Now, AI promises to help us not only overcome these challenges but vastly expand what’s possible. We’re accustomed to AI in our daily online experiences—personalizing our news feeds or suggesting an email autocomplete. This AI is so ubiquitous, we’re barely aware of it. Now, however, powerful new foundation models, together with accessible natural language interfaces, have ushered in a pivotal new phase of AI—one that moves us from “AI on autopilot” to “AI as copilot.” It’s a whole new interaction model between humans and computers, turning natural language into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet.
“Today marks the next major step in the evolution of how we interact with computing, which will fundamentally change the way we work and unlock a new wave of productivity growth,” says Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. “With our new copilot for work, we’re giving people more agency and making technology more accessible through the most universal interface—natural language.”
This next-generation AI will transform work and augment human capabilities in three ways: It will unleash creativity. It will unlock productivity. And it will uplevel skills.
1. Unleash Creativity: With next-generation AI, the possibilities for invention and expression expand. Instead of starting with a blank page, we can chat with AI to generate options—ideas for a speech; a rough draft of a white paper; or multiple versions of a customer presentation.
This doesn’t make AI a substitute for human capabilities. Instead, it augments them, enabling an entirely new way of working.
“AI is really useful in helping me think more critically about the work that I do. It’s truly augmenting the way that I think,” says Jaime Teevan, chief scientist and technical fellow at Microsoft. “It’s giving me new perspective and new insight.”
One way to frame creative collaboration with AI is to think of the person in the human-AI interaction as the gardener. We plant the seed of an idea through a prompt to a natural language interface. Chatting with the AI to help the work bloom, we arrive at a higher quality output faster than was possible before. That’s because we spent less time generating the raw material and more time applying the best of our knowledge and insight. With AI as our creative generator, we can apply the full force of our human ingenuity to our work.