The Microsoft Copilot announcements reach new heights, or lows of Microsoft Hype™ depending on your point of view. We’re used to reading lots of ‘excitement’ from Microsoft that’s impressive sounding but essentially meaningless.
Perhaps this pre-announcement for Copilot was mostly about Microsoft wanting to maintain the appearance of being ahead of Google, who made similar announcements this week?
In What Microsoft 365 Copilot can really do for you we stripped away the layers of self-interested corporate excitement.
Creativity, Joy, Uplevel, yada yada
The usual key words and phrases made an appearance.
“ignites our creativity and sparks joy” is a oldie from Redmond but apparently worth recycling.
“ unleash creativity, unlock productivity, and uplevel skills.”
Sometimes these stock phrases are used without considering if they are relevant or appropriate. For example, repeatedly using the term “Creativity” for a feature that using computer software to make text or images for you … how is that ‘Creative’?
Copilot or Human?
Was this opening paragraph about Copilot written by the AI itself? Or some marketing mavens after an epic liquid lunch?
“Humans are hard-wired to dream, to create, to innovate. But today, we spend too much time consumed by the drudgery of work, on tasks that zap our time, creativity, and energy. To reconnect to the soul of our work, we don’t just need a better way of doing the same things. We need a whole new way to work. “Source: Microsoft
Microsoft execs must have liked those phrases because they were used, almost word-for-word on two different Copilot announcement pages.
Maybe it’s not a good idea for Microsoft to focus on the “drudgery of work” and “tasks that zap our time, creativity, and energy“? Too many Microsoft Office users read that and think of the undocumented bugs, endless security lapses and other Office troubles that add to ‘drudgery’ and way too much ‘time zapping’.
Cautionary words from people who know …
Engineers at OpenAI, whose GPT technology is central to Microsoft Copilot and other AI services have said:
“ChatGPT fails a lot… we all have to be very clear to about the limitations ourselves and to others of the technology… it’s still early days… we just have to be very up-front, and manage expectations, and make it clear this is not a finished product.”Source: quoted in Private Eye magazine No. 1594
Look forward to many reports of Copilot glitches and embarrassments as Microsoft rushes out AI features.