How Microsoft could supplant Apple as the world’s most valuable firm
- It hopes to seize on AI to transform the future of work
For years Microsoft has been trying to coax office workers to write reports, populate spreadsheets and create slide shows using its office software. No longer: now it wants to do the writing and populating for them. At its headquarters in Redmond, a leafy suburb of Seattle, the firm demonstrates its latest wizardry. Beyond the plate-glass windows, snow-capped mountains glisten and pine trees sway. Inside, a small grey rectangle sits at the top of a blank Word document. With a few words of instruction, a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI)—or “Copilot", as Microsoft calls it—finds a vast file in a computer folder and summarises its contents. Later, it edits its own work and succinctly answers questions about the material. It can perform plenty of other tricks, too: digging out emails on certain topics, drawing up a to-do list based on a meeting and even whipping up a passable PowerPoint presentation about your correspondent.