Satya Nadella has a good eye on investing in OpenAI in 2019, a company with big ideas but very little funding. ChatGPT comes from OpenAI, which brings a real revolution in its quality. We now know that according to The Information, Microsoft has integrated an unknown version of OpenAI’s GPT text generation model into Word, its auto-completion feature, and is working to integrate it into Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
OpenAI’s GPT technology comes to Office
Apparently, Microsoft is using OpenAI’s GPT technology to improve Outlook’s search results so users can find what they’re looking for without having to search for keywords in email messages. Microsoft is also reported to be investigating how these AI models can suggest responses to emails. Or recommend changes to documents to improve writing for Word users. It is not clear if Microsoft plans to release these features or if it is just an experiment for now.
Microsoft could bet on integrating the functionality present in ChatGPT, the conversational AI that hit the headlines last year. This will allow Outlook to generate entire emails from simple queries. Imagine Outlook writing an e-mail to your colleagues explaining that you’re not feeling well, just based on a request of the kind “wrote an email to my team explaining that I was sick”. Microsoft also plans to release a version of Bing that uses ChatGPT to respond to searches. This new feature could be available as early as March, with the aim of making Bing more competitive with Google.
Microsoft faced the challenge of integrating GPT into Office applications
Microsoft will face many challenges when it comes to integrating more advanced AI text generation capabilities. ChatGPT always tends to present false information as facts, which will make any kind of document creation or advanced integration difficult.
Another big hurdle is confidentiality. Microsoft needs to customize its templates for individual users without compromising their data. According to The Information, Microsoft is working on privacy protection models using GPT-3 and GPT-4, which have yet to be released. Apparently, Microsoft researchers have achieved early success in training large language models with private data.
Microsoft can use these templates to extract and summarize information from Teams meeting transcripts, then add images generated from the OpenAI Dall-E 2 imagery template to PowerPoint presentations. It is reported that the researchers assigned their work on Office integration to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, but it is not clear if and when these models based on GPT or Dall-E 2 will be available in Office products.
Nadella has already hinted at the potential of AI at Microsoft
Microsoft already uses different types of AI in its productivity apps. Word and PowerPoint automatically suggest images and captions using AI algorithms, Microsoft Teams uses AI to improve echo, dropout and acoustics, and Microsoft made AI-based code completion possible with GPT-3 . Microsoft Editor also improves writing by using AI to check spelling, grammar, and text prediction.
Microsoft purchased an exclusive license to the underlying technology behind GPT-3 in 2020 after investing $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019. Since then, it has developed a deep relationship with OpenAI, including plans to add a model from in text-to-image AI to Bing. DALL-E 2 is powered by OpenAI.
“AI will reinvent the way everything is done in Windows”said Panos Panay, head of Windows and Surface at Microsoft, on stage at CES last week. Microsoft’s Surface team is keen to create new hardware to take advantage of AI, including the new Surface Smart Camera.
If Microsoft moves forward with GPT-based versions of Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint, it will mean rapid commercialization of OpenAI’s GPT templates. Bing looks set to join PowerApps (Microsoft’s first commercial use case for GPT) with its own AI-powered search results. Integrating OpenAI language models into Office and Bing will put a lot of pressure on Google. Those in Mountain View dominate searches and continue their Workspace offerings for businesses.