Copilot and AI in Windows 11

Over the last 2 years AI has taken the tech world by storm, and for good reason. With the release of AI models such as DALL-E and ChatGPT, we have seen what AI is truly capable of and this is just the beginning. Microsoft is keen to utilise this breakthrough in technology and is introducing a seamless integration of popular AI features into Windows itself. No more creating accounts on various platforms, or even downloading large models manually and using funky command lines (looking at you Stable Diffusion), it will all be at your fingertips within Windows.

Copilot and other AI tools aim to revolutionise the way we work and use our devices, although the full feature set isn’t quite released (this is Microsoft’s first iteration after all), this is a space to watch as things move rapidly in the field of artificial intelligence.

I won’t lie to you, it’s not as amazing or ground-breaking as some of the other 3rd party AI tools available at the moment, but let’s have a look at what this new feature update from Windows brings to the table.

Copilot (preview)

Copilot in Windows aims to be your very own personal assistant, it is an intelligent chatbot that is capable of a wide range of tasks, it can answer questions about pretty much anything, it could write an email for you, or even draft a business plan. Copilot gave a pretty similar response as ChatGPT when asked about Cyber Essentials, so it is definitely a capable chat model. For those of you who are familiar with Bing Chat, you will recognise Copilot straight away (it’s practically the same thing), except it is now integrated directly into Windows which provides some extra functionality.

You can access it by pressing Win + C at any moment which will pop out the Copilot window whilst resizing your current application, so it’s ready to access at a moment’s notice! Copilot is definitely worth checking out and seeing how you could use it in your day-to-day.

Paint Cocreator and Background Remover

Paint – a staple for every Windows user. We’ve all used Paint at some point, it hasn’t changed much over the years, it’s simple, lightweight and gets the job done.

Cocreator is a new generative image AI tool built into Paint itself. What does that mean exactly?

It is an integration of the well-known AI model ‘DALL-E’, if you want to find out more about how DALL-E was made, have a read here, or even look at some of the mind-blowing results from prompt induced image generation. In simple words, you can give a text prompt to Cocreator, and it will generate an image based on your prompt.

Once you open Paint you will see a new tab at the top ‘Cocreator’. You will have to sign in with a personal Microsoft account, currently Work or School accounts do not work.

You can then let your imagination run wild (okay, not that wild, explicit words are prohibited). Enter a prompt in the text box and choose a style, then click create. Within seconds you will have an AI generated image, something which would’ve taken a professional artist hours to compose just a few years ago.

You are given 3 different variants from the same prompt, so you can choose your favorite out of the bunch, there are also many different styles to choose from, so play around and see what images you can generate. Keep in mind you are only given 50 tokens to play with, and each image will use 1 token.

Paint has also added a very useful AI powered tool, Background Remover. This tool will try to identify what is the background of an image and will remove it. Here it is in action:

Pretty impressive, this is probably one of Paints biggest feature updates ever, so it’s worth checking out.

Snipping Tool

The beloved snipping tool has been given some nifty AI powered features too, it is now able to identify text within a snippet and copy it to your clipboard. Even more impressive and useful, is the ability to redact personal information such as phone numbers and email addresses from snippets. This can prove very handy when trying to share an image without revealing personally identifiable information. Expect this feature to expand and become customisable in the future.

That’s it – for now…

Those are main AI feature updates to Windows 11 so far, they might be small additions at the moment, but it does signify a transformative shift in the way users are going to interact with their operating systems. While these advancements may not match the complexity of certain third-party AI solutions, they serve as a clear indication of Microsoft’s commitment to making AI accessible and integral to the Windows experience. There’s lots of room for growth, and the possibilities and productivity AI can provide is endless.

Without a doubt in the next few years Copilot will be more and more deeply intertwined with Windows and Microsoft 365 applications, so keep an eye on it and don’t be left behind!


2024-01-16 Copilot for Microsoft 365 is here: Copilot for Microsoft 365 – Macnamara ICT

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