The internet is full of articles about generative AI and one thing is clear. Companies are interested. Lopez Research has responded to numerous inquiries about how Microsoft AI is changing enterprise applications and workflows. Microsoft’s annual Build conference is for software engineers and web developers who use Windows, Microsoft Azure, and other Microsoft technologies.
The conference program is very technical, but there were several AI-related announcements that enterprise IT leaders should be aware of because they have the potential to change what is possible in software development and experience employee applications. Here are five ads that are broadly applicable to next-generation business applications and processes.
- Windows 11 is getting a new interface with Windows Copilot, based on chat. Like other professional applications Copilots announced by Microsoft, Windows Copilot is a conversational interface that allows individuals to request results specific to Windows without having to understand complex application commands. For example, Copilot’s sidebar lets people ask how to change a setting in Windows, such as selecting dark mode and changing notification settings. Microsoft also offers common drivers in its other applications, such as customer relationship management, customer service, enterprise resource planning, and the Office suite. Generative AI services can summarize, rewrite, annotate, and create images in Microsoft applications. Most established applications offer far more functionality than the average employee knows how to use, and Copilot will help enterprise employees get the most out of Windows and Microsoft applications for business. For example, it is possible to create a query in a spreadsheet using natural language instead of formulas and templates.
- Microsoft’s Copilot 365 will now support three main types of plug-ins. These plug-ins include Teams Messages extensions, Power Platform connectors, and plug-ins that support third-party tools such as Atlassian and Adobe. Why bother with plugin support? Plug-ins allow users to extend the functionality of an application by allowing your company’s developers to enhance the software’s capabilities without modifying its underlying codebase. This extensibility allows you to create customizations that meet your specific business needs. Plug-ins help your business integrate with external applications, services, and systems for seamless communications and data exchange. Plugins extend the capabilities of an AI assistant program or application so that they can do more than the underlying platform lets you do in the first place. Now, plug-ins are available via Microsoft and third-party software. In addition, Microsoft said Azure OpenAI services allow developers to use GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 models to access plug-ins from Microsoft services such as Bing Search, Azure Cognitive Search, Azure SQL, Azure Cosmos DB, and Microsoft Translator.
- Artificial intelligence simplifies the collection of web content for productivity applications. Microsoft announced a new integration between Edge and M365, which allows you to easily collect website content and integrate it into Microsoft 365 apps like Outlook, Word, and Excel. We’ve discussed these concepts before, but implementation seems to be the next level, and is the key to simplifying content creation in enterprise applications. This is in addition to the previous version of Bing Chat which allows you to get summaries of online content. The goal is also to enable summaries and key takeaways in more documents, such as PDFs and Word documents, to make it easier to consume dense content online.
- Microsoft announced the Copilot Stack to speed up Copilot creation. It is an AI development framework, which includes a base model, coordination layer, and front-end layer that runs on top of the AI infrastructure. While the specific components don’t mean much to a business leader or chief customer experience officer, the upside is that a cohesive set of tools allows Microsoft to quickly deploy new Copilots across its portfolio of applications. Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s EVP of Cloud and AI, explained that the Copilot stack allows companies to “build their own Copilot experiences for their applications and organizations.” He also said that Microsoft Azure AI Studio helps companies build AI models from your data to improve accuracy and eliminate “artificial hallucinations.” Overall, the conference announced several tools that will help developers integrate generative AI into applications in a scalable way, while also making AI more specific to the enterprise use case by connecting it to enterprise data sources. The company also offers a GitHub Copilot stack that helps developers code faster. Mr. Gutherie said, “Copilot dramatically accelerates developer productivity. In fact, 46% of all lines of code written by developers using GitHub Copilot now are generated entirely by AI. Seventy-five percent of developers using Copilot feel that it They can now focus on more satisfying tasks.96% of developers report that they are able to complete repetitive tasks faster.These solutions do not replace the need for developers, but Copilots will help company developers build new applications and faster workflows.
- Microsoft announced the arrival of Microsoft Fabric. It is a unified analytics platform that includes data engineering, data integration, data warehousing, data science, real-time analytics, and business intelligence. It provides a single, open SaaS data warehouse called OneLake. Microsoft Fabric integrates technologies such as Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Power BI into a unified product supported by an integrated architecture and user experience. By combining OneLake and Copilot in Microsoft Fabric, companies will have access to conversational language interfaces that allow them to create data flows and pipelines, generate code, build machine learning models, and visualize results. However, there is no denying that Microsoft has a large amount of data in its repositories. Finding a way to easily gather, analyze and unleash the power of data within Microsoft applications and services is a real boon for business. It is not yet known how Microsoft Fabric will work with other data lakes. However, standardizing data across Microsoft services and providing a comprehensive analytics platform is clearly beneficial to data engineers, data warehousing professionals, data scientists, data analysts, and business users. Lopez Research also sees the term data fabric emerging in different types of businesses, with different meanings for each technology vendor. For example, HPE offers Ezmeral Data Fabric as a fully managed service for data visibility and analytics in its hybrid cloud environment. On the other hand, Cloudera defines data architecture as a set of technologies used to ingest, store, manipulate, and manage data anywhere (on premises or in the cloud) at any time. The landscape is bewildering, but the upside for business leaders is that it is increasingly easy to integrate and analyze disparate data sources, which will improve overall business efforts in AI.
What does it mean ?
Microsoft is already a big player in the enterprise world, with a large installed user base of Windows and productivity apps, as well as data business applications (such as CRM and ERP). Generative AI in business applications means that a wide variety of people can use natural language in their Microsoft workflows. The addition of streamlined analytics and a streamlined co-authoring environment helps IT departments unlock the power of applications, improves the employee experience, and makes it harder to replace Microsoft with other vendors.
Although there are many useful advertisements, there has not been enough discussion on how to secure corporate intellectual property, introduce responsible AI, and avoid copyright infringement issues.Author with AI-generated content. The newly launched Azure OpenAI service helps alleviate some of these concerns. Microsoft Azure OpenAI services allow an enterprise to use its data with OpenAI and Azure encrypted storage at rest with keys managed by Microsoft in the same region as the resource. This architecture maintains all permissions and security without putting proprietary data directly into open source forms. Microsoft also has a responsible AI framework, but overall the industry’s work is far from done in this category.
The world of generative AI offers huge opportunities, but companies need tools to help them harness the power of open source generic AI models. La conférence Build de Microsoft a montré comment l’entreprise utilisait l’IA en interne et a fourni des outils qui aident les developpeurs à creer une intelligence artificielle mieux calibrée au sein de ses applications d’entreprise fondées sur les données de l’industrie et company.
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Maribel Lopez
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