Microsoft is incorporating AI into business applications, including Teams

Microsoft is incorporating AI into business applications, including Teams

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft, having brought In its battle with Google for search, AI is now turning to the latest AI technology to catch up with rivals in the enterprise apps market – companies like Oracle, Salesforce and SAP.

The software giant is introducing an AI assistant — called Dynamics 365 Copilot — for apps that handle tasks like sales, marketing and customer service. Based on OpenAI technology, the software can create contextual chat and email responses to customer service questions. With its help, marketers can come up with targetable customer categories and write product lists for e-commerce. The new capabilities have been released in preview and are being tested by hundreds of early customers. For example, the Italian aperitif maker Campari is testing marketing tools to create targeted campaigns for events around the Negroni cocktail.

Microsoft also said that its next AI announcements, scheduled for March 16, will focus on “workplace productivity,” a term the software maker typically uses for office software.

Business apps are the latest from Microsoft to undergo an AI transformation so far this year, as the company adds language generators and chatbots to everything from its Bing web search engine to its Teams corporate conferencing software. The strategy follows the successful debut of an AI programming tool called GitHub Copilot last year, and Microsoft expanded its investment in OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT, in January. CEO Satya Nadella said the company plans to transform its entire product line using AI and OpenAI’s tools.

See also  Why is there so much stress surrounding Chinese apps in the US?

In the business applications category, where Microsoft has been operating for more than two decades but has lagged behind its rivals, Nadella ultimately wants to use artificial intelligence to break down silos between previously separate programs, each with its own workflow, such as ERP (enterprise resource planning). planning) and CRM. (customer relationship management) software. Instead, he said, they should be blended together and have an AI co-pilot that can retrieve information and help workers with tasks. However, like the Bing bot, Nadella noted that Microsoft Dynamics’ tool will also fail.

Consumer attention

“ERP, CRM, marketing, customer service, supply chain – all these separate categories are all made up, right? I mean, they’re all kind of rubbish categories that manufacturers invented,” said Nadella, whose first leadership role at Microsoft was running an early Internet version of business apps called bCentral. “What if we said it was just a Biz App workflow?”

New generative artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT and Dall-E have gained widespread consumer attention over the past year, so businesses haven’t had to figure out how and if they should use the enterprise aspects of these content generation tools. At the same time, the artificial intelligence gold rush is causing anxiety as programs fail and go astray. Some banks have banned the use of ChatGPT, and other companies are asking employees not to share sensitive information with the systems or express concerns about how the AI ​​products they use handle private company data.

But most companies can’t seem to stop talking about AI and how this technology can potentially transform their business.

See also  Husband caught wife cheating with another man while at work using BABY MONITOR phone app

For customer service reps, Microsoft says its co-pilot will comb through the company’s materials and the customer’s case history and provide answers based on that knowledge. Nadella also noted that his company does not use customer data for Microsoft’s own purposes.

“If you think about a customer service agent, they’re dealing with a customer question and 18 different databases internally to output the answers,” Nadella said. “Now we have this copilot that allows us to query and respond to 18 databases” without taking the agent’s attention away from the customer, he said.

Marketers can chat with their customer data software in plain English to develop targeted customer groups and get suggestions for additional segments they may not have considered. The bot also helps them get creative, suggesting email campaigns based on topics and the requested tone — users can choose from categories such as formal, luxury or adventure, said Charles Lamanna, director of business applications and platforms at Microsoft. responsible vice president.

The software giant also unveiled artificial intelligence technology last month that writes emails to busy salespeople. It now adds a sales function that creates email summaries of Teams meetings and selects specific activities that people have engaged in. In the future, Microsoft will link these to calendars. For example, if the call participants agree to have another meeting in a few weeks, the software will schedule it, Lamanna said.

Creating chatbots and assistants for business purposes is different from asking a search bot to provide open-ended answers to questions about things like the kids’ meal plan or a trip to Mexico—scenarios popularized by Microsoft for its Bing chatbot. Business products rely on a more specific set of information, such as a Microsoft customer’s own data, rather than the broad range of information available on the Internet. This can make it easier to get the right answers, but it can also raise the stakes if the AI ​​misleads the user, makes the user uncomfortable, or messes up financial data. Both are problems that Bing has had.

See also  For the SECOND time since Elon Musk took over, Twitter leads the US News top list in the Apple App Store.

Read: Elon Musk: ‘AI is stressing me out’

Nadella says the technology will make mistakes and the people using it should check the facts.

“That’s why I’m not only interested in the power of technology, but also in the use case and the design of products,” said Nadella, “to remind ourselves of the social norms and responsibilities we have as humans.” and the power of that technology and the margins of error of that technology.” — (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP

Get TechCentral’s daily newsletter

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *