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### Enhancing CoPilot AI and Custom Card Innovations: A Recap of Microsoft Ignite 2023

AI product reveals and expansions were front and center at the annual Microsoft Ignite event for IT…

A plethora of modifications were integrated into Microsoft’s Ignite 2023 event, where the company outlined its refreshed outlook for IT professionals, with a strong emphasis on AI solution unveilings and expansions.

The showcase at Ignite provided clear evidence of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s strong commitment to AI, as highlighted by our own Devin Coldewey in a piece from October. The event on Wednesday featured numerous AI-centric revelations, including the rebranding of Bing Chat to Copilot, positioning it as a competitor to ChatGPT, the introduction of AI practice cards to rival Nvidia, and the introduction of methods for generating text-to-speech images.

For those who may have missed it, we have compiled all the insights shared by our dedicated Microsoft and AI experts, Kyle Wiggers and Frederic Lardinois.

Bing Chat, now Copilot, Emerges as a ChatGPT Contender

Certificates for the graphic: Microsoft

Microsoft’s AI-powered assistant on Bing, previously known as Bing Chat, has been rebranded as Copilot, with Navigator taking over as the new name for Bing Chat Business.

The renaming decision seems to stem from Bing Chat’s limited impact, prompting Microsoft to position it more effectively against ChatGPT and other prominent AI technologies by dissociating it from the search engine.

Navigator is now a feature available in Windows, with complimentary shipping offered by Microsoft.com and Bing within their business licensing programs. Starting December 1, Copilot will be included in Microsoft 365 F3, with other customers able to access it for $5 per month.

Introduction of AI-Focused Practice Cards

Certificates for the graphic: Microsoft

Microsoft is striving to reduce its dependence on GPUs with the introduction of two specialized AI chips for internal use within data centers—the Azure Maia 100 AI Accelerator and the Azure Cobalt 100 CPU.

While the Cobalt 100 is designed for general-purpose workloads, the Maia 100 is tailored for training and managing AI models.

Microsoft plans to roll out Maia 100 and Cobalt 100 in Azure data centers early next month, with applications like Copilot and Azure OpenAI Service poised to leverage these chips initially.

Unveiling of New AI Tools, Including Copilot Studio and Copilot for Service

At Ignite, Microsoft introduced a range of new AI tools under the Copilot umbrella, including Copilot for Azure, Service, Studio, and Dynamics 365 Guides.

Copilot for Azure serves as a chat-based assistant for Azure users, while Copilot for Service leverages various data sources to provide customer service agents with answers to common queries.

In Dynamics 365 Guides, Copilot utilizes AI to distill relevant data for frontline workers, overlaying it on the equipment they are servicing. Copilot Studio enables the creation of custom assistants, such as an expense management bot. Copilot Studio is now available for Microsoft 365 members as a public preview.

Enhancements in Microsoft Teams: AI-Powered Home Decorator and Noise Reduction Feature

Certificates for the graphic: Microsoft

Microsoft Teams introduces a “decorate your background” feature, allowing users to enhance their video call backgrounds with virtual decorations and noise reduction capabilities.

The “decorate your background” feature will be part of Teams Premium early next year, while the voice isolation feature is currently being rolled out and is expected to be widely available by early 2024.

Consolidation of Microsoft To Do, Planner, and Project into a Unified Solution

Microsoft is streamlining its project management tools by merging Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Planner, and Microsoft Project into a single cohesive product, offering a more unified user experience. The new Microsoft Planner will debut in Microsoft Teams in spring 2024.

Expanded Rights Protections for Azure OpenAI Service Users

Microsoft has announced enhanced rights protection for users of Azure OpenAI Service, offering defense and compensation for any legal challenges related to copyright violations resulting from service usage. Users must adhere to specific technical measures and risk mitigation protocols to qualify for this coverage.

Simplified AI Deployment with Windows AI Studio

Certificates for the graphic: Microsoft

Windows AI Studio has been introduced by Microsoft to facilitate the deployment of AI models on Windows hardware, enabling developers to fine-tune and deploy AI tools and models for local and online applications.

Windows AI Studio will incorporate advanced models like Meta’s Llama 2 for text generation and Stability AI for text-to-image conversion.

Azure AI Speech Enables Creation of Text-to-Speech Avatars

Azure AI Speech now offers a tool for generating lifelike avatars that can mimic speech, though Microsoft has implemented restrictions to prevent misuse. Custom avatars are currently available on a limited basis and for specific use cases through registration.

For a comprehensive recap of the 2023 Microsoft Ignite event, including all the key highlights, visit Microsoft’s website to experience or revisit the event.

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Last modified: February 24, 2024
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