Microsoft has announced it is expanding access to the Microsoft 365 Copilot preview and introducing new features and it has also released insights from its 2023 Work Trend Index report: ‘Will AI Fix Work?’ This follows on from earlier in 2023 when Microsoft had introduced Microsoft 365 Copilot, to bring new generative AI capabilities to apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Teams and more.
The 2023 Work Trend Index data shows that the pace of work has accelerated faster than humans can keep up, and it’s impacting innovation.
Notably, next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) will lift this immense weight of work and importantly, organizations that move first to embrace AI will get to increase creativity and productivity.
“AI represents a whole new way of working, as it moves from autopilot to copilot, freeing us from digital debt and fuelling innovation,” said Vinod Muralidharan, Microsoft Asia General Manager of Modern Work.
“Work Trend Index research suggests 78% of people in this region would delegate as much work as possible to AI to lessen their workloads. The most pressing opportunity and responsibility for every leader is to understand how to leverage AI to remove the drudgery of work, unleash creativity, and build AI aptitude.”
The report shares three key insights for business leaders to responsibly adopt AI:
1. Digital debt is costing us innovation – We’re all carrying digital debt: The volume of data, emails and chats has outpaced our ability to process it all. Every minute spent managing this digital debt is a minute not spent on creative work. 72% of people in Asia Pacific say they don’t have enough time and energy to get their work done, and those people are 3x more likely to say they struggled with being innovative. Of the time spent in Microsoft 365, the average person spends 57% communicating and only 43% creating. And the #1 productivity disruption is inefficient meetings.
2. There’s a new AI-employee alliance – While 58% of respondents in Asia Pacific say they’re worried AI will replace their jobs, even more – 78% – would delegate as much work as possible to AI in order to lessen their workloads. Meanwhile, Managers are 1.9x more likely to say that AI would be most valuable in their workplace by boosting productivity rather than cutting headcount.
3. Every employee needs AI aptitude – Every employee, not just AI experts, will need new core competencies such as prompt engineering day to day. 85% of leaders in Asia Pacific anticipate employees will need new skills in the AI era.
Putting that in perspective means that to empower businesses in the AI era, they need to get clued into AI. Towards this end, Microsoft is introducing the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program with an initial wave of 600 enterprise customers worldwide in an invitation-only paid preview program.
In addition, the following new capabilities will be added to Microsoft 365 Copilot and Microsoft Viva:
* Copilot in Whiteboard will make Microsoft Teams meetings and brainstorms more creative and effective. Using natural language, you can ask Copilot to generate ideas, organize ideas into themes, create designs that bring ideas to life, and summarize Whiteboard content.
* By integrating DALL-E, OpenAI’s image generator, into Copilot in PowerPoint, users will be able to ask Copilot to create custom images to support their content.
* Copilot in Outlook will offer coaching tips and suggestions on clarity, sentiment and tone to help users write more effective emails and communicate more confidently.
* Copilot in OneNote will use prompts to draft plans, generate ideas, create lists and organize information to help customers find what they need easily.
* Copilot in Viva Learning will use a natural language chat interface to help users create a personalized learning journey including designing upskilling paths, discovering relevant learning resources and scheduling time for assigned trainings.
Note: The 2023 Work Trend Index surveyed 31,000 people across industries in 31 countries including 14 Asia Pacific markets as well as trillions of signals from emails, meetings, and chats across Microsoft 365, plus labor trends on LinkedIn.
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