Microsoft’s AI tool coming soon to Outlook, writing email replies for you

Microsoft will soon begin rolling out its artificial intelligence features for corporate customers, including the ability for it to read emails and draft suggested replies. 

Microsoft 365 Copilot, which the company refers to as "your everyday AI companion," will become generally available for enterprise customers on Nov. 1 in its programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams. It has already been testing Copilot with customers like Visa, General Motors, KPMG, and Lumen Technologies, aiming to improve productivity.

The tool will enable Outlook users to stay on top of their inbox and "create impactful communication in a fraction of the time," the company said in a blog post last month

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This includes Copilot summarizing an email thread to get key information with annotations, and providing suggested action items, replies, and follow-up meetings. 

Users can even choose an option called "Sound like me" when drafting an email to match their own writing style and voice.

In Microsoft Word, Copilot can provide a summary of any document to share as a recap or quickly get up to speed, the company said. Users can also ask the AI tool to  "rewrite" a paragraph, then scroll through a series of options to see what fits best. 

In Excel, Microsoft said Copilot can help analyze, format, and edit data "to gain deeper understanding and insights."


FILE - In this photo illustration, the Microsoft 365 Copilot logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Corporate customers will also benefit from the company’s Microsoft 365 Chat, formerly called Business Chat, which aims to work "like an assistant," scanning files, emails, chats and more. 

Last year’s release of ChatGPT by OpenAI, which powers the technology Microsoft is relying on, sparked a boom in "generative AI" products that can create new passages of text, images and other media. 

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Microsoft’s rollout comes as rival Google has also begun integrating such tools into its own Workspace applications, such as Google Docs, Gmail and Slides. 

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This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.