Microsoft Introduces Team Copilot and Agent Capabilities at Build 2024

Microsoft Introduces Team Copilot and Agent Capabilities at Build 2024

Microsoft has just unveiled its plans to expand the capabilities of its AI assistant, Copilot, with the introduction of Team Copilot. The idea behind Team Copilot is that it will transform Copilot from being only a personal assistant to a proactive team member—working alongside entire teams, departments, and organizations.

Team Copilot will be available where teams collaborate, including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Loop, and Microsoft Planner. But get this, it participates and contributes actively, taking on tasks and responsibilities assigned by team members. This could include facilitating meetings, co-authoring agenda and notes, tracking action items, and even managing projects by creating and assigning tasks and tracking deadlines. Imagine having an AI assistant that ensures your projects run smoothly and notifies team members of their tasks and deadlines!

Microsoft also announced 'Agents', custom copilots that enable the orchestration and automation of unique business processes. These custom copilots can automate long-running business processes, make decisions based on actions and user inputs, and leverage past interactions to improve future conversations. For example, an "order taker" copilot could manage the entire order fulfillment process, from taking the order to making intelligent substitutions for out-of-stock items and shipping them to customers.

These advancements allow developers to build copilots for specific functions that can respond to data and events, as well as autonomously complete long-running processes. The new capabilities include asynchronous task management, long-running automation, contextual memory, continuous learning, and adherence to guidelines.

The company is also introducing Copilot extensions and connectors, making it easier for developers to customize Copilot actions and extend its capabilities to unique data and line-of-business systems. Developers can build these extensions using either Copilot Studio or Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio.

These new features demonstrate Microsoft's commitment to unlocking the potential of AI for businesses and teams, helping them save time, increase productivity, and drive bottom-line business results.

The preview for Team Copilot will be available later in 2024 for customers with a Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 license, while the custom copilot capabilities are currently in an Early Access Program with wider availability expected later this year.

Chris McKay is the founder and chief editor of Maginative. His thought leadership in AI literacy and strategic AI adoption has been recognized by top academic institutions, media, and global brands.

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