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No More Boring Meetings: CoPilot Will Go For You

It looks like the old adage that a meeting could have been an email might evolve to AI could have summarised that meeting, because soon Teams users can have Microsoft 365 CoPilot summarise meetings that individuals choose not to attend.

Starting November 1st, Microsoft 365 Copilot can do more than summarise. It will have the capacity to create Word documents, spreadsheet graphs, draft emails, and PowerPoint presentations with a click of a button.

Microsoft is optimistic about the tool and says it wants it to reduce “drudgery”, but critics worry that as tech continues to evolve like CoPilot, it will begin to replace workers.

Also, could workers or businesses become too dependent on AI-powered assistance.

Governments worldwide are still working out how best to regulate AI or even if they will at all, but both Europe’s AI act and China’s AI regulations assert that people must be notified that they are speaking with artificial intelligence not people.

Collette Stallbaumer, head of Microsoft 365, said the tool needs to be customised to the users’ specifications.

“It is a tool, and people have responsibility to use it responsibly,” she warned.

“I might not be telling you, when I send you that response, that I used an AI assistant to help me generate it. But the human is always in the mix and always in control.”

In direct opposition to this sentiment, the EU contends that firms developing AI tools must ensure they are used responsibly.

It is interesting to note that CoPilot is embedded into a person’s individual account, and has access to the individual’s and company’s data, but Microsoft says the data is controlled securely and will not be employed to train the tech.

“You only have access to data that you would otherwise be allowed to see,” said Stallbaumer. “It respects data policies.”

According to BBC news, Derek Snyder, a Microsoft rep, CoPilot could save them the time and effort.

When asked if he thought meetings would begin to have a lower attendance, he joked, “A lot of meetings might become webinars.”

Based on pricing in other countries, Microsoft 365 CoPilot will cost almost $50 per user per month on top of E3/E5 licensing for Australian businesses.

Despite use of AI in the workplace is on the rise, critics say this kind of tech could create a widespread disruption in admin-based jobs.

There is also the matter of individuals becoming overly dependent on such tools, which is what Carissa Veliz, associate professor at Oxford University’s Institute for Ethics in AI, alluded to when asked about AI overuse.

“What happens if the tech fails, or it might be hacked? There might be a glitch, or they might institute new policies that you might not agree with. And then, if you’re so hooked on the system that you feel that you can’t do without it anymore, what happens then?” she said.

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