You only need two simple letters to accurately convey the major shift in the technology space this year: A and I. Beyond those letters, however, is a complex, evolving and exciting way in which we work, communicate and collaborate. As you will see, artificial intelligence is a common thread as we embark on Microsoft Build, our annual flagship event for developers.
It’s already been a landmark year for the industry, starting in January with the announcement of an extension of our partnership with OpenAI to accelerate AI breakthroughs and to ensure these benefits are broadly shared with the world. And in February, Microsoft announced an all-new, AI-powered Bing search engine and Edge browser to transform the largest software category in the world – search.
Since then, developments have accelerated at a rapid pace, with several key milestones along the way, including:
Greater availability of Azure OpenAI Service with added support for ChatGPT and OpenAI’s groundbreaking GPT-4 model.
Copilots across a wide range of users, including Dynamics 365 Copilot, Microsoft 365 Copilot and Copilot for Power Platform.
Expansion of a new AI-powered Bing to the Windows 11 taskbar, mobile and Skype; Bing Image Creator to chat; and a full open preview of the platform, no waitlist required.
This is just the beginning of the new era of AI. That’s why Microsoft Build is so important. During this event, we’ll be showcasing how AI is redefining what and how developers build, as well as how AI is changing the future of work.
Before we get into the news, let’s talk about two concepts we are discussing at length during Microsoft Build: copilots and plugins.
A copilot is an application that uses modern AI and large language models (LLMs) like GPT-4 to assist people with complex tasks. Microsoft first introduced the concept of a copilot nearly two years ago with GitHub Copilot, an AI pair programmer that assists developers with writing code, and we continue to release copilots across many of the company’s core businesses.
We believe the copilot represents both a new paradigm in AI-powered software and a profound shift in the way that software is built – from imagining new product scenarios, to the user experience, the architecture, the services that it uses and how to think about safety and security.
Plugins are tools first introduced for ChatGPT, and more recently Bing, which augment the capabilities of AI systems, enabling them to interact with application programming interfaces (APIs) from other software and services to retrieve real-time information, incorporate company and other business data, perform new types of computations and safely take action on the user’s behalf. Think of plugins as the connection between copilots and the rest of the digital world.