Artificial intelligence could soon be writing more company emails in Microsoft Outlook, as the company expands its rollout of AI tools for corporate users.
The Microsoft 365 Copilot tool – “your everyday AI companion,” as the company bills it – will help users write their emails to “keep your sentences concise and error-free.” The tool also summarizes long email threads to quickly draft suggested replies.
Users with Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscriptions will get more advanced AI help through Microsoft Editor, an intelligent writing assistant. The update will include suggested edits for “clarity, conciseness, inclusive language and more” to help workers create more “polished and professional” emails, according to a blog post from the company in September.
The company said the tool will be available to more corporate clients starting on November 1. It has already been in months-long testing with customers including Visa, General Motors, KPMG and Lumen Technologies.
In March, Microsoft outlined its plans to bring artificial intelligence to its most recognizable productivity tools, including Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel and Word, with the promise of changing how millions do their work every day. The addition of its AI-powered “copilot” – which will help edit, summarize, create and compare documents – is built on the same technology that underpins ChatGPT.
In addition to writing emails, Microsoft 365 users will be able to summarize meetings and create suggested follow-up action items, request to create a specific chart in Excel, and turn a Word document into a PowerPoint presentation in seconds.
Corporate customers will also get to use Microsoft 365 Chat, previously called Business Chat, which can scan the internet and employee emails, meetings, chats and files, to behave as a sort of personalized secretary.
The expansion will come less than a year after OpenAI publicly released viral AI chat tool ChatGPT, which stunned many users with its impressive ability to generate original essays, stories and song lyrics in response to user prompts. The initial wave of attention on the tool helped renew an arms race among tech companies to develop and deploy similar AI tools in their products.
In the months since, many other companies have rolled out features underpinning or similar to the technology. Microsoft rival Google, for example, has also brought AI to its productivity tools, including Gmail, Sheets and Docs.