Microsoft Corporation has launched its latest AI assistant, Dynamics 365 Copilot, for applications handling sales, marketing, and customer service. Dynamics 365 Copilot is built using OpenAI’s technology and can write contextual chat and email responses to customer queries, generate customer categories to target for marketing, and create product listings for e-commerce. These new capabilities are currently in preview mode and are being tested by hundreds of early customers, including Campari, an Italian aperitif maker that is using the marketing tools to develop targeted campaigns for events around the Negroni cocktail.

Microsoft’s AI Makeover

This year, Microsoft has been adding language-generation tools and chatbots to its business applications, including Bing and Teams. The software giant aims to overhaul its entire product lineup using AI and OpenAI’s tools. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s ultimate goal is to blend formerly separate programs, each with its own workflows and acronyms, like ERP and CRM software, using AI to break down silos between them.

AI Transforming Business Applications

Generative AI systems like ChatGPT and DALL-E have caught the attention of consumers, and businesses are scrambling to figure out how and whether they should use the corporate aspects of these content-generating tools. However, the AI gold rush is provoking anxiety, with some firms banning the use of ChatGPT, and others asking workers not to share confidential information with the systems or expressing concern about how private corporate data will be treated by AI products in use.

Dynamics 365 Copilot in Action

Dynamics 365 Copilot enables customer service representatives to offer contextual and accurate responses to customer queries. It scans through a company’s materials and a customer’s case history and can offer answers based on that knowledge. Microsoft’s Copilot also helps marketers develop targeted customer groups by enabling plain English conversations with customer data software. It generates creative suggestions for email campaigns based on topics and requested tone, such as formal, luxury, or adventurous. The bot also offers sales features, including email summaries of Teams conferences, pulls out specific actions committed by people, and connects them to calendars.

Designing AI Products

Designing chatbots and assistants for business uses is different from open-ended search queries on the internet, where a wide swath of information is available. Business products rely on a more specific set of information, making it easier to get accurate answers but can make the stakes higher if the AI makes a mistake. Therefore, Nadella emphasizes the importance of the use case and design of the products, reminding us of the social norms and responsibilities we have as humans, along with the power and error bounds of this technology.

A Significant Step Towards Creating AI-Powered Business Apps

Microsoft’s launch of Dynamics 365 Copilot is a significant step towards creating AI-powered business applications that can offer contextual and accurate responses to customer queries. However, the AI gold rush is provoking anxiety, highlighting the importance of designing AI products with social norms and human responsibilities in mind.