After Clippy and Cortana, now comes Copilot. The Windows Copilot AI assistant for Windows 11 is designed to make every user a "power user".
Microsoft's Copilot AI assistant is coming to Windows 11 and is built right into Windows 11, just like Microsoft's other AI pilots in Edge, Github, or Office. Users can access Windows Copilot at any time and from any application via a taskbar. As an AI assistant, Copilot is designed to make everyone a "power user," according to Microsoft's Panos Panay. Copilot is "helping you take action, customize your settings, and seamlessly connect across your favorite apps."
Specifically, Copilot will be able to summarize, paraphrase, or explain content from open applications. In a video, Microsoft also shows how Copilot can open apps, access plugins, or read PDFs. Interaction is via chat, which is very similar to Bing's current implementation in Edge. Copilot is not a replacement for Windows Search.
Windows Copilot offers plug-ins for more functionality
"Just like you would with Bing Chat, you can ask Windows Copilot a range of questions from simple to complex. If I want to call my family in Cyprus, I can quickly check the local time to make sure I’m not waking them up in the middle of the night. If I want to plan a trip to visit them in Cyprus, I can ask Windows Copilot to find my family flights and accommodations for mid-winter break," says Panay, explaining the potential uses of Microsoft Copilot.
Plug-ins, such as those currently being integrated by Microsoft into Bing and by OpenAI into ChatGPT, will play a central role. Both companies today also committed to supporting a shared AI plugin ecosystem and to making Bing the default search engine for ChatGPT.
AI assistants: What's Apple doing?
With Copilot for Office 365 and for Windows, with the ChatGPT app and plugins, and with Google's Bard and AI search, big language models like GPT-4 or PaLM-2 are penetrating further into our digital infrastructure and changing the way we work, search, and create.
As Google and Microsoft battle it out, one giant has been missing from the playing field: Apple. The company recently restricted the internal use of ChatGPT and Copilot and is reportedly working on its own language model. This could be the basis for some kind of iOS & MacOS Copilot in the future.