above which all sorts of button-like suggestions appear. Basically, you start with the initial prompt, such as “write a message to company X, for subject Y”, then wait a few seconds for the AI to start drafting the message, adjusting key details as you go. For example, you can revise the auto-completed company name in the text, or choose the direction of the message using suggestions in the form of buttons inserted at the top.

The new Copilot assistant will appear in all supported Microsoft Office applications as a chatbot-AI accessible from the top-right corner of the screen. The good news is that users who prefer to retain full control over their edited content won’t be inconvenienced by Microsoft’s proposed helper. However, once you discover that you can expertly write a one-page email in seconds, it will be pretty hard to overlook the new feature.

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Another argument in favour of Copilot would be the help offered to inexperienced users, as Copilot can take the role of a real Excel trainer, or for other applications in the Microsoft Office suite.

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