Microsoft unleashes Copilot Studio, allowing 365 users to create their very own AI chat bots

Microsoft Copilot
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Ignite 2023 had a ton of announcements for developers and business users, largely revolving around AI. 
  • Microsoft is leveraging its exclusivity deal with OpenAI to build out a suite of new Copilot features, including a full Copilot custom designer. 
  • Copilot Studio will be available to Microsoft 365 customers, allowing administrators to develop custom chat bots using generative "human-like" responses. 

As part of a range of announcements for Microsoft Ignite 2023, the big M revealed Microsoft Copilot Studio today, adding to a suite of new Copilot-branded tools for its big AI push. 

Joining Windows Copilot and Microsoft 365 Copilot, Copilot Studio is similar to OpenAI's custom GPT feature, allowing teams to create their own natural language AI interfaces. With custom parameters and guardrails, Copilot Studio will allow Microsoft 365 businesses to create tailor-made "Copilots," responding to queries based on your company's documentation and inputs. 

The Copilot Studio will feature a full suite of tools for designing, testing, and launching interfaces that will understand context and respond dynamically to a range of queries. It moves beyond conventional chatbots, able to contextualize follow-up questions and respond with multi-faceted answers. Microsoft offered some examples of expense management, HR onboarding, or IT services. It's easy to imagine how it could be turned to handle the day-to-day queries of trainee staff, as well as replace front-line customer support for low-level questions. 

Microsoft noted that Copilot Studio will also have advanced features, with deeper integration with Azure AI and its associated services. Microsoft says that administrators will have access to a full suite of analytics for how the Copilots are used, with monitoring for user sentiment and so on. Azure Power Platform and Power Automate connectors will also be available, with prompt designers, plugin features, and more. 

Opinion: The job losses are coming

The ability to custom design ChatGPT bots and Microsoft Copilots is perhaps another step towards the portents of job losses from the customer service industry. Microsoft and other AI companies insist that their products are additive, but it's increasingly looking like massive disruption is just over the horizon. 

There will be potential opportunities too, of course. Entrepreneurs who leverage generative AI tech in unique and innovative ways could find themselves to riches quite quickly. AI chat bots should also help users get the information they need more quickly than a customer service human could, especially for smaller and medium-sized businesses who perhaps don't have the resources to build big call centers. For economies with large service industries and call center employees, though, the disruption could be palpable. 

It'll be interesting (or perhaps nerve-wracking) to see how it all plays out. 

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!