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April 08, 2023

Discover the benefits of the new Microsoft 365 Copilot AI tool for OneNote

Along with other Microsoft 365 apps, OneNote’s Copilot AI integration works behind the scenes alongside a business chat tool.

Microsoft is bringing some AI smarts to its OneNote application in an effort to help you more easily and quickly generate the content you need. In a blog post published Wednesday, April 5, OneNote product manager Greg Mace revealed that the Microsoft 365 Copilot AI tool is coming to OneNote.

Already announced for other Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams, Copilot integration for OneNote combines large language models (LLMs) such as Open AI’s GPT-4 with your notes, calendars, emails, chats, documents, meetings and other data. As such, the tool is intended to help you in two main ways, Microsoft said.

An animated image showing how to use Copilot to create a to-do list in OneNote.

An animated image showing how to use Copilot to create a to-do list in OneNote.

First, the Copilot AI will work behind the scenes to try to help you as you work. Second, it offers a business chat feature that allows you to actively seek help. By chatting with the software, you can ask it to generate certain information based on natural language questions. The goal is to save you time and effort by tackling more mundane tasks or creating repetitive content for you.

Microsoft gave these examples for what you might ask Copilot to do in OneNote, including:

  • “Summarize notes in bullet points on a new page.”
  • “Generate a list of topics and talking points to be addressed in an annual investor update meeting.”
  • “Plan a spring trip to Paris for me, my partner and my two teenage children.”
  • “I am starting a wholesale coffee bean and roasting business. Give me 10 suggestions for a company name and vision statement.”

In response, the AI analyzes your raw notes, emails and other data and automatically creates the corresponding content.

“Copilot in OneNote helps you create, capture, organize and recall information with confidence,” Mace said in the blog post. “As your note-taking partner, Copilot uses your prompts to create plans, generate ideas, create lists, organize information and more. Copilot can transform existing text by summarizing, rewriting, formatting and adding visual context. Elevate your digital notebook with natural language commands to reorganize your notebook, customize formatting and highlight what’s important.”

As OpenAI’s ChatGPT shakes up the tech world, companies are rushing to jump on the bandwagon. Microsoft has already unveiled its own Bing AI chat tool available in its Edge browser. The company also has a Bing Image Creator that designs images based on text descriptions. But the real test of AI will be whether it can integrate smoothly into the applications you use every day and help you without infringing on your privacy, security and other areas.

Mace is focusing Copilot on business users for now and said Microsoft’s work with AI is being reviewed for privacy issues and other potential problems by a team of researchers, engineers and policy experts. The company uses the Azure Content Moderation Stack to monitor and filter malicious content and uses technologies such as InterpretML and Fairlearn to detect and correct possible data bias, Mace added.

Mace did not reveal a specific time frame for the OneNote Copilot integration. But Microsoft previously said it is testing Copilot with a small group of customers to improve the product based on feedback and will bring Copilot to all its productivity apps in the coming months.

Source: zdnet

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