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Microsoft Copilot turns 1, promising deeper, more sophisticated search

Microsoft CopilotImage: Microsoft

For the first birthday of Microsoft Copilot, Microsoft laid out a roadmap of additional features that it plans to add, including a more sophisticated language model and better ways of generating AI art.

Microsoft plans to add these things to Copilot, which is now the company’s catchall term for its large language model chatbots on the web, on Windows, and in Microsoft 365. Of particular interest is the imminent addition of GPT-4 Turbo, notable for two things: an information cutoff of April 2023 as well as the ability to handle 128k of input (or about 300 pages of text.) The feature is currently in testing, Microsoft said.

Still, there is a cutoff — and to solve that problem, Microsoft is launching Deep Search. While Microsoft and ChatGPT have used “plugins” to help dive deeper into specific topics, Deep Search is a more generic version of that. If Copilot isn’t sure what you’re asking about, it may pop up a small window asking for more detail: For example, what you mean when asking about “points systems in Japan.” If Bing isn’t sure whether you’re asking about loyalty cards or immigration, it will ask, Microsoft explained.

Microsoft

Otherwise, expect Copilot to get better at what it already does: image generation (now with Dall-E 3), inline composing (now with rewrite capabilities, which will make obfuscating plagiarism easier, unfortunately), better code interpretation, and more. It will also do a better job interpreting images, Microsoft promised.

Microsoft didn’t address the weakest link of Copilot, however — that, within Windows, it’s just slow to respond. Hopefully that improvement is coming too over the next few months.

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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