Microsoft celebrates Copilot's first anniversary with new feature

Microsoft celebrates Copilot's first anniversary with new feature


08 February 2024

Today marks one year after Microsoft's public announcement of its generative AI projects. Those initiatives have largely been developed under the Copilot brand. In an interview with The Verge, Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, disclosed new Copilot capabilities and clues about future updates.

Microsoft's image creation capabilities have been criticized for allegedly creating pornographic photos of Taylor Swift, which went viral. Today, Mehdi announced that Copilot's image production tools can now blur the backdrop of an AI-generated image. It may also highlight certain things and apply certain effects, such as pixel artwork.

According to Mehdi:

Image creation is one of the things that’s really resonating. I think it’s the first step in unlocking the ability for people to feel like they can be a creator again.

Microsoft claims that since its AI chatbot was released to the public a year ago, it had created 5 billion conversations. Mehdi told The Verge that around 70% of such interactions were used to look for information.

Medhi also claims that, while Copilot branding has been applied to other services over the last year, consumers will finally only see one Copilot. He said that if users chose to pay for Copilot Pro or Copilot for Microsoft 365, Copilot could simply "add capabilities as you subscribe to them." Recently, Copilot for Microsoft 365 was updated to be accessible from Windows computers.

He added:

So the notion of a personal Copilot that is yours, we want to get to one idea, and we want that to unlock everything you’ve got with your IDs, with your personal IDs and work IDs.

The future of Copilot on Windows may enable owners of PCs with AI-based NPUs to run local big language models on their computers. Mehdi also believes AI might enable Windows PC customers to access previously unavailable functionality on their own machines. He said:

It sounds cliche, but what I think that will unlock in terms of people’s ability to use computers to do amazing things will be quite profound.

While Microsoft's AI efforts have been tremendously active in the first year, the firm expects to release even more Copilot and other generative AI technologies in the second and subsequent years.

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